First let´s start with defining the first contact resolution method:
“the traditional objective of all service systems” according to John A.Goodman in his book “Customer Experience 3.0”
In short, the FCR is solving an issue the first time it appears, the right way so it doesn´t appear again. In the 1970s, Coca-Cola´s customer research showed that whenever a customer contacts a company the second time, satisfaction decreases by at least ten percent. So in short, if you want to avoid getting a lower rate on your NPS or satisfaction surveys then you better train your staff on solving issues once they arise, the first time, the right way so that no customer has to come back for help.
Example: A Helsinki, Finland local Fast-food chain serves burgers but without any knives, only forks on a side table for customers to self-serve. Many customers come asking for knives in addition to forks but the staff keeps on saying that the company only has plastic forks. Why not place extra knives on the side table, alongside the forks and solve the issue once in for all? No one wants to go to a burger chain where they have to ask for a knife, every time.
Going beyond the FCR
Companies with advanced customer experience systems have looked beyond the FCR and started training their staff on this thing called the “next issue avoidance” this means, that staff are trained and coached to ask themselves “how can I make sure this customer doesn´t have to call us back?” “What´s the company going to do in order to prevent similar issues from happening again?” “Are there other matters affected by similar issues that we need to handle?” “Are there other customers affected by similar issues that we should handle before customers realize the issue´s appearance?”
Example: You are chatting with an online store´s representative about the warranty details while purchasing your next washing mine. The washing machine comes without water cables but while you are just about the finish the online order, the representative (based on his previous interactions with customers who forgot to order the water cables) sends you a message in the chat that says “by the way, this machine comes without a water cable, don´t forget to add one to your order” WoW! now without you having to ask again “does this machine comes with a water cable?” the rep already foresees the future and tackles the customer´s issue before it becomes a big deal. I mean, no one wants to buy a washing machine and eventually realize that there are no water cables, only after the order is already home.