Call Center Metrics: First-Call Resolution

By Monica Kohn   |   August 22, 2017
Call Center Metrics First-Call Resolution

First call resolution (FCR) as an element of call center metrics is a crucial measurement that can be difficult to track precisely. Yet, FCR can have a significant impact on your customer satisfaction. In fact, FCR may stand alone as a measurement in its ability to positively or negatively affect your overall call center metrics.

The Relationship Between Customer Satisfaction and FCR

What kind of impact can FCR have on your customer’s satisfaction? One study concluded that ratings will drop by 35 to 45 percent when a customer must make a second call on the same issue. Conversely, another study found a one percent improvement in customer satisfaction for every one percent improvement in FCR. Clearly, FCR has tremendous potential to improve overall call center metrics.

In addition, higher FCR rates will produce lower operational expenses as fewer callbacks saves costs and lowers the chances of agent burnout from dealing with angry customers. Therefore, even though FCR is difficult to measure precisely, its importance in call center metrics cannot be understated. When you implement initiatives to improve FCR, customer satisfaction, agent satisfaction, and overall costs will improve.

Improving First Call Resolution

Top call centers use a variety of sophisticated tools to gain insight into their call center metrics. Speech analytics and other tools offer data into the root cause of poor performance. Once that information is collected, the center can implement a variety of initiatives to improve the numbers. These initiatives can include:

  • Educate the call center staff on the crucial impact that FCR can have. Agents who understand the critical nature of call center metrics such as FCR will be better equipped to elevate the customer experience in addition to providing them reasons to resist the urge to respond to customer anger inappropriately.
  • Provide call center agents with resources and training to positively resolve customer issues. Your staff may understand the importance of call center metrics, but if they do not have the tools and skills to resolve issues on a first call, the FCR measurement will falter.
  • Ensure that objectives do not conflict with improving FCR. Frequently, call center management will focus on calls per hour while forgetting about resolving issues on the first call. Performance reviews should reflect the possibility that resolving a problem on the first call may take a little extra time.
  • Finally, the best way to improve FCR is to empower your agents by providing them with sophisticated tools that give them instant, intuitive access to information the customer is seeking. A system that is easy to navigate and offers a wide range of authorization levels giving agents the ability to find answers to problems and anticipate customers needs will fuel better FCR.

It is important to note that FCR is increasingly becoming FIR – first interaction resolution – as customers have multiple channels through which they can contact your company. These critical components must be measured consistently and accurately. The potential for negative or positive impact is too great to ignore them.