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next issue avoidance (NIA)

Next issue avoidance (NIA) is a metric used by a company's customer service and support department to stay proactive when helping their customers by predicting related issues that might arise. Unlike first contact resolution (FCR), which promotes focusing on a positive experience for a customer's first time reaching out for assistance, NIA is used for solving multiple issues for customers. It involves finding patterns within an organization's trouble tickets, so that when a customer creates a new ticket for a particular issue, the customer service agent can predict that the other common issue might occur as well, and give support for that "next issue" preemptively.

For example, a customer service rep may notice that a lot of people have trouble with logging into a program and then setting up a new project. Because this pattern is so common, when a customer opens an IT ticket for help with logging in, the rep can save time by also sending information about how to open a new project.

A few ways to handle NIA are to create robust documentation that outline common troubleshooting topics, promote service agent training in predicting related concerns or questions and keep track of how often customers reach out within a certain timeframe.

Effectively measuring NIA saves companies time, money and resources by handling multiple situations at once. It also boosts customer sentiment as the less effort finding a solution takes, the more likely the customer will trust the company, view it as credible and pursue further transactions.

This was last updated in October 2018

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