What is First Call Resolution (FCR)?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) like SLA, AHT, NPS, and FCR are extremely important to measure the performance of any call center. So, let’s find out, what is the definition of FCR, and what does it exactly tells about your call center?
What is FCR?
The term FCR is widely used in call centers, and it’s short for “First Call Resolution“, in other words, It is an indication of the extent to which the call center can solve problems during the first phone call received. The call center industry considers it as a key performance indicator (KPI) for call centers. It gives you a clear indication of how effectively a call center can solve a customer issue. KPI’s are helpful to keep a close look at the overall performance of a call center, and they guide you towards the key on how to improve, adapt, and solve issues.
We know how important customer experience is to a business’s success. 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.
What are the elements of the FCR
First Call Resolution is a case when there is no repeat call, transfer, or escalation. You need to determine what a 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 a repeat call? What if the customer calls back a week after the first call 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 the admin consider it 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 with a coworker from the right department to solve the problem of the customer, should you consider it as a transfer? You would be able to determine that based on the conversation with the customer. On the other hand, if the agent transfers the call to his/her supervisor, should they consider it as an escalation? You need to determine all these factors when calculating the FCR.
Identifying the resolution
Who decides if the agent resolved the customer’s problem? 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 repeated call made and unmark the resolution of the call accordingly. You can also check the agents’ remarks as well.
Also, you can consider sending IVR survey to the customer after the call, where the customer can reply to this SMS to confirm if he is satisfied with the solution to his issue. 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 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 in the formula or not.
How to measure the FCR rate?
While calculating FCR can be straightforward, but collecting the data is the tricky part. There is more than one way to calculate your FCR. Thus, you must be aware of all the variables because if not, it will not give you a precise picture. With that said, you can fine-tune the FCR formula based on the variables in the FCR formula and you can tweak the formula based on the variables you are considering.
Why the First Call Resolution is important?
-First Contact Resolution helps in turning unhappy customers into happy and loyal ones.
-It is a powerful tool for a better customer retention
-Better FCR helps in maximizing the productivity of call center agents
-Improving FCR in your company can help you reduce all operating costs of the business
In other words, companies that have a high FCR rate enjoy high customer satisfaction. Customers are the key to your business’s success. If you are achieving a 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.
What are the challenges that could FCR face, and how to approach them?
When it comes to FCR, there are a lot of challenges to face, and many of those challenges are mainly technical issues. Here are a few to mention:
-Lengthy and complicated IVR menus
-Insufficient or inaccessible information
-High turnover rates in contact centers
-Technical issues with the system, paperwork, etc
-Lack of agent knowledge
-Lengthy hold times
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 to show optimal growth.
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 in call centers 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.
When customers contact your customer support team, they hope that the agent will solve their issues 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.
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