First Call Resolution

Call centers and contact centers use a variety of metrics to gauge performance by their agents, as well as understand customer satisfaction. One of these metrics is first call resolution. As the name implies, first call resolution refers to resolving issues with one call only—no follow-up required. It measures the percentage of calls that do not require further contact to address the reason the customer is calling.

female on phone call in front of computer

What Is the First Call Resolution Process?

Here are some steps to take during the first call resolution process that will save time and make agents more efficient:

  • Have updated documentation easily accessible: Sometimes, agents don’t know the answers to certain questions, and having to research can take time. By having internal documentation available with answers to common questions, agents can easily handle customer issues.
  • Route calls appropriately: If you have a large call center that provides numerous services, you need to have a way to route calls to various agents based on the type of issue. For example, billing questions should go to the finance department, and online/website issues should be routed to a technical support team. This will help reduce wait time.
  • Avoid miscommunication: When customers aren’t being heard, they feel frustrated because the agent is wasting their time. Therefore, agents should be trained to focus on two main factors: the customer’s goal and what is preventing them from achieving it. They need to gather as much information as possible efficiently so the issue can be resolved quickly.

Why Is First Call Resolution Important?

First call resolution is important for several reasons:

  • It increases customer satisfaction: Unhappy customers will tell people about their negative experiences, so it’s important for companies to create as many positive experiences as possible. Addressing customer concerns in a timely manner can make customers satisfied.
  • It improves customer retention: A bad customer experience will cause a customer to spend their money elsewhere. Unresolved complaints are one of the most common reasons why a customer will stop shopping at a particular store. Good first call resolution can make a huge difference.
  • It makes call centers more efficient: Resolving issues the first time around saves money. Agents will deal with fewer calls and emails about the same issue, which leads to shorter wait times and increased efficiency.
  • It decreases company costs: It’s cheaper to retain customers than to gain new ones. Therefore, by investing in excellent customer service, you can make customers happy while cutting down on company expenses.

How Do You Calculate First Call Resolution?

There is a formula you can use to calculate your first call resolution rate. All you have to do is take the number of cases resolved in the first call, divide that by the total number of cases (for a specific time period, such as day, week, month, quarter, etc.) and multiply that number by 100. So the formula would be:

FCR = (Total Resolved Cases / Total Number of Cases) x 100

Let’s say your call center dealt with 500 calls yesterday, and 300 of those were resolved with a single phone call or point of contact.

60% FCR = (300 / 500) x 100

Your FCR rate for the day would be 60%, since 6 out of 10 calls were successfully resolved with only one contact.

What Is a Good First Call Resolution Rate?

A good first call resolution rate is roughly 70-75%, based on the industry standard. Generally, the higher the rate, the better. However, you want to keep the talk time at a reasonable standard as well. If you’re resolving issues in the first call, but are taking an hour or longer to do so, you’re not really being more efficient. So it’s best to balance a good rate with efficiency.

How Do I Improve My First Call Resolution?

The best way to improve first call resolution is to develop a plan and consistently track your metrics, measuring across all channels. Train your agents and encourage them to work harder by offering incentives.

You should also set customer expectations. They may expect same-day turnaround, so turn that into something more doable (such as one week, for example).

First call resolution is a great way to see how efficient your call center agents are. If they’re able to solve problems with just one phone call, they can keep your customers satisfied, which will increase revenues.

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