It is impossible to answer the question with the information you have shared. You need to track down what is the slow statement. And for that matter, you need to investigate if there is some blocking.
If you don't know what is slow and why it is slow, you cannot fix it confidence. DBCC FREEPROCCACHE and things like that are just shots in the dark.
Maybe you should wait until you have a newer version of SQL Server installed. Not the least because then you can activate Query Store which will help you track down slow queries a lot more easily.
Query Store is also good to catch regressions that may occur when you move to a higher compatibility level. So a possible strategy is:
- Install the new version of SQL Server. Keep the compat level.
- Enable Query Store.
- Run for a week or two.
- Change the compat level to the new one.
- If a query regresses, you can find it with help of Query Store.
There is even an option for this in SSMS, you find it at the bottom of the Tasks context menu for a database.