It Might not Seem like the Good Old Days but Compared to 100 Years Ago… FCR and Second Call Treatment

It Might not Seem like the Good Old Days but Compared to 100 Years Ago… FCR and Second Call Treatment

There have been several articles circulating lately about the “good ole days.”  Every era has its own set of problems and issues.  Things may be bumpy for a while, but we always seem to survive, including the current economic trials and tribulations the world is currently experiencing.  Turning back the clock one hundred years to 1910 would yield the following fun facts:

• The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
• Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only, and there were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads, with a maximum speed limit in most cities of 10 mph.
• The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
• The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
• The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
• Sugar cost four cents a pound, eggs were fourteen cents a dozen, and coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
• Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
• Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

Assuming you were lucky enough to own a telephone back in 1910 odds are you would wait patiently on the phone for an operator, tell her the number you were trying to reach and then after several minutes you might get connected to your party. If there were any hang-ups, interference or disconnects it was understandably the “system” and not you intentionally hanging up (abandon) because you lost your patience.

Jump ahead one hundred years to 2010. Our modern day contact centers greets you with an automated menu (IVR) system that if well designed could be fun to use and offers voice prompts for self-service questions and answers. As mentioned, if designed correctly the IVR is a time saver for you the customer, and a time and cost saver for the companies that have implemented them. Where am I going with this? The best designed IVR and the most customer focused contact center staff cannot guarantee that all calling customers will have their needs met on the ever important first call.

What I am talking about is of course a common theme on this blog site, namely, first call resolution or simply FCR. In a recent study by the Ascent Group more than 90% of companies measuring first call resolution reported improvement in their performance. Another study by callcentres.com 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 on the first call.

Even with a first call resolution plan in place you will never eliminate all repeat callers. The reasons are many and varied by industry and unforeseen events. You may even encourage repeat callers depending on your business model. Implementing a Second Call Treatment solution (like Primas’ Evolution FCR™ product)  offers special attention be given to the repeat caller and can diffuse hostile interactions between the customer and CSR (Customer Service Representative), and even save a valuable customers business. Building a Second Call Treatment process is imperative to avoid a third or subsequent customer contact, remember operating without a first call resolution process was found to account for a minimum of 30% of a call center’s operational costs!

There will be more insight and ideas on second call treatment later this week.

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