First contact resolution (FCR) measures the ability of customer service teams to address a customer’s issue at the first point of contact. It is a key performance indicator as FCR usually contributes to other indicators, such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) and operation costs. In fact, a study revealed that a one percent FCR improvement may result in one percent improvement in CSAT scores and a one percent decrease in call center operational expenses.
Almost 8 out of 10 customers prefer live chat over phone calls. This is because live chat offers several features and benefits, such as the ability to centralize support channels, engage with your customers interactively, integrate external applications, and intelligently route contacts to decrease drop-off rates and increase FCR. Your customers also have the added benefit of being able to multitask more easily than if they were on the phone.
The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its application in live chat tools, such as Freshchat, has opened up new avenues of customer support. In this article, we’ll show you how to use chat to achieve first contact resolution.
1. Combine Human Support with AI to Reduce Drop-Off Rates
One way to increase your FCR rate is to use chatbot solutions that are driven by AI. Statistics show that it only takes 42 seconds to solve problems using live chat. This indicates that your customers expect you to be able to answer their queries in less than a minute. However, because of extenuating circumstances, this isn’t always possible. Enter chatbots.
With the help of chatbots from software like Freshchat, you can save both you and your customers’ time by collecting basic account information before a human agent takes over the contact. For example, the chatbot can collect the customer’s name, email address, or other identifying information so that the human agent can dive straight into the inquiry. And if you integrate Freshchat with a CRM, your agent could have access to the customer’s full account history as well.
You can even configure your chatbot to deliver automated replies to questions based on keywords. This buys your skilled agents time to handle complex queries, which can improve your FCR rate.
2. Centralize Your Support Across All Touchpoints
Over 50 million businesses use Facebook to connect with their customers. Unfortunately, many of these businesses use their social media pages just to sell their products or services. When consumers send a message, they often get no response because these companies have no agents dedicated to man Messenger queries. As a result, these companies lose the opportunity to resolve the customer’s concern and make a sale.
Using a live chat software like Freshchat, you can read all inquiries from Facebook Messenger using Freshchat’s mobile app or its web platform. The software also comes with added features such as auto-routing of messages and contextual details so you and your team can handle customer queries with ease. As the right agent responds to the customer, you increase the odds of first contact resolution while opening opportunities to make a sale.
3. Save You and Your Customers’ Time with CRM Integration
Integrating your live chat with customer relationship management (CRM) tools, such as Freshsales, will save both you and your customers’ time by eliminating the need to collect background information on every contact.
For example, instead of asking your customers for their shopping history or details of the products they bought, your agents can view the information on their screen automatically. If they’re contacting you for support, then you can see the products they’re contacting you about before you even speak to them.
4. Maximize Efficiency with Skills-Based Routing
Skills-based routing is not limited to phone calls. You can also use the feature in live chat to forward queries to agents who have the specific skills and knowledge to address the customer’s inquiry. This has two significant benefits:
- It allows your business to reserve your best agents for higher-level support
- It increases the chances of the inquiry being resolved more quickly
For example, if one of your products is more difficult to use and receives more support inquiries, then you can allocate some of your more senior agents to receive those inquiries. This will help prevent less knowledgeable agents from having to transfer the customer.
With a live chat software like Freshchat, you can form groups based on expertise or categories so you can route messages to the appropriate group. Furthermore, the modern messaging software enables you to automatically assign conversations to agents according to their activity, skill level, and current workload. These features help you efficiently resolve customer concerns on the initial contact.
5. Launch Screen Sharing and Engage with Your Customers Interactively
Not all of your customers will find it easy to follow your instructions, whether you’re talking to them on the phone or typing on chat. This can be especially true for technical concerns or in cases when customers are not tech savvy. Under such circumstances, you can rely on chat tools such as screen sharing, file transferring, or link sharing to achieve first contact resolution.
Have your agents share their screen with customers so they can show the step by step process of solving a technical issue. If screen sharing is not available, you can send PDF files or links to instructional videos that show exactly how to solve the problem. With the use of these chat features, your team will most likely address the customer’s concern on the first attempt.
6. Take a Team-Based Approach with Group Chats
Even if messages are routed to the right agent, it sometimes takes more than one person to resolve an issue. One advantage of chat support is you can simply invite customers to a group chat instead of transferring them to another agent. The collective knowledge of the participating agents puts them in a better position to address the problem. This will not only help you achieve first contact resolution but it can also inspire your customers’ loyalty by showing them that you take a team-based approach to resolving their inquiries.
7. Integrate with Other Tools to Maximize Features and Functionality
Not all companies can afford to employ a customer service team. Startups, in particular, like to operate lean, and they often rely on early team members to share the load when it comes to customer queries. Sometimes, however, members are too busy working on other tasks that web-based chat queries are ignored, and they miss out on the opportunity to resolve an issue on the customer’s first attempt.
If you can appreciate this situation, then perhaps a live chat software that integrates with other software tools can help you respond to customer inquiries. For example, the Freshworks suite of applications includes other customer-focused tools like Freshsales CRM, Freshcaller call center software, and Freshdesk customer support software.
Freshchat can also be integrated with third-party applications, such as Slack, which enables you to forward incoming chat messages to a particular Slack channel. With this feature, your team doesn’t just get the notification but they can also resolve the customer’s issue directly on Slack.
This setup is ideal for small teams or teams that work remotely and collaborate on Slack. Furthermore, as all of your members can see the conversation on the Slack channel, someone could always enter the conversation and increase the likelihood of achieving first contact resolution.
Bonus: Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
With chat support, you can be proactive and anticipate whether your website visitors are about to abandon their shopping cart. For example, one of the primary reasons why consumers abandon their shopping cart is a long or complicated checkout process. If their activity on your website suddenly stopped while checking out, this could be a hint that they may have concerns holding them back from completing the transaction. That’s when your chat agents can come in.
A messaging software like Freshchat can monitor user activity on your website including time spent on checkout, shopping categories, and items added to cart. You can use the data to proactively send messages, and ask for customer concerns. In doing so, you get to investigate what’s keeping your customer from finalizing the transaction. More importantly, many cart abandonment concerns such as shipping costs, shipping time, available payment methods, etc. can be considered low-level queries. You can resolve these issues on the first attempt and reduce cart abandonment by simply being proactive.
The Bottom Line
First contact resolution is a key performance indicator as its improvement often results in improvement of other KPIs. With live chat, you can achieve first contact resolution by taking advantage of its tools and features, collaborating in groups, and deploying chatbots.
Do you have other tips on how to use chat to achieve first contact resolution? Feel free to share them with us.