As a customer service representative, you may have heard the term first call resolution and wondered what it means. In this article, we will explain what first call resolution or FCR and how it can benefit you and your team.
What is First Call Resolution?
First call resolution, also known as First Contact Resolution or FCR, is a tool or measurement used to record a company’s ability to solve a customer inquiry on the first point of contact. This first contact, inquiry, or complaint, may be received in any form, be it a phone call, email, a live chat, or social media message.
The important thing for a company to know is how many of these inquiries are actively being resolved within the first point of contact with a customer support agent. This enables a company to gauge its support team’s performance and each individual’s efficiency in order to analyze customer data.
How Does a Company Calculate FRC Results?
If you have never had to calculate FCR results before, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. However, the calculation is quite straight-forward. Simply divide the total number of customer inquiries resolved on the first contact by the total number of inquiries received, and times by 100 to get your percentage rating.
FCR = (Total Resolved Cases / Total Number of Inquiries) x 100%
The tricky part comes with defining which time frame to use. A chosen time frame could refer to a specific day, week, month, quarter, or year. It is important to try and do the calculation when there are no outstanding customer inquiries to resolve, as this may skew the results.
In addition, defining what counts as FCR is different for each company. Some companies only apply FCR to phone calls when a customer support agent resolves the inquiry straight away. Other companies may include email, live chats and social media in their FCR score.
The more specific your company is about what constitutes a resolved call and what does not, the more accurate and effective your first call resolution rate will be.
What is Considered a Good First Call Resolution Rate?
FCR rates will differ across various industries, companies and their customer support teams. The result will also depend on the number of customer inquiries, the budget a company allocates towards customer service training, and how complex the company’s products are. Somebody buying insurance will take a lot longer to assist than someone inquiring about whether a product is in stock.
However, research by international company MetricNet (a leading online source of performance metrics) has shown that the general industry standard for FCR is approximately 74%. It is important to note that this average varies widely by industry, and by which method the information is collected.
Generally, an FCR rate close to 90% is considered high, while 40% is considered to be in the low end. It is worth noting that lower FCR rates are often associated with service desks that deal with basic requests and pass on more complicated requests to other departments. In most cases, companies in the high end have better-trained agents who have more tools at their disposal to help with their first call resolution targets.
Why is FRC so Important?
While FCR is a tool to measure your customer support team’s overall performance, it should be a focus to every company that prides itself on excellent customer service. Here are three reasons why first call resolution is so important:
1. Helps to retain customer loyalty:
Poor customer service is one of the main reasons that customers change from one company to another. Resolving problems at the first customer point of contact can make the difference between whether customers stay or go. With so much competition out there, you do not want to lose an existing customer because of unsatisfactory customer service.
2. Increases customer satisfaction:
There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than not to have their issue resolved in a timely manner. In addition, there are plenty of online platforms for a disgruntled customer to express their dissatisfaction for the public to see. With this in mind, it is essential to make every call you receive as positive and helpful as possible. Fast and efficient service will help you to transform unhappy customers into satisfied, and hopefully, repeat customers.
3. Increases customer service agent productivity:
If your customer service agents are well trained and efficient at first call resolution, this means that they will be wasting less time on repeat calls or inquiries. This will result in shorter waiting times for your other customers, and more time for your support staff to spend on other more complex customer requests.
To provide excellent customer support, companies need to monitor their first call resolution metrics. By taking a systematic approach to improving your company’s first call resolution performance, you will have to put in a certain amount of effort. However, by committing the time, resources, and energy to improve FCR and your customer experiences, your company should enjoy long-lasting customer relationships.
The good news is that with modern-day customer service programs and platforms, collecting a company’s first call resolution data has never been easier. Remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all way of collecting and implementing this data. FCR is an ongoing process with ever-changing goalposts. But if you can reduce repeat calls, increase customer satisfaction, and improve agent efficiency, this can only mean increased profits for your company.
CustomersFirst Academy offers comprehensive customer service training designed to help you grow your skills and advance your career.
To keep learning and developing your knowledge of customer service, we highly recommend the additional resources below:
How to build your professional reputation via email
Understanding Cultural Differences in Email Communication
10 Techniques To Enhance Your Client Relations Skills
Exploring a Career as a Customer Service Manager