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One and Done

Optimize Blog - July 3, 2014 - 0 comments

Statistics consistently reinforce that the biggest challenge in today’s customer facing business environments is employee training. The reality is that losing customers because of bad contact experiences negatively impacts the organization’s bottom line. What can you do? How do you justify the training expenditure?
Research has been making a case for how spending in human performance areas such as training, translates into bottom line growth. The research has identified some interesting results. First, in the area of recruitment, training opportunities were among the top three criteria people considered when deciding where they want to work (the others are the opportunity for advancement and a good benefits package).
In the area of productivity, as a result of training, employees are on average 17% more productive, have 20% higher performance levels relative to their peer group and stay with the company 14% longer. In this area of retention, employees who have access to great training programs are more than 2 times more likely to expect to be with the company in 2 years’ time and more than 6 times more likely to think that the company is a ‘great place to work’. They also consider that they are more likely to think they are fairly compensated.
So what about those negative Customer Service Experiences? How many of you know (and track) what percentage of your customer contacts are actually bad experiences? Hopefully, you do know the number, and they’re in the low single digits.
If you know your percentage of bad experiences, put a dollar amount on that and then total it out for the year. We think that you’ll be very surprised at the amount of lost revenue. Now if you have a 1% improvement, as a result of a training initiative for example, the amount of recovered revenue (and customers) could be transformational.
We all know that first contact resolution (one and done) is the #1 driver for customer satisfaction with best practices reported at 86%. However, if your company has even attained that 86%, this means that 14% of your customers are contacting you more than once to resolve their issues. Repeat calls are costly not only to your operations but they negatively impact customer satisfaction, and ultimately, customer loyalty.
How do you define first call resolution? And how do you—if you do—calculate it? Research shows that there is no common measuring method. However, what gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets better.
In a recent study (Ascent Group) more than 90% of companies measuring first call resolution reported improvement in their performance. Another study ( reported a dramatic fall in call volume—identifying that a minimum of 20% of all calls were repeat calls from customers needing an answer or help they didn’t get the first time that contact was made. Further, that the absence of first contact resolution was found to account for a minimum of 30% of a contact center’s operational costs.
The bottom line is that the organization needs to invest in its people. They need to have the leadership, training, tools, and the authority to get their job done right the first time. After all, it is the front line employees that are the interface who handle customer issues. One of the foremost methods to boost customer satisfaction—and improve first contact resolution—is to consistently train your employees in world class customer service skills.
As the old Chinese proverb states, “The man who cannot smile shouldn’t open a shop”.

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