All About First Call Resolution – FCR

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All About First Call Resolution – FCR

 

How many times have you had to contact customer support just because your internet connection was down. Studies show that 7 out of 10 of times, your experience with the customer support of your internet service provider would be dreadful. This brings us down to the question – “Why do people hate calling customer support?” The answer to that would be the endless queues, the predictable scripts, and the long holds – the customer journey experience falls short of satisfactory. The worst part for customers is that even after having a long conversation with the support agent, most of them remain dissatisfied or have to go through the same process all over again because the issue wasn’t resolved properly.   

 

That’s why First Call Resolution or FCR is critical to every organization’s customer support. Continually monitoring, tracking, and acting on the customer calls is the need of the hour. The main objective of FCR is to provide top-notch customer support in a single consultation, without the need for any follow-up calls. In simple terms, it means fulfilling the customers’ needs thoroughly the first time they call.First Call Resolution has become a popular IT performance measurement over the years and it is important for companies to work on it in order to show optimal growth. 

 

Let’s delve into everything you need to know about FCR, including what is it, why is it important, and how to calculate the FCR rate, among other aspects. 

 

What is FCR?

 

FCR is a primary element of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), which is an important contact center metric that directly impacts the customer experience. FCR represents the call center’s capability to cater to customer needs, and resolve customer questions or problems (via phone, email or chat) in one session with one agent, with no callbacks or follow-up required.

 

We know how important customer experience is to a business’ success. In fact, it is the single most critical element of the customer’s journey with an organization – overshadowing the significance of product/service and price to turn out to be the key to brand differentiation.  

 

Thus, creating and executing a strategic approach for refining the First Call Resolution can ultimately improve the customer experience to a great extent. 

 

How is FCR Calculated? 

 

While calculating FCR can be straightforward, collecting the data using which the calculation is done is the tricky part. There is more than one way to calculate your FCR. Thus, it is important that you are aware of all the variables because if not, it will not give you a precise picture. When calculating FCR, the following are the main factors you need to consider: 

 

Elements constituting an FCR

 

First Call Resolution is when there is no repeat call, transfer, or escalation.

 

You need to determine what repeat call is. If the customer calls back within an hour after the first call over other issues, how can you ensure it isn’t recorded as a repeat call? What if the customer calls back a week after the first call was made for the same issue, will it be a repeat call? It is completely up to you to define the specifics of a ‘repeat call.’

 

Furthermore, when an agent is talking to the customer, and he/she is put in a situation where the supervisor has to intervene during the call, will it be considered a transfer? Well, the customer may need help from different departments to solve the issue or the customer may have called the wrong department. 

 

When the agent conferences in a coworker from the right department to solve the problem of the customer, should it be considered as a transfer? You would be determining that based on the conversation with the customer. On the other hand, if the agent transfers the call to his/her supervisor, will it be considered escalation? You need to determine all these factors when calculating the FCR.

 

 

Identifying the resolution 

 

Who decides that the call made by the customer is resolved satisfactorily? In most cases, it is the agent who marks the call as resolved. Most often, the agent will mark the call as resolved because it is in his/her best interest. If this happens, your results could be off-center. You can double-check and see if there is any repeat call made and unmark the resolution of the call accordingly. You can also check the agents’ remarks as well.

 

You can also consider the IVR survey taken by the customer after the call. The customer can answer the SMS sent by the agent to confirm if their issue was resolved. You should look into the customer response when calculating the FCR. However, the problem with this is that most people don’t take these surveys or respond to SMSs.

 

Since all calls received and answered by the agent are recorded, you can conduct a speech analytics to check the resolutions as an alternative.     

     

 

Determine whether all your communication channels are regularly monitored 

 

Sometimes, even the first call can be an escalation. The user may have already contacted you through email or chat or social media. Since you didn’t respond, he/she/they had to make a call to get a response from your end. Thus, you must monitor all your communication channels. This will help in accurately calculating the FCR.

 

Last but not least, to calculate FCR, you also need to consider whether unattained or abandoned calls need to be included in the formula. 

 

Calculating FCR

 

Considering all the aforementioned factors, you can say that a call center can approach FCR in different ways, depending on what they believe is right.

 

With that said, you can fine-tune the FCR formula based on these variables in the FCR formula, which is: 

 

  • FCR = (Total Calls Handling Time / Logged in Time) X 100
  • FCR = (Resolved Incidents on First Cal / Total Incidents) X 100
  • FCR = {(Total Incidents Resolved – Total Reopened) / (Total Incidents)} X 100 

 

You can tweak the formula based on the variables you are considering. 

 

What is a Good FCR Rate? 

 

As we have discussed above, there are multiple ways to calculate the First Call Resolution. Thus, the FCR rate will likely change based on the method you use to calculate the FCR. Nevertheless, the industry benchmark for First Call Resolution is around 70%-75%. 

It is challenging to compare the metrics across the various call centers because there is a whole new set of circumstances to look into. You cannot accurately benchmark a specific FCR rate.

 

Why is FCR Important? 

 

To keep it simple, companies that have a high FCR rate enjoy high customer satisfaction. Customers are the key to your business’ success. If you are achieving high FCR rate consistently, it means your customers aren’t waiting long to get their issues resolved. Improved FCR means happy customers, which is the key ingredient for customer retention.

Additionally, improved FCR rate also validates the fact that your agents and customer support team performance is also improving, hence, overshadowing increased profitability and efficiency.

 

Conclusion

 

When customers contact your customer support team, they hope that their issues will be resolved within that single call. They don’t like waiting, and they don’t like repeating themselves over and over again. FCR allows you to determine the weak links in your customer support service by combining efficiency and effectiveness into a single metric, thus allowing you to improve the overall experience of the customers.

 

Learn More About where and how to monitor FCR in Ziwo Cloud Call Center Software Here.