What Is First Call Resolution? [The Ultimate Guide]

Of all the metrics your call center can use to measure performance, first call resolution (FCR) is one of the most important. This metric gauges how often your call center is able to resolve issues and answer questions on the first phone call, without having to follow up. Most call centers desire a high FCR  rate and a low call duration time, since this is usually correlated with higher customer satisfaction.

Benefits of First Call Resolution

As we mentioned, first call resolution is a key indicator in measuring customer satisfaction, but it’s also about much more. A high FCR rate has the ability to improve your business in a host of areas, including:

1. Customer Loyalty

Call centers with impressive FCR will increase customer loyalty. Customers will think more favorably of the company and be willing to call back for help in the future if they know they’ll receive quick and effective service. This will facilitate a bond between the customer and the business, driving them to be loyal to the brand for years to come.

2. Call Center Efficiency

FCR rates tell you as much about employee performance as they do about customer satisfaction. A high FCR lets you know your employees are acting efficiently and know how to quickly resolve the needs of customers. Rewarding employees with the highest FCR rates will motivate other customer service agents to improve their scores and efficiency, too.

3. Profitability

Every business has the ultimate goal of increasing profits, and higher FCR rates will help you do just that. Loyal customers will become brand ambassadors and spread the word about your business to friends. They’ll buy from your company more frequently and make bigger purchases. And since their needs will be resolved on the first phone call, customer service agents will have more time to help other customers.

Best PracticesTalking-on-the-phone

Measuring FCR rates can be done in a variety of ways. If you’re looking to improve your rates, here are some best practices to consider:

1. Set Goals

The first step in improving your FCR rates is to set goals for improvement. Measure your current FCR rates, then set a reasonable goal based on your unique business needs. Make sure you let everyone in the call center know about the goal, and get them excited about working toward the goal together.

2. Implement Training Programs

FCR rates don’t magically change overnight. You’ll need to invest time in training your agents on how to act more efficiently and better serve the customer. Introduce regular training sessions dedicated to FCR. Try role-playing and talking about case studies.

3. Track and Measure Progress

Throughout the training process, you’ll want to regularly check in on how your FCR rates are improving. Measure each employee’s progress and create a reward system for those with the most improvement or highest FCR rates. Make sure you’re measuring performance across all customer service channels to get the most accurate insights.

4. Implement Feedback

Customers will provide important feedback on how to improve FCR rates, if only you take the time to ask. Survey customers and collect their feedback on social media or via email. Then take that feedback and implement it in your employee trainings.

Innovation for First Call Resolution

Technology is making it easier than ever to measure and improve FCR in your call center. In days gone by, agents had to input resolution status after each and every phone call. But modern call centers are using speech analytics, AI, and big data to better their FCR rates like never before.

If you previously collected data from a slew of sources, try creating one large data table. You’ll get more detailed information on which agents are most effectively solving issues, and which ones are not. Load this data into any visualization tool (like Qlik or Tableau) to identify trends and develop more effective processes. You’ll be amazed at how a higher FCR rate has a direct impact on your customer service, satisfaction and overall profitability.

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