Why Hershey Entertainment Still Cares About First-Call Resolution

Archive: This is an archived podcast recorded in advance of our 7th Annual Call Center Summit.

For many years, call center professionals found themselves fixated on performance benchmarks and "best practice metrics." They strived to quantify every possible element of the customer experience, confident that performance against this black-and-white rubric would tell the whole story of how well the agents are performing and how successfully the company is satisfying its customers.

Recently, however, there has been a movement away from metrics and the notion of a customer management "best practice." More and more practitioners and commentators are dismissing the relevance of one-size-fits-all measurements, instead seeking anecdotes of excellence that can provide some guidance for overcoming one’s own, unique call center challenges (ie, what concepts can I learn from Zappos that will help me better satisfy my employees and customers?) . CMIQ authors like Greg Levin have mocked those with an over-reliance on "best practices."

Justin Robbins, manager of training and guest experience at Hersey Entertainment Resorts and a presenter at the 7thAnnual Call Center Summit (details here), is far from a "best practices" purist. He recognizes that strict adherence to such measurements and guidelines can be detrimental to the customer experience, and he does believe all businesses should look at the unique intricacies of their market positions.

At the same time, he is careful to recognize the importance of that sentence—metrics are not, inherently, bad for organizations. As long as customer management leaders think about how the measurements tie into their business and customer experience objectives and do not get overzealous about hip new trends and "best practices" in the call center world, they can greatly benefit by grading performance against a set criteria.

"We tend to focus on maybe metrics that are outdated and don’t have an impact on a business objective or the experience that are customers having," explains Robbins about the hazard of metrics in this exclusive CustomerManagementIQ.com podcast. He adds, "We [also tend to] add a metric because it’s the in-thing right now, but we don’t know how to do use it effectively or we’re kind of measuring it unnecessarily. That kind of hurts our agents, because we’re measuring something they can’t have an impact on."

At Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Robbins is confident that first-call resolution represents a measurement of immense relevance to its agents and the customer experience.

"Something that’s really important for my organization is how easy it is for our customers to book their experience here," notes Robbins. "As a result, first call resolution really became a key driver here in making it easier for our customers to do business with us."

And though he acknowledges that first call resolution is not for every organization, he believes it carries some inherent value that justifies its importance in many customer-facing call centers: "Studies have shown, however, that reduced customer effort really has the greatest impact on customer loyalty."

How do you prepare reps to improve FCR rates, while avoiding the risks and pitfalls of urging agents to solve problems on the first call? What steps can other organizations take to quickly improve their FCR rates? What business and customer satisfaction benefits can be expected to coincide with improved first-call resolution?

Justin Robbins answers these and more in his exclusive CustomerManagementIQ.com podcast interview with Brian Cantor.

And if you like what he has to say, definitely join Robbins at the 7th Call Center Summit, at which he’ll be presenting. Agenda, speakers, registration and pricing details here!