First Call Resolution: 5 Best Practices

First Call Resolution (FCR), also known as First Contact Resolution, is a fundamental measurement of contact centre success. It is a measurement of the number of customer contacts to a company that were resolved in their first attempt. It is an important indicator of good or bad quality customer service and is a primary determinant of performance. Customer satisfaction and effort are greatly affected if they must call back or wait for a callback to get their issue resolved. If there is a trend towards calls not being resolved, it is important to address it, as the problem could be in the training of your employees or in the technology they are using. Below, we discuss five best practices for measuring and improving FCR. 

1. Define a precise measurement of FCR

The general formula for measuring FCR is… 

FCR = Total Resolved Cases / Total Number of Cases

There are several approaches and criteria to consider when setting out to measure FCR. Firstly you must decide what you are measuring. Are you including all potential methods of contact as cases (IVR, chat, email, SMS, social, etc.)? Or will you measure channels separately? You must also define what a “resolved” case means. Does a customer need to be satisfied with the outcome for the case to be considered resolved? How are you classifying callbacks and repeat calls? Where do abandoned calls fall in your measurement?  Depending on your business, you might have different needs and perspectives on how you decide to measure FCR. Still, regardless of what you decide, you must be very specific your formula, criteria and definitions if you want to make the most of the metric. With gamification, you can create challenges for your agents to make their day to day job a bit more fun. Reward those with the highest FCR scores and challenge them to improve.

2. Encourage your agents

If your agents feel motivated and empowered to help your customers, they can do a much better job than if they are forced to follow a script and or banned from taking any initiative. If your agents are disengaged and enduring poor quality employee experience, it becomes less likely that your customers will have positive experiences. This