The Secret to Reducing Repeat Callers

By Tony Iero

Reducing repeat callers can drastically improve the efficiency within your call center operations. In order to reduce repeat callers, your focus should be on improving FCR, or first call resolutions. A study conducted by SMQ showed that 72% of customer issues were solved on their first call, leaving 28% of customers to call back in, which they overwhelmingly did not want to do. The study also showed that 86% of those customers EXPECTED their problem to be solved on the first call. The result was a big disconnect between customer expectations and what actually happened. Not meeting customer expectations can lead to poor customer experiences and increased customer frustration. Let’s take a look at some different scenarios which create repeat callers and the solutions you can implement to improve your FCR.

Scenario #1 – The customer had to wait too long on hold

John calls into customer service so he can get help with what seemed to be a simple problem, but he ended up waiting on hold for too long. Frustrated with the wait, John drops off of the call. He decides he will call at a different time and hopes the wait will be more suitable.

In this scenario, John’s frustration continually grows because he isn’t able to speak with a representative over the time he expects he should be able to. When John finally decides to call back and does reach an agent, his mood will be soured due to his first experience calling in. Even if his problem is solved on his second call, his experience and outlook of the company he chose to do business with has already suffered. In the future, he may avoid doing business with this company because his expectations were not met.

Scenario #2 – Transfers or redirections to or from other reps

Jane spends 10 minutes of her time giving a customer service agent her information along with the problem she is experiencing, only to be transferred to a different agent. The new agent Jane is transferred to asks her the same questions about why she is calling, making her repeat everything she told the first agent. This is very frustrating to Jane. She ends up spending way more time talking on the customer service line compared to what she was expecting, so she decides to hang up and call back at a later time.

In this scenario, Jane’s negative customer experience is due to the amount of time she had to spend talking with customer service compared to how long she was expecting. She dreads calling back, but has no other choice if she wants to solve her problem. She doesn’t want to be transferred to other agents; she just wants to speak with someone who can help her. Jane will likely avoid future interaction with this company and go with a competitor instead.

Scenario #3 – Lack of knowledge and no solution

Bob calls into customer service with a specific issue. He can immediately tell that the agent taking the call doesn’t seem to have the knowledge to help him solve his problem. Bob is frustrated with the lack help he is getting, so he ends the call. He decides that he will call back again, and he hopes that he will get to speak with someone who has the knowledge to help him.

In this scenario, the agent taking Bob’s call was not someone qualified to do so. The lack of knowledge and a solution for Bob’s issue caused him to disengage with customer service and call back.

Scenario #4 – The customer service rep never called back

Sarah calls into customer service, but is told the agent must call her back after further investigation into the problem. After waiting longer than she was initially told, Sarah calls back into customer service because she never received the call she was told she would. Sarah is frustrated and feels like the company does not care value her as a customer.

In the scenario, Sarah’s once neutral view on the company she called turns negative because a call back from the agent was not received at the time it should have been.

How to improve FCR and decrease repeat callers using a callback system

A call back software is an excellent tool to implement when your focus is on the improvement of FCR and decreasing the number of repeat callers into your customer contact center. The right callback system has the ability to fix all of the above scenarios and many more not previously mentioned. For instance, instead of forcing customers to wait on hold for extended periods of time like John did in Scenario #1, a callback can be requested at a later time when the customer has availability to talk. Callback systems also have the ability to direct customers to the correct agents without the need for redirections or transfers. In scenario #2, instead of Jane being transferred, she would have initially entered information about herself and her issue into the callback system, which would have directed her call to the agent that could best assist her. She could also choose to be called back by that agent at a later time. This is also true for Bob in Scenario #3. Instead of any random agent taking Bob’s call, the information entered into the callback system will dictate which customer service rep Bob will speak to, avoiding the chance of a hang-up due to lack of knowledge. Last, callback systems are integrated within customer service operations. This ensures all customer calls are returned in a timely manner so customers like Sarah in Scenario #4 won’t need to become a repeat caller.

Callback offers an array of benefits for contact centers that will have huge impacts on the ability for agents to solve problems on the customer’s first call. This, of course, reduces the amount of customers that need to make multiple calls into customer service and increases the overall customer experience.

If you would like more details about our advanced callback services and how we can increase your first call resolutions, contact us today.