What is First Call Resolution?
You’re headed out the door to visit a site for an estimate when the phone rings. The client on the other end is demanding the drawings for their parcel, but your brain is already half out of the door. You put down your maps and briefcase to shuffle through the papers on your desk. Did they make their final payment? Have you even billed them yet? You put them on hold to look up information, but can’t find it. You’d ask your billing person, but they aren’t in today. Now you have to take a message, track down the information, and call the client back.
The client is annoyed. You’re discombobulated. And You can’t bill anyone for the time it takes. If only you had been able to answer their question on that initial call. The ability to address or resolve a client’s questions or problems the first time they call or email is called first call resolution.
Isn’t that a customer service term? I’m a land surveyor!
First call resolution is a metric used to measure how well a customer service center responds to incoming calls. While it’s a term that comes from customer service and sales language, it’s a useful concept in all client-based businesses. In fact, if you concentrate on achieving first call resolution you’ll probably have to think less about customer service. Instead of returning client phone calls, you can spend your time out in the field billing hours.
How to achieve first call resolution?
Why do your customers call? Most likely it’s because they want information on the status of their project. When can they expect drawings? When will people to show up to do the work? Did you receive their payment?
If your data is siloed–meaning only accessible to certain people or departments through specialized apps–that’s a big problem. You don’t want to put your client on hold as you wait for your accounting software to boot up or while you track down your billing person.
Instead, develop a system that integrates your data and makes it readily accessible. Qfactor for Land Surveyors does that work for you by pulling data from your disperate apps and organizing it into an easy-to-read dashboard. That way, you don’t need access to QuickBooks to see if a bill has been paid. When a client calls and you’re halfway out the door, you can glance at your phone or tablet to see the status of the bill or tell them if they should expect a call from the bookkeeper.
In many cases Qfactor will do one better than first call resolution by eliminating the need for such a call; It works with the software you already use, making expensive upgrades or cumbersome trainings is unnecessary.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fred Dyste is the CEO of BizWatt and the lead developer of its flagship software, Qfactor. Fred has over 30 years of experience working with startups and early stage companies. Over the past 10-years he’s worked with solar and fiber optic companies resolving project budget and profitability issues. He knew there had to a better way to achieve these results so he created Qfactor.
He also made a living swinging a hammer; able to work trades from form to finish. Have a question for Fred?