How do you measure First Call Resolution?

10 years ago Hutch Morzaria 1
Probably the first question to answer is “What is FCR?” – In its simplest form it is a measurement used by most technical call centres to determine how often a customer’s call is resolved at the first interaction.
Measuring FCR
Now while this statement is fairly easy to make … measuring it gets a bit difficult as you can well imagine.  Measuring this correctly depends on how you are tracking customer issues – if you are able to correlate the customers to their issues you should be able to pull reports that inform you if/when a customer issue is re-opened and that metric would apply as a negative value.  If you do not have such a tool available or in house, measurement gets significantly more difficult.
In addition, you must account for time of reports and the potential of customers re-opening closed issues incorrectly.

As I’ve mentioned, you need to determine an appropriate time frame as customers will often utilize the same (fixed) issue when reporting a new issue regardless of if the issue has re-occurred or not.  In addition, you should track if a customer does not verify/dispute a fix in a specific time frame.  As a starting point, you should aim for 5-10 days as your target time frame.  Any reports after this period in time would count as a new issue.

If you are unable to correlate customer reports by a CRM system (see this good review on JIRA), you might be able to pull information from your phone system or ACD/IVR system although this does get a little bit more difficult and complicated.  Another option of course is via email addresses.
Now in addition to measuring from a customer report perspective, you can also utilize Customer Survey’s to determine what the FCR is.  However, this is a very “subjective” measurement as it is very dependent on the customers mindset and viewpoint and might be unrelated to the question being asked.
What is it good for?
Is FCR a useful metric?  By itself it probably isn’t.  FCR is dependent on historical data and trending.  The goal at all times should be to improve the FCR that you are providing to your customer as that ensures they are getting a speedy and useful resolution to all of their issues at their first call.  So if you initial measurement of FCR is 80% (i.e. 80% of issues resolved at the first call) your goal should be to aim for 85% in a reasonable time frame, and so on as time progresses.
In addition to the goal of improving the FCR %’age, you also need to determine and this is where your reports come in useful – why are your customers calling?  More than likely you will find that the 80/20 rule applies here – i.e. 80% of your contacts are due to 20 issues.  If you can focus on those 20 issues, you will drive down your overall quantity of issues quite significantly.

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