For customer support teams and call-center staff, resolving customers’ issues quickly and efficiently is key. To ensure that their teams achieve this, one of the metrics a company should measure is First Call Resolution (FCR).
This article will help you define what FCR is, why it matters, and how you can improve it.
What is First Call Resolution (FCR)?
First Call Resolution (FCR)
First call resolution refers to the rate at which customer service staff are able to resolve customer issues within the first call, without any follow-up needed.
As simple as that sounds, there are subtle differences in the FCR meaning for different organizations. For example, some will measure FCR only for phone calls, while others will include all communication channels, such as email, live chat, social media, etc. For companies with an omnichannel approach to customer support, First Contact Resolution might be a more appropriate term.
Businesses will also have different contact windows—the length of time after which subsequent calls from the same customer are treated as a new issue and not treated as a follow-up. These contact windows should be set to allow the customer enough time to determine if their issue is resolved, so each organization will have to determine what a reasonable time would look like for the product/service they offer.
However you define FCR for your support staff, the important thing is that it’s clear, consistent, and communicated to all relevant staff.
How do you measure First Call Resolution (FCR)?
Once you have agreed on how exactly you’ll define FCR, the formula for calculating it is straightforward.
This will give you a percentage result for your one call resolution, i.e. how many issues you’ve been able to resolve on the first call.
So, if 200 customers reach out to your support team, and you’re able to resolve their issues on that first contact for 150 of those customers, then your first contact resolution would be (150 ÷ 200) x 100 = 75%
According to Call Centre Helper, the industry standard for FCR is between 70 and 75%. However, they point out that percentages will vary depending on the specific FCR definition a company uses. The industry, product type, request type and platform are all also likely to impact your FCR. For this reason, it is more helpful to calculate your current FCR and then use that as a benchmark for measuring your improvement.
Why is First Call Resolution (FCR) important?
Keeping track of your FCR can give you valuable insights into how effective your support staff is and how customers perceive them.
When you’re able to resolve customer issues on the first call, this means you’re able to help more people in less time. As a result, high FCR is associated with lower operational costs and higher efficiency.
At the same time, high FCR means happier customers. Nobody wants to have to call up the same company multiple times, repeating their details each time, before their problem can be resolved. More satisfied customers mean you’re more likely to see other positive outcomes such as increased customer retention, greater customer lifetime value, and more sales.
Still, it’s important that FCR isn’t the only way you measure your call-center performance. Generally speaking, the higher your FCR the better, but other metrics also need to be taken into account, such as Average Handle Time (AHT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS). Otherwise, you could end up with a high FCR but find that issues still take a long time to resolve on that call, or they’re not resolved to your customers’ satisfaction.
Tips to improve your First Call Resolution (FCR)
Once you’ve worked out your current first call solution rate, there are several ways you can start optimizing it.
1. Make communication easy for staff and customers
Call-center staff are more likely to resolve issues on the first contact if they’re able to understand exactly what the issue is. In turn, your customers need to be able to clearly explain what the issue is. For some issues, text chat is more than enough. However, if your customer is dealing with a complex situation, such as needing detailed information about your latest product update or help with a difficult setup, then text chat may not be the best channel.
By using a click-to-call solution like SnapCall, you can provide customers with the option to call directly from a website or mobile app on certain pages, such as your FAQ page. You can also enable them to jump on a call inside your chat, which can help boost agent productivity and ensure your customer gets a resolution to their problem during that first interaction.
2. Provide staff with a comprehensive knowledge base
While you might not be able to anticipate every potential customer issue, you’ll likely have a good idea of the more common problems that keep coming up. Your support staff should be able to quickly and easily access details on how to resolve those most common issues. In addition, make sure all staff are completely up-to-date on any product changes which might affect customers.
3. Provide staff with relevant customer information
The more relevant information your support staff have access to, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to resolve your customers’ issues on the first call. That includes information about your customer. If you’re taking calls through your onsite live chat, then being able to see where your customer is calling from, the page they were viewing and other customer data can give you an advantage. By using SnapCall, customer details can be sent to your agents before they even pick up the call.
4. Identify patterns in call resolution
While it’s helpful knowing your overall FCR, seeing how that figure varies for different calls can provide even more insight. For example, on reviewing your recorded calls and analytics, you could find that calls relating to a particular feature have a lower FCR rate, indicating that you might need to include more customer-facing information on your website or have additional staff training specific to that feature.
5. Ensure staff are properly trained
As well general product training, support staff need to know how best to resolve issues on the initial contact. This might include training on how to accurately diagnose problems by asking the right questions, active listening so that they fully understand the issue, and checking that the customer is completely satisfied at the end of the call.
FCR is an important metric for any customer service team. By quickly resolving any customer issues on the first contact, your team will be more efficient and your customers will be happier, saving you money and potentially driving additional revenue.
By clearly defining how you’ll measure FCR and providing your support staff with the latest product details, customer information and communication training, you can increase your FCR and keep more of your customers satisfied.
SnapCall gives you all the tools you need to increase your FCR, from real-time call analytics to providing agents with all the customer data they need. Get started with a free 14-day trial today.