First-contact resolutions provide a quicker return to productivity for end-user customers and so, unsurprisingly, it is one of the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction on the service desk. It is also key to providing the right customer experience. For the service desk, the faster a call is resolved the lower the costs, so it’s important get this right. However, focusing efforts on just closing a call quickly will drive the wrong behaviour. Interaction needs to provide resolution in order to prevent repeat calls from your end users. Here are ten step you can take to increase your first-contact resolutions.

  1. Identify Call Types - Recognize that not all calls can be solved on first contact. Pull a report on total incidents and incidents resolved. Analyse your Incidents, and those that have been resolved, to understand which call types your team can resolve at the first opportunity and those that won’t end up re-opening later, which you would need to escalate. This will provide you with the basis for accurate benchmarking of what is an achievable percentage for first call resolution in your own organization.
  2. Define SLA / OLA contracts - Your staff must be clear on the definition of “resolved.” In some organizations, “resolved” is when the issue is passed off to second line.
  3. Reduce Escalations - Target those call types that should be resolvable on first-contact call but are being escalated. Review the skills of the staff that pass on those calls to assess whether additional training is required. Check the processes you have in place to resolve those incidents and ensure they are not encouraging particular behaviours. Your system should allow you to easily modify these processes without coding, if necessary.
  4. Offer A Knowledgebase – Increasing your first-contact resolution requires technically skilled staff with access to knowledge. Provide analysts with a simple-to-use and searchable knowledge base that offers information as an analyst is typing in an incident window. Analysts that follow tried and tested solutions will hasten resolution and ensure it is a first-time fix. Knowledge creation itself doesn’t have to be hard, you can enable knowledge creation as analysts work with a simple check box “create knowledge” on resolution.
  5. Utilize Remote Control Technology – With remote control from the service desk system, you can provide your analyst with two wins that make them more efficient. Firstly, by integrating remote control right-click access from within your Service Desk system, your staff won’t need to leave the Service Desk environment to login to an alternative remote control system and then switch back. Secondly, by allowing the analyst to do anything on the end-user’s device, it will enable the end user to solve their problem without having to pay a visit. It will save valuable time and increase your first-call resolution rate.
  6. Provide Incident Templates – Providing Incident templates to end-user customers for the most frequently occurring Incidents, such as ”printer toner low” or “access a network drive” can be a quick win. This will ensure that your analysts receive all the information they need to resolve an issue, as quickly as possible, without chasing back and forth to an end user for additional information – “which printer, which office building etc.”
  7. Implement Self Service – A good self-service operation will deflect certain calls such as password resets, how-to questions or service requests rather than having an end user sit in a call queue.
  8. Harness Automation – Where it makes sense in a process, use automation to resolve issues and requests such as password resets and software request fulfilment.
  9. Publish Noticeboards – Use self-service noticeboards to alert your end user customers about known errors and include work-arounds. Provide them with instructions in the end-user facing knowledge base that can be easily implemented without calling the service desk, or information about services that may be down or up-and-coming changes to services.
  10. Celebrate and Recognize Staff – Use your team dashboard to report on improvements in first-contact resolution and recognize those staff members that contributed the most to this metric.

If you have any others from your own experience that you think readers could benefit for, please comment!