Most contact centers are able to quantify the cost of an inbound call, but how many of them (beyond those centers which are involved in sales or collections) are actually able to quantify the value of resolving an inbound call in terms of customer loyalty or promotion?
This question was recently posed to us by a client, so we used the COPC CX Research team to help us conduct some research on the value of resolving a call and to help us understand how each customer contact fits in to an overall “Service Journey“.
What is the Service Journey?
The Service Journey is the path taken by a customer when interacting with a brand to resolve an issue and includes all the touchpoints and experiences they have along the way. Typical starting points in a Service Journey include self-service technologies (such as mobile apps, chatbots or websites) as well as human-assisted technologies (such as phone calls, video chat or webchat).
The Service Journey is similar to a customer journey, but much more focused around the moments of truth when a customer interacts with an organization.
Impact of the Service Journey on satisfaction and loyalty
By tracking the Net Promoter Score (NPS) of customers across different brands and different industries our research was able to identify that customers’ “feelings” about a brand are especially stimulated whenever they interact with the business, and that when they have no contact they have a “resting heart-beat” of satisfaction.
This resting heart-beat can vary from industry to industry (for example, an organization like Apple has a very positive resting heart-beat NPS due to customers enjoying using their products and services, whereas an energy utility typically has a lower NPS as very few people “enjoy” using electricity).
What our research found was that customers who interacted with a brand, and had the issue resolved on the first call, had a significant increase in Net Promoter Score compared to the resting heart-beat NPS. If it took two calls to have the issue resolved, the NPS dropped back to the resting heart-beat level. If it took more than two calls to resolve the issue the NPS dropped into negative territory.
Click on this link for a larger view : NPS FCR
If the issue wasn’t resolved at all, then the NPS was really, really bad.
The bottom line is that anything more than first contact resolution has a net negative impact on the organization when looking at both cost and NPS.
Organizations must take the value of resolving a call first time into consideration when designing the Service Journeys that customers need to follow to get their issues resolved. Complex, multi-step journeys will cost more and will create less promoters. Short, single step journeys will cost less and will create MORE promoters.
From a net promoter point of view, customer issues resolved in the first call are nine times more valuable than customer issues resolved in the second call.
So, if NPS, word of mouth referrals and customer loyalty are important to your organization, then you need to be focusing your Service Journeys on first contact resolution (FCR).
Oh, and as a final thought, what about organizations who follow the mantra of “the best service is no service”?
Well, they would actually have less promoters than those companies with well managed customer contact who are able to have a high proportion of their customers’ issues resolved in the first call.