Before we discuss the best method to measure First Call Resolution (FCR), it is probably important to understand what it actually is and why it matters.
What is First Call Resolution?
First Call Resolution in its simplest form it is a measurement used by most technical call centers to determine how often a customer’s call is resolved at the first interaction. FCR makes a difference for two different reasons.
- Customers that call back, add additional volume to the queue on top of the volume already there. This impacts all consumers and depending on how you prioritize calls can significantly impact some callers.
- Customers that have to call back for the same problem time after time tend to have a very negative customer experience overall and transitioning them to an advocate of the company is quite difficult.
Now while it’s fairly easy to state that measuring FCR is simply a calculation of how often a call is resolved at the first interaction, measuring it gets a bit difficult as you can well imagine. Depending on the CRM you are using you might be able to set different intervals. If you do not have a CRM at all, check out my guide on the best CRM for 2020 to get started.
Depending 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.
In addition, you must account for the 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.
As a starting point, you should aim for 5-10 days as your target time frame for FCR. 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, 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.
Now in addition to measuring from a customer report perspective, you can also utilize Customer Survey’s to determine what the first call resolution is from a customer perspective. However, this is a very “subjective” measurement as it is very dependent on the customer’s mindset and viewpoint and might be unrelated to the question being asked. It’s important to realize and understand that tools like Customer Satisfaction Surveys and company NPS scores are backward-looking.
Basically they consider something that has already happened. Companies and organizations interested in improving customer experience need to look at customer roadmaps and understand the pain-points/touchpoints for customers at each step. Once this understanding is in place throughout an organization, plans can be made to rectify problem issues and areas.
There are ways to improve FCR and one of them might be a bit surprising. Simply put – remove the consumer from the phone. By using Omnichannel tools like LiveChat, clients have different ways to reach you and your team. It does not solve the problem of providing the wrong answer from the start – that is something only training can really address & that applies to employees as well as customer training.
Chat however gives your consumers an alternative channel or path to your team. This is a benefit for several reasons:
- If they are contacting you again for a follow up on an existing issue, by using chat, they can get quick answers to specific information and areas without impacting the overall phone queue.
- Chatbots can also help in other ways. By using AI learning and knowledge, it is possible to provide consumers with answers to not just the question they are asking now, but also the question they will ask next!
What is FCR Good for?
Is First Call Resolution 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 your 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.