First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution is also known as First Contact Resolution simply put resolving customer problems the first time they contact you, eliminating the follow-up. The FCR can help you measure customer satisfaction.

There is often a debate on what exactly constitutes FCR. Some centers would constitute First Call Resolution as the call was resolved on the first call without the need to transfer while other as the call was resolved without the need for a follow-up call from the customer for the same issue.

Achieving both on the first contact may seem sound way to define FCR however some experts say what missing in both is the customer’s perspective.

It is essential for customers to inform you if their issue has been resolved which can be done with post-call IVR surveys, online surveys, etc.

Why is FCR so important? Why should you measure it?

Put yourself into the customer’s shoe, imagine the level of frustration if you have to do follow up calls for the resolution of the same issue. You probably would be yelling at the top of your lungs. If you were to get a resolution on the first call, you would delight? Isn’t that true?

You as a customer want your problems to be solved fast and in the first contact.

First Call Resolution is a metrics to help you measure customer satisfaction. A study by SQM Group reports for every 1% improvement in FCR results in 1% improvement in customer satisfaction. They found that on average customer satisfaction drops by 15% every time a customer has to call back for the same issue.

Another research conducted by Ascent Group shows 30% improvement in their performance in the 60% of companies who were measuring the FCR for more than a year.

The key benefits of contact centers who were able to achieve high FCR were:

1) Lower cost of operations: Low FCR means constant repetitive calls from your customers. Every call has a cost attached to it. The repeated calls in a call center with high volume can quickly escalate into huge bills.

Whereas, a high FCR result reduces the number of calls from the same customer with the same issue.

2) Reduce customers at risk: A satisfied is less likely to go to your competitors. Research by SQM shows only 3% of the customer are expected to go to your competitor’s compared to 38% customers who didn’t experience FCR.

3) Improve in Esat (Employee Satisfaction): There is already stress on agents who work in a high volume call center. When the agent receives a repeated call from the customers (these customers are frustrated and when to vent all of their anger on the first person who gets the call), it results in low morale. The agents often in such call centers quit their job thus resulting in higher attrition.

Agents are more likely to stick if they have the necessary tools and training to achieve FCR.

How to measure FCR?

It is crucial for you to decide on the FCR criteria. You need to carefully think about all the variables you want to take into consideration and the ones you want to omit.

Some of the variables you want to consider are:

1) Should you include calls that did not connect to an agent like abandoned calls?
2) Clear definition of repeat call
3) Does it constitute a callers error made on their survey response?
4) Does it include escalated calls?
5) Does it include calls that were transferred?

You should also factor in time the callback window. It means the time difference between the calls. Typically it’s ten days, but you may define yours. So if the customer calls back after ten days with the same issue, it shall not be counted as a follow-up call.

There are two formulas for calculating FCR:

First Call Resolution= Resolved Incidents on First Contact / Total Incidents x 100

First Call Resolution= Total Incidents Resolved – Total Reopened /Total Incidents x 100

The plain and simple way to calculate FCR is to ask customers.

Survey questions such as “Was your query resolved in the first call?” or “How many times have you contacted us to resolve this query?”. The problem with that is most of the customers will not participate or complete the survey.

In such scenarios, we can consider if the customer has called back in a given timeframe which can typically be ten days. There are tools such as Alteryx, Tableau, etc. which can run FCR rates automatically and is more accurate.

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