repeat call reduction

SQM’s Repeat Call Reduction IDCA Improvement Cycle process helps contact center managers reduce customer repeat calls. Reducing repeat calls is one of the best practices and opportunities for lowering operating cost, providing higher first call resolution, customer satisfaction and retention.

SQM’s Repeat Call Reduction IDCA Improvement Cycle process is used for identifying repeat call reasons that need to be improved, developing and presenting solutions for reducing repeat calls, checking to see if the action plan implemented has reduced repeat calls and acting to achieve the greatest benefit from reducing repeat calls.

The basic premise of our IDCA Improvement Cycle process is to form a repeat call reduction team and to use the voice of the customer data (post-call survey and your CRM system) for identifying, analyzing and developing solutions for reducing repeat calls.

In preparation for the IDCA Improvement Cycle process project, SQM will conduct customer and employee surveys and a first call resolution (FCR) operational survey, if not already completed by SQM. After all surveys are completed, SQM will conduct a comprehensive analysis of your FCR, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, operational performance and quality assurance for opportunities for reducing customer repeat calls.

The IDCA Improvement Cycle process is based on SQM’s proprietary call tagging system for identifying the internal and external reasons why customers had to make repeat calls to resolve their issue. Calls are tagged based on customer survey non-FCR feedback and the information the CSR inputted into the contact center’s CRM system.

The IDCA Improvement Cycle process team is comprised of SQM consultants and your key contact center personnel (CSRs, quality assurance reps and managers). One of the benefits of the IDCA program is that key personnel acquire new skills on a proven improvement cycle process that can be used ongoing to improve FCR.

There are 2 steps needed to effectively utilize SQM’s Repeat Call Reduction IDCA Improvement Cycle process for reducing customer repeat calls.

The 2 Steps Needed for Reducing Repeat Calls

Step 1 – Conduct Surveys and/or Analyze Data

Conduct customer surveys on contact center FCR delivery – This study measures your contact center FCR delivery and provides insights on reducing repeat calls from a customer perspective. Typically, SQM will conduct a minimum of 400 post-call surveys, or use your existing data, to analyze your repeat call reduction opportunities.

Conduct employee survey on contact center FCR business practices – This study measures your contact center FCR business practices and provides insights on reducing repeat calls from an employee perspective. Typically, SQM will conduct a minimum of 100 front-line employee surveys, or use your existing data, to analyze your repeat call reduction opportunities.

Complete FCR operational survey – This study measures your contact center FCR business practices. We collect data on key aspects of the contact center operation from an FCR and financial perspective.

Analyze customer, employee and operational survey data – SQM and/or the IDCA improvement team will conduct a deep-dive analysis of all survey data sources to properly understand opportunities for improving operating cost, customer satisfaction and retention by reducing repeat calls.

Step 2 – IDCA Improvement Cycle Process

At the core of SQM’s repeat call reduction product is a continuous four-step problem-solving improvement process called IDCA. The IDCA Improvement Cycle process is one of the best practices for reducing repeat calls because it uses the voice of the customer as the basis for effectively applying the four-step problem-solving improvement process. Another reason for the effectiveness of the IDCA Improvement Cycle is that all work can be seen as a process. The IDCA Improvement Cycle is a practical approach for improving work processes that are creating repeat calls. SQM’s IDCA Improvement Cycle product uses four major steps (i.e., Identify, Develop, Check, Act) and three specific steps within each major step and includes more than twenty proven analytical process improvement tools to reduce repeat calls.

