Why First Call Resolution May Not Improve Your Customer Satisfaction Scores or NPS Scores


Of course, your first call resolution numbers are very important to you and your call centre.  After all, you have worked very hard to achieve your first call resolution targets.  Not only will good first call resolution results save your company money, they also suggest a better outcome for your customer.  So it just follows that good first call resolution performance should improve your Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores and NPS scores, right?

Not necessarily.  Question: How many customers who contact your call centre expect to have their problem solved through one interaction?

Answer: Virtually every single customer! When was the last time a customer contacted your call centre and said, “I know you can’t solve my problem right now.  I completely understand.  Here’s my number.  Just call me back with my solution as soon as you can.” This just does not happen!  Customers expect first call resolution. So when you meet customer expectations, it is just that – meeting customer expectations – nothing more.  It is neither extraordinary nor special.  

Have you ever read a review of a restaurant that raved about the clean dishes?  Of course not.  Why? Because clean dishes at a restaurant are a basic, baseline customer expectation.  Having clean dishes does not provide any direct benefit to the customer above and beyond what he already expects and is entitled to.  On the other hand, if a restaurant does not clean its dishes well, the customer’s experience is likely to be diminished significantly.  Those dirty dishes will hurt the restaurant’s business.  

First call resolution is a lot like clean dishes at a restaurant.  If you don’t solve a customer’s problem or resolve the customer’s issue during the first interaction, it will be held against you.  It will lower your customer satisfaction scores and NPS scores and deteriorate customer loyalty.  Solving a customer’s problem or resolving a customer’s issue during that initial interaction, without more, does not necessarily translate to higher customer satisfaction scores or NPS scores.  Unfortunately, in the call centre world, there is no prize for meeting customer expectations. 


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About Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey, CEO, heads Pretium Solutions’ Customer Experience & Sales Area focusing on Customer Loyalty, Brand Loyalty and Customer Retention Strategies. He directs Pretium’s revolutionary customer loyalty program, the Golden Touchpoint™. Pretium Solutions is a premier provider of cutting-edge, sustainable and globally-recognized customer experience management solutions and customer service, call center and sales training, consulting and leadership programs. Pretium shows companies how to create, build and maintain customer loyalty, the most important measure of a company’s success with its customers and the most profitable customer service outcome.

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