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First-contact problem resolution

Establish a one-contact resolution for customer issues

Ensure that customers must contact the company only once to get their problems resolved

Frank, L., Poll, R., Röglinger, M., & Lea, R. (2020). Design heuristics for customer-centric business processes. Business Process Management Journal, 26(6)

Description

Companies should ensure that all information needed to solve customer issues are collected at the first encounter in the business process. This reduces the interaction effort on both sides and supports the fast and comprehensive identification of solutions.

Real-World Example

At Allianz, call center agents are instructed to serve customers in minimum time by prohibiting repeated calls, by permitting only one forwarding per call and by assigning the most appropriate agent available. This way, customers do not need to describe their problem or needs several times and get support as soon as possible.

Implementation

This heuristic can be realized by reducing the number of loops in business processes and by proactively assigning the most suitable employee or IT-based touchpoint (e.g. chatbots).

Performance considerations

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Foundational free Patterns

Assign cases

Let workers perform as many steps as possible for single cases

Work in customer teams

Form cross-department teams for end-to-end case handling.

Establish standardized interfaces

Consider a standardized interface with customers and partners

Resequence activities

Move activities to more appropriate places

Specialist-generalist

Consider to deepen or broaden the skills of resources

Split responsibilities

Avoid shared responsibilities for tasks by people from different functional units

Green Compensation

Start implementing actions that can offset or counterbalance the environmental effects generated by business processes that cannot be changed.

Human Process Performance

Consider whether it is eco-friendly to let humans work over machines

Offer temporal flexibility

Let customers interact with your organization whenever they want to.

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Connected to

Empower resources

Empower workers for more decision-making authority

Reduce touchpoints

Reduce the number of contacts with customers and third parties

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