FCR and the Bottom Line of the Contact Center


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Only 43% of contact centers measure First Contact Resolution (FCR) according to research done by SQM Group.  But, how can this be? Measuring this metric is one of the most important in the contact center. It not only benefits customer service delivery but it also reduces the cost to service customers, a direct hit to any company’s bottom line. In short, improving FCR equals spending less while increasing repurchase from loyal customers.  

Improved Customer Satisfaction
FCR directly correlates to customer satisfaction rates; for every 1% of FCR improvement, contact centers will see a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction rates (SQM Group). In comparison, customer satisfaction rates are nearly 50% lower if the customer needs to make a second call to resolve the same issue. We all understand the importance of customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction rates can powerfully influence a contact center’s bottom line, both efficiency and revenue production.

Improved Agent Experience
I recently spoke with one of the top agents at an elite contact center outsourcer. As the agent explained his processes to me, he admitted that sometimes the technology he works with prevents him from delivering better customer service experiences.

When we arrived at the subject of FCR, he explained that having to work with up to seven applications open on his desktop causes him to move more slowly and increases a customer’s impatience.

Three Quick Ideas to Get Started

  1. Measure – You get what you inspect, not what you expect.  Do whatever you can to measure FCR and set targets.  It is the fastest way to uncover the barriers and get going on fixing the challenges.?
  2. Unify the Desktop – An agent that doesn’t have to constantly worry about using multiple fractured back-end systems moves more quickly and is free to focus on the customer.  Our experience is that a unified agent desktop improves FCR by at least 10%.  Make sure the various windows are not crowded and facilitate easy location of information.?
  3. Optimize the Dialog and Process – Even if your agents are using one or two systems, the actual dialog or processes they’re following might lead to low FCR.  Take a look at the best performers that you’re now measuring.  Use your systems to make sure that all of your agents, not just the best ones, are following the optimal dialog path and using the best processes to get to FCR.  Now, you’ll free up the agents time and attention to improve service and key metrics like FCR.

RiverStar has some proven ideas here. Now that you know how FCR affects your bottom line, take solid steps to ensure that your customers’ issues are resolved, the first time they call.


Bob Fike
An executive with 30 years of experience in communications and technology, Bob is a well-respected leader and pioneer in software development and contact center solutions. Over the past 15 years, Bob has served as the top executive for Fortune 500 companies such as Bell Labs, AT&T, Ameritech and Bellcore. Bob has achieved a PhD in Systems Engineering and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona. His bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering was received from Carnegie Mellon University.


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