Tips for improving first call resolutions

For many businesses, making a sale is a priority while customer service is way down on that list. However, this is not a good tactic. On the contrary, having quality customer service should be one of your top goals. Why? Because it affects many other areas of your business and helps you convert more customers. It also has a huge impact on your brand’s reputation. Many people associate customer service with customers complaining. But it’s not so. People often call for extra information or to ask for help with the purchase. For this reason, it’s vital to be helpful, build a good rapport, and provide valuable input. The same goes for solving issues and conflicts. And improving first call resolutions is the best way to both enhance customer experience and satisfaction. So, check out these tips on how to do that!

What is a first call resolution?

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a valuable metric for customer service. It shows how often your team manages to resolve the issue during the first call eliminating the need for follow-up. In simple terms, FCR is when the customer has all their issues solved and questions answered after a single contact. It doesn’t matter whether we talk about online tools such as the ConvertMore callback widget or traditional phone calls. The fact is that having good customer service comes with many benefits.

a customer service rep talking to a customer
Being pleasant and providing useful information will help with improving first-call resolutions

For starters, it’s critical when it comes to customers’ impressions of your brand. Not to mention it’s vital when it comes to their interactions with you in the future. No one likes to call customer service in the first place. It’s usually the last resort when all other options fail. And what people like even less is having to call again and again. Especially if it also means ‘endless’ waiting and staying on the phone for what seems like forever. Therefore, improving your first call resolutions metric is a good business strategy. Let’s see how you can achieve this.

Create an informative self-help base for your customers

Firstly, make sure you have a comprehensive knowledge base for your website visitors. Ideally, it should contain all the data on products and services. This includes prices, features, comparisons, instructions, discount information, etc. Additionally, it’s good to include a FAQ section. Provide the answers to all the frequently asked questions. Adding helpful, expertly written articles or links to such articles would also be very helpful.

Help callers help themselves in the future

Now, it sounds as if this base will eliminate the need for customer service in the first place. Unfortunately, it won’t. It will certainly lower the number of calls you get. However, some people won’t be aware of its existence. So, empower them to help themselves in the future. At the end of the call, after you resolve the issue, tell them about the base. Make sure to give them clear instructions on how they can use it. Many people will be glad to learn this so it will be a win-win situation for both of you.

Make reaching your customer service simple and easy

a woman waiting for customer service
If they can’t reach you fast and easy, your customer satisfaction will be low

Customers may ask for help through different channels – email, phone calls, social media, etc. It’s vital to make all these routes easy to navigate and simple to use. If your customer is struggling to find the information or resolve an issue, the last thing they want is to struggle even more trying to reach customer service. When (and if) they finally reach you, you’ll have to spend valuable time de-escalating the call instead of solving the problem. So, if you want to lower website bounce rate and boost user experience, ensure they can initiate the contact with ease.

Gather all the data on the customer and anticipate their issues and needs

The more you know about the customer, the better you’ll be able to help them. The first things you need are well-trained agents and a quality CRM system. With that, you’ll have a solid base for gathering and analyzing all the data you need. Having the data in front of them during the call will be a valuable resource for your reps. That way they’ll be able to anticipate the problems. When you know what to expect, you’ll know what solutions to offer. It will help you build a good rapport and solve the issue quickly.

Giving clear instructions and relevant information is essential when it comes to improving first call resolutions

However, attentive listening is important too. It will provide you with valuable insights into what the customer needs and wants. Once you have all the information, leave no room for interpretation. Your instructions should be clear, precise, and easy to follow. If they’re not, customers will have no choice but to call again or give up. And you don’t want that. Also, try not to be overwhelming. Sometimes, the problem will require you to provide a lot of information. But give it in small bites and check for understanding. Ensure both you and the customer are on the same page during the first call. That will save you a lot of time and prevent misunderstandings.

Ask all the relevant questions

a customer service team at work
A well-trained customer service team is vital for a quality response

So, how to make sure you’re grasping the issue fully? The answer is simple – just ask. Sometimes customers won’t be sure what the problem is or how to explain it. With your extensive knowledge, you’ll be able to get to the core of the problem and offer the right solution.

Also, towards the end of the conversation, ensure nothing is left unsolved. Double-check whether you answered all of their questions. Ask whether there is anything else you can help them with. It will go a long way in improving your first call resolution metrics.

Provide valuable training for your team

Of course, it goes without saying that your customer service team should have good training. That includes extensive knowledge about products, services, and how-to procedures. That way they’ll be able to rise to any challenge and provide fast and effective responses.

Review and evaluate your customer service regularly

Lastly, in order to improve you need to know your current position. Things change – issues, attitudes, and interests. For that reason, you need to regularly review your metrics and assess the procedures and responses you use. That will enable you to stay on top of the game and maintain high-quality customer service.

The bottom line

As you may see, improving first call resolutions will have an impact on the quality of your customer service. But it will also affect other areas of your business. A happy customer is a returning customer. And if you ensure your reps are communicative and helpful, customers will be happy to continue interacting with your brand.

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