First Call Resolution (or First Contact Resolution) is an essential metric for contact centres to show how many customers have their request met the first time they get in touch. It’s an important measure of contact centre performance as it shows how you are meeting customer expectations and how effective your agents are. To be satisfied, customers want their needs and queries met quickly and easily. The need to call back because a proposed solution didn’t work is an example of poor customer service and should always be avoided. Low FCR is also important for maintaining a low cost to serve.
There are several ways you can go about calculating FCR, and it is entirely up to your preferences and needs how you do it. The calculation below is a simple way to look at FCR.
FCR = Total # of Calls Resolved on First Attempt / Total # of Calls
This is a general measure, but there are several ways to do it. Some look at calls resolved on the first attempt only in relation to the total number of first calls, giving a more accurate view, but can be more challenging to calculate. Either way, so long as you are consistent in your approach, you will gain important insights into your contact centre’s performance.
There are a number of considerations to take into account when you decide to introduce this metric to your contact centre beyond the calculation itself. Firstly you must determine what you are measuring. Are you including all potential methods of contact as cases (IVR, chat, email, SMS, social, etc.)? Or will you measure channels separately?
You must also define what a “resolved” case means. Does a customer need to be satisfied with the outcome for the case to be considered resolved? How are you classifying callbacks and repeat calls? Where do abandoned calls fall in your measurement? Depending on your business, you might have different needs and perspectives on how you decide to measure FCR. Still, regardless of what you choose, you must be very specific with your formula, criteria and definitions if you want to make the most of the metric.
Finally, how are you going to get the information in the first place? There isn’t one standard approach to collecting the data. These are the most common methods:
- Post-interaction survey – simply ask customers alongside your NPS, CSAT and CES questions if the agent fulfilled their request.
- Ask the customer in the conversation – this method relies on the agent recording the customer’s answer and can lead to inaccurate results.
- CRM tracking – CRM systems can track repeat contact reasons, but if the customer uses a phone number not included in the CRM, it won’t be recorded as a follow-up.
- No repeat calls in a given timeframe – this is the most straightforward approach, but accuracy is compromised when customers call back for multiple reasons or get in touch via different channels.
Now that you know how you can measure FCR, the next big question is What is a good FCR rate? The industry-standard benchmark is 70-75%. But variations in methods for measuring FCR, the channels used in the contact centre, and the types of calls a contact centre might receive, amongst other differences, can impact results and lead to greater divergence from the standard.
Next, you must consider how you can get the best FCR results. The methods outlined below can help –
- Robust knowledge base – The highest performing contact centres provide their agents with a wide range of tools and training to equip them to serve customers best. A great knowledge base can not only help your employee’s efficiency, but when made available to customers, it can also reduce the need for them to call you if they can self serve. This, in turn, will free up your agents to help customers with more challenging to answer queries.
- Skill-based routing – Identify the contact id and pass customers to the most appropriate advisor for their query. This can reduce the escalations needed to help them and means the agent or team most equipped to fulfil their request will be the first person the customer speaks to.
- Investigate trends – Determine specific teams, individuals, channels, or call dispositions that bring down your overall performance. Many issues affecting your score may be easy to address through additional training, staffing adjustments, or amendments to specific processes or policies to make it easier for your employees to address customer needs. If your score begins to drop, you should be able to find the culprit in your root cause analysis.
- Qualitative analysis – When surveying your customers, go beyond asking them if their request was fulfilled and ask them to describe their experience. This qualitative data will provide you with valuable insight into how things are going wrong and recurring issues. This information will also help you to close the loop and resolve the customers’ outstanding issues.