IDCA Improvement Process Cycle

  • Identify – and analyze repeat call reasons that need to be improved.
  • Develop – and present solutions for reducing repeat calls.
  • Check – to see if the action plan implemented has reduced repeat calls.
  • Act – to achieve the greatest benefit from reducing repeat calls.

repeat-call-reduction-cycle

A repeat call reduction team is formed to go through the IDCA Improvement Cycle process. The repeat call reduction team is typically comprised of five to eight cross-functional employees and an SQM consultant. The team spends two to five days going through the IDCA Improvement Cycle process. The IDCA Improvement Cycle process will teach your employees how to reduce repeat calls in a systematic manner. Specifically, by going through the IDCA Improvement Cycle process, team members will learn how to:

  • Use the IDCA process to reduce repeat calls
  • Form and focus a team on reducing repeat calls
  • Use customer survey non-FCR feedback and the information the CSR inputted into the contact center’s CRM system for identifying issues
  • Use SQM’s proprietary call tagging system for identifying the internal and external reasons why customers had to make repeat calls to resolve their issue
  • Use SQM’s mySQM™ web portal
  • Track the progress of the team going through IDCA

Benefits

Reduce operating cost – for every 1% improvement in FCR, a contact center reduces its operating costs by 1%. If a contact center is performing at the FCR contact center industry average of 70%, it is important to understand that, potentially, 30% of customers will have to call back because their issue was not resolved on the first call. It is also important to note that for the contact center industry average, it takes 1.5 calls to resolve a customer’s inquiry or problem yet for customers who do not achieve FCR, it takes on average, 2.5 calls to resolve their call. This is an enormous opportunity to reduce a contact center’s operating costs as repeat calls represent 23% of the average contact center’s operating budget.

Improve Csat – for every 1% improvement in FCR, there is a 1% improvement in Csat (top box response). Clearly, FCR is highly correlated to Csat. In fact, of all the contact center internal or external metrics, FCR is the metric with the highest correlation to Csat. The absence of FCR is the strongest driver of customer dissatisfaction. In fact, as previously mentioned, Csat (top box response) drops, on average, 15% every time a customer has to call back to get their initial call resolved. In other words, if a customer had to call in three times to get their call resolved their Csat (top box response) would be 30% lower than a customer who had their call resolved on the first call.

Improve Esat – for every 1% improvement in FCR there can be a 1% to 5% improvement in Esat. Contact centers with high FCR tend to have high Esat. Conversely, contact centers with low FCR tend to have low Esat. The level of stress is very high for the CSR who handles the second or third call from a customer whose issue was not resolved on the first call. Increasing FCR improves both Esat and Csat. The bottom line is that when customer calls are consistently resolved on the first call, Esat can increase substantially, especially for low FCR performing contact centers. Most contact center managers connect to the concept that high Esat can provide high Csat/FCR, but it also goes the other way in that high Csat/FCR can provide high Esat.

Increase opportunities to sell – when a customer’s call is resolved, it increases the customer cross-selling acceptance rate by up to 20%. SQM’s research shows that the customer’s needs must be resolved before the CSR has earned the right to move on to any type of sales activity. If the CSR cross-sells before the inquiry or problem is resolved, the customer typically becomes irritated and feels that the organization is pushing its needs, rather than serving the customer’s needs. As a result, the fundamental customer relationship is undermined.

Reduce customers at risk – only 2% of customers who have their call resolved on the first call expressed their intent not to continue to use the organization’s products and services as a result of their contact center experience. However, if the call is unresolved, 19% of customers expressed their intent not to continue to use the organization’s products and services as a result of their contact center experience. The cost of customer defections as a result of their contact center experience tends not to be understood by contact centers because it is not often measured. For many contact centers, retaining customers represents the biggest opportunity to add true value to their organization. Resolving calls is the key to reducing customers at risk. In fact, for every 2% improvement in FCR there is a 1% improvement in call resolution which results in helping the contact center retain customers.

Investment

The total investment to have an SQM consultant conduct and facilitate a Repeat Call Reduction IDCA Improvement Cycle project is between $7,500 and $15,000. There is an additional cost if SQM needs to conduct surveys (i.e., customer, employee or operational). There will also be additional charges to cover applicable taxes, travel and accommodation expenses for an SQM consultant.