First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a common metric used to determine whether a customer enquiry was resolved on the first contact.

Given the increase in enquiry channels such as live chat, a more modern reference can be First Contact Resolution.

How do you measure First Call Resolution?

FCR is measured as a percentage of the total number of enquiries received.

So the formula is:

(calls resolved on the first call) / (total number of calls) x 100 = FCR

Example:

80 calls were resolved on first call/total calls received was 100 so its 80 / 100 = 80% FCR

So the formula itself is pretty easy.

The challenge on how you determine if a call was resolved is much more complex.

The Challenge with First Call Resolution 

A simple example is if a customer rang at 9.00am to enquire about a package they were expecting that, based on the advertised delivery times, should have been delivered yesterday.

The agent confirmed that yes, it should have been delivered yesterday but it’s most likely on board for delivery today so “if it hasn’t arrived by 5.00pm please call us back then”.

One could argue that First Call Resolution was delivered. There was no further follow up required, the customer was provided with an answer, and assuming the parcel is delivered during the day, the matter is resolved.

However one could also argue that First Call Resolution was not delivered.

  • The customer did not receive their parcel within the defined service standards. So is FCR related to just the call centre or the entire business?
  • If the parcel isn’t delivered by 5.00pm as promised, the customer will have to call back (again). And if your call centre closes at 5.00pm image how angry that customer is going to be when they get the closed message…

Ways you could measure First Call Resolution

As you can see, determining the specifics and definitions of FCR is the most critical (and difficult) component.

Some ideas on how you could measure it are:

  • Number of callbacks received from the same customer within a defined time period
  • Ask the customer ‘did we resolve your query?’ at the end of the call (either via agent or survey)
  • Through your Quality Assessment process
  • From codes in your CRM tool

Don’t rely just on First Call Resolution

Even if you completely nailed your definition of FCR doesn’t mean you should rely on it completely to assess customer satisfaction.

There is a range of other tools and methods you can engage to measure the Voice of the Customer including:

Is there a First Call Resolution standard?

Each call centre determines there own measures and definitions of what is a successful resolution making it very difficult to compare results between different organisations.

Even internally, different stakeholders can also have a differing opinion so no, there isn’t an industry standard measure for First Call Resolution.

My advice – be crystal clear with all stakeholders with your definitions and make sure it’s communicated and monitored.

Next steps

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