141030-Blog_Feat_Img-Disc_Multi_Channel_or_Cust_SvcHave you ever contacted a business in order to get something done that you thought would be fairly simple, only to find out it would take a minor miracle to actually get you where you wanted to be?

Did you use 3 or maybe even 4 channels to communicate? Did you talk to 2, 3, or maybe 4, different, but helpful (or not so helpful) people? Did they ask who you were and what you needed (even though you gave them all the relevant information they needed via text, chat, email and plain old SOS smoke signals)?

If it takes 23 complicated steps, it is NOT First Contact Resolution (FCR)!

Been There, Done That!

Recently I tried to do a “quick and easy transaction” (their words, not mine!) with my bank and it went something like this:

  1. Mobile – Being the modern girl that I am, I took my iPhone out and began to research what forms I needed to fill in to complete my transaction. I tried to fill in said forms on my iPhone. HA! That resulted in a few choice words and me pulling my hair out in clumps.
  2. Web Site – I went to the bank’s web site to make use of their online forms and experienced issues due to either me being technology-challenged or their technology being inadequate. (Of course, since I’m the customer, I’m always right so I’m going with the latter).
  3. Web Chat – Then, I sought assistance via a super-helpful online proactive chat agent, who’s offer to help popped up magically in the lower right hand corner of my screen. But, the agent could not figure out who I was or what I was trying to do. I was told that I could not submit the form online at this time (for vague reasons), and that I should contact the call center for more help. For the record I asked if I could just talk to my super-helpful chat agent, but the answer was no because it’s a different department – ummmmm – WHAT?
  4. Phone Call – I then dialed the 800 number and found myself providing my info – again! This time, the super-helpful call center agent, who was also very pleasant, said they could email me the appropriate form.
  5. E-Mail – The super-helpful call center agent did, indeed, email the form. (If you’re counting I was now using my fifth channel to communicate with my bank, and I was getting a bit irritated). I filled in the form and emailed it back to the bank. I received an email 2 days later (sigh!), saying that I would need to call the bank in order to complete the process – by the way, no phone number was included in the email.
  6. Phone Call – I called the bank immediately once I found the 800 number on the web. After giving my info (while grinding my teeth) to the agent, I was told that everything was great, but I would need to print, scan, sign and fax in my form.
  7. Fax – I had to think back to 1985, which was the last time I sent a fax, and patiently figured out how to scan and send my form to the bank, during which I pulled the rest of my hair out of my head and almost threw my ultra-modern printer/scanner right out of my office window when I couldn’t get it to work properly. But, I heard that familiar sound as my fax went through and my transaction was finally done!

Victory! Blood, Sweat and Tears Pays Off…But at What Cost?

This was decidedly NOT a good example a great customer experience with FCR! Yet, each of the people I talked to was, in fact, very helpful. Taken separately, I would have considered my experience to be just fine. However, my end-to-end cross-channel customer journey was far from excellent! The bank’s communication channels were not integrated and, more importantly, their agents were not empowered with the right tools and training to help me get to the finish line. In fact, it must have been frustrating for the agents involved as well, since they didn’t have the appropriate skills – language in one case – or capabilities to help me.

Learn How to Improve First Contact Resolution – Join Webinar!

A culture built around FCR is one that empowers its front-line staff by providing the tools, training and workforce optimization support to be successful. See Deelee Freeman, a leading contact center optimization business consultant and customer experience expert, and me, in our on-demand webinar titled, Improving First Contact Resolution: How to Create a Culture of Customer and Agent SatisfactionYou’ll learn how to identify the most impactful behaviors associated with FCR using quality monitoring and speech analysis, as well as how integrated workforce management quickly delivers training and how to support front-line employees by providing the right balance of work.

Register now!