calltalk-caramels-2.png First call resolution (FCR) is best defined as the percentage of calls coming into your center that were satisfied completely on the first call, whether by IVR or by an agent. The goals of FCR include better agent performance, increased customer satisfaction, and lower operational costs. Also, in today’s call center environment that includes e-mail, web chat and other non-phone customer touch points, First Contact Resolution is becoming a popular metric.

First Contact Resolution is measured in different ways, which include post-contact customer surveys, quality review determinations, agent-entered codes, and “ANI/email-scans” that search reports  for multiple contacts from the same customer.  Not all methodologies are equally accurate.  When agents punch in FCR, for example, they usually indicate a higher resolution rate than when callers are asked their input.  Most experts agree that a post-contact survey of the caller, if possible, is the “best practice” way to gather this information.  Measuring FCR via post-contact surveys across all channels indicates which channels are performing best and those that need improvement.

FCR does not apply to centers that must rely on other departments for resolution of the customer’s situation. Such centers may include dispatch centers, calls placed to service scheduling centers that schedule repairs; utility companies, where many departments may be involved in setting up the resolution. These centers should measure metrics important to them, such as Meantime to Repair or Resolve, instead of FCR.

To achieve a higher level of FCR, we suggest you follow these best practices:

  1. Agent training: This is focused on listening skills, probing for issues, and confirming resolutions.
  2. Appropriate Tools: Easy-to-navigate desktop apps, knowledge management systems and availability of assistance from an “expert hub” of senior agents.
  3. Customer feedback:  Have agents make inquiries to callers about visits to self-service channels to find out why their issues required agent intervention.
  4. Incentives: Develop an agent incentive plan for obtaining an FCR goal. Properly incentivized, agents will work harder to resolve issues and confirm issue resolution with the caller.

Tip of the Week: Multichannel customer touchpoints are already the norm; research shows that 50% of all calls are accompanied by a self-service interaction either before or after an agent call.

CallTalk™ Caramels: Sweet Snippets from BenchmarkPortal’s Best CallTalk EpisodesThis CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamál Webb.  It was drawn from a CallTalk episode with J. R. Hardenburgh, entitled “First Call Resolution: How Important? How To Measure?”.  To listen to the entire episode click play below: 

calltalk.pngCallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore.  “Caramels” distills “ key moments from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.

Topics: First Call Resolution, CallTalk Caramels, Contact Center Articles