When Solved is Not Enough: 3 Ways to Boost Your First Call Resolution
by Andrew Sanders on

In these days of SaaS applications, the help desk has to be efficient, knowledgeable and able to close tickets fast. Nobody likes waiting, and when your users are experiencing a technology problem, they like waiting even less. You can do a lot proactively to make sure that users spend as little time on hold as possible, but that’s only one facet of the problem. The other part is first call resolution (FCR).

Improving your FCR is a great way to improve the end-user experience. Users will be understandably irritated if their app is repeatedly slow or if they otherwise can’t use it. Solving their issue for them the very first time they interact with your IT team’s helpdesk, however, is a win for IT and proof of its value. This statistic may also help drive IT job satisfaction as well. When it’s fast and easy to help customers, your helpdesk personnel will feel happy and engaged with their jobs.

By contrast, a low FCR number may indicate a variety of problems:

  • Confusing Knowledgebase. If your knowledgebase and FAQs are difficult to navigate, then your users or Tier 1 help desk agents may not know what to do with them or how to solve their issues.
  • Substandard Tools. If your help desk team can’t see what a user is trying to do or understand what their issue is, they’re unlikely to be able to help.
  • Systemic Issues. Application slowdowns related to network or infrastructure issues are probably beyond the ability of Tier 1 support personnel to diagnose or fix.

With that said, here are some ways that organizations can boost their FCR.

1. Invest in Omni-Channel Customer Service

In 2017, everything is omni-channel, but the phrase is more than just a buzzword. Best-in-class companies are much more likely to invest in technologies that intelligently route customers to a contact channel that will solve their problem most efficiently.

For example, your business may deploy an IVR system to understand that a customer needs help with the automated bill pay app, and that it’s a fairly significant issue, so they immediately get routed to Tier 2 support in the relevant department. Or, a monitoring tool alerts the right IT team when a user’s application is slowing down.

When done right, this approach pays dividends. New research from MIT shows that 91% of the world’s leading companies are using some form of intelligent agent to route calls and provide customer service. Meanwhile, only 42% of their competitors do so.

2. Give Your Agents the Best Tools

If your help desk agents can’t get their hands on the right information, or if it takes them a long time to find it, the odds of being able to resolve an issue on first contact get lower and lower. The process of fixing this issue is known as Agent Desktop Optimization (ADO). It focuses on building an IT infrastructure that delivers the most relevant information to your workers as fast as possible.

This usually entails some form of automation. In other words, the help desk agent shouldn’t have to spend time manually drilling into multiple screens and separate databases to pull out information. Instead, the desktop should bring up all relevant information on a customer as soon as it recognizes their phone number.

A successful ADO program pays for itself, saving an average of $840,000 per year from a 200-seat contact center. ADO programs let agents understand the customer and how they’re using an application or service, which gives them insights into how problems occur and how they affect users. These programs also give agents the ability to monitor their own performance. Aside from improving FCR, a good ADO program will redound positively across other areas of helpdesk performance.

3. Resolve Systemic Issues

Even if you give your helpdesk agents the right tools and technology to help customers, problems in your application infrastructure may be beyond their ability to fix. For example, 58% of executives say that an unexplained application slowdown affects their productivity at least once a week, and 41% say that this slowdown has had a negative impact on customer satisfaction.

Resolving these infrastructure issues proactively will have a huge effect on your agents’ ability to do their jobs—and it’s exactly what the AppNeta Performance Manager is designed to help with. By offering complete performance visibility from the end user’s perspective, you’ll be able to see where and why application slowdowns are occurring, and remediate them quickly and accurately.

By combining omnichannel customer service, an optimized agent dashboard, and proactive alerting for infrastructure issues, you’ll be able to boost your FCR—while also creating better end-user and customer experience. IT can also show its value to the business with helpdesk metrics improvements.

For more information on how to improve your FCR using AppNeta Performance Manager, request a free trial today.

Filed Under: cloud computing, Performance Monitoring

Tags: application performance , help desk , SaaS applications