First Call Resolution Metrics: Gross vs Net FCR

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I ran across an excellent article from MetricNet talking specifically about first call resolution rates, how the metric is measured, and what the international average and benchmark is.

The most interesting part was the idea of splitting first call resolution (FCR) into gross and net numbers. Maybe you have been wanting to use this metric but it just didn’t seem to be telling you what you needed to know. The difference between gross and net FCR may help.

Gross FCR is the raw first call resolution rate. It doesn’t take into account what type of call it is or whether first call resolution is an appropriate measurement. Here is the formula shared by Jeff Rumburg in his post:

Gross FCR Formula:

Gross FCR = Number of contacts resolved initially ÷ All incoming contacts

It’s easy to see why this could cause an apples to oranges comparison if you need to benchmark or follow trends. Or if your department does more break/fix or complex troubleshooting requiring multiple touches.

Net FCR Formula:

Net FCR = Number of contacts resolved initially ÷
(All incoming contacts – Contacts that cannot be resolved at level one)

Notice it reads, “Contacts that CANNOT be resolved at level one.”

These include “…hardware break/fix and physical move/add/change requests.”

Net FCR is the metric most commonly followed and the most relevant to your customer service and support performance. Without adjusting for calls that will never be FCR, you eliminate frustration of agents and departments whose main line of work is break/fix.

I think the biggest issue with measuring first call resolution is gathering the numbers. What is the best way to find out if the problem really was solved with that first phonecall? It would be easy to have the agent ask if the problem was fixed and marking that on the contact record.

But you will be missing those times when it seemed fixed or the customer just wants off the phone, and there is another call about the same issue later. You could wait and survey the customer later, but you need to be sure you aren’t being intrusive by calling too often, or, again, the customer just says yes to get off the phone.

It depends on your business and what customer support entails. Each company will have to determine what type of customer service and support they offer and devise the best way to determine true FCR. As you can see in Rumburg’s article, first call resolution rates positively correlate with customer satisfaction rates and are higher for better trained agents.

If you don’t measure it, you can’t fix it.

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