How Phone Interpretation Impacts Contact Center First Call Resolution

Jun 16, 2016


90% of contact center leaders told ICMI that agent productivity and other metrics improved or maintained when they introduced phone interpretation. Of these metrics, 35% of contact center leaders said that first call resolution (FCR) in particular improved with interpretation services.

Quality phone interpretation may improve your center’s FCR too.


Several aspects of phone interpretation may impact your FCR:

  • Interpreter Accuracy—You’ve given your agents the tools they need to resolve customer needs on the first contact. But if an interpreter miscommunicates, agents or customers may need to reach out a second time to clarify the misunderstanding, lowering your FCR. A phone interpretation partner who cares about your FCR should make interpreter accuracy a central part of their hiring, training, and monitoring processes.


  • Interpreter Status—A phone interpretation service can train its employees to meet rigorous standards, but it can’t lawfully train independent contractors. How can you improve yourFCR when your interpretation provider uses interpreters untrained in your industry-specific terminology or interpretation best practices? We believe that trained, employee interpreters who receive regular monitoring for quality are better prepared to help you meet your FCR.


  • Interpreter Location—Background noise may keep agents and customers from understanding each other and even lower your FCR if a second contact becomes necessary. To maintain sound quality, you likely provide agents with professional equipment and appropriate workspaces to handle customer concerns, but what does your interpretation service do? A service that uses at-home interpreters in uncontrolled environments may disrupt calls with the background noise that you worked to avoid. Even if the noise doesn’t create the need for a second call, limited-English customers may still find your service unprofessional.


  • Interpreter Availability—What do your agents do when your interpretation service is unable to locate an interpreter for your customer’s preferred language? When language service providers use primarily independent contractor interpreters, they can’t lawfully schedule these independent contractors in advance. How might interpreters who may create their own schedules impact your FCR? When an interpreter is unavailable, limited-English customers may call back later to receive service, which lowers your FCR. But a service that can schedule interpreters to meet your demand may increase your FCR by providing the coverage you need at the time you need it.


  • Infrastructure—What do your agents do when an interpreter suddenly drops off from a call? Unless your agent finds a solution quickly, the limited-English caller may abandon the call and try again later, lowering your FCR. Calls to an offshore interpreter may route through inferior infrastructure and lead to more dropped calls and extended service outages. An interpretation service that handles calls in the continental US with redundant infrastructure and no single-point failure may improve your FCR, as interpreters may remain available for and during the first call.


Stay tuned for our next blog as we continue to look at how phone interpretation may impact your contact center’s metrics. You can also see how Voiance handles its calls in large-scale interpreter contact centers