By Russ Levanway, President
Our recent combination with CIO Solutions has brought into focus the concept of “brand promises.” Unlike a mission or core values, brand promises are an extension of a company’s premise, a concrete takeaway for anyone who opts in to use its services. CIO Solutions has three brand promises, but it’s the first that I want to focus on today: first-contact resolution.
First-contact resolution refers to how efficiently client issues are resolved. Generally speaking, there is a subset of support calls we get that have the potential to be resolved during a single phone call. When it comes to these issues, 75 to 80 percent of the time, CIO Solutions is able to resolve them during that first phone call. In our industry, that is an excellent percentage, a very rare one. Another subset of issues such as restarting servers or deploying new computers obviously is better done with a scheduled appointment.
Before combining with CIO Solutions, TekTegrity’s rate of first-contact resolution was closer to 50 percent. I’ve always been impressed by how CIO Solutions identified first-contact resolution as a brand promise, and how they build their team to deliver on it. One of the mandates for our new combined company is that first-contact resolution remains a core component of how we provide tech support, through the entire organization. One way we’re addressing that mandate is by developing the service team to deliver that same brand promise to existing former TekTegrity clients and as well as new clients over time.
Of course, bumping up the percentage of first-contact resolutions won’t happen overnight, but we do plan to increase that percentage consistently over the next several months as we roll out new protocols. We’ve been learning the tools of the process and have even opened a couple of positions on our Rapid Response Team to address first-contact resolution directly.
It’s important to understand, however, that hiring more people won’t necessarily increase our effectiveness by itself. One reason that CIO Solutions is able to execute first-contact resolution so well is that most of their clients are “in the cloud”. Why does that matter? When clients migrate to the cloud, serving them becomes more standardized: set-up is the same for all cloud clients, the names of the servers are the same, the IP addresses, the way people log in―it’s all identical.
So when clients call in to log issues, there are boundaries to how unique those issues can be, and, consequently, how time-consuming they can be. Compare that to business outside the cloud, where there is a new, unique configuration for every client. To get to the level of 75 to 80 percent first-contact resolution, a key component will be more standardization across environments, and one way that is done is through the cloud.
Stay tuned for continuous improvement on first-contact resolution. We’re committed to growing that percentage because it will improve the experience for all of our clients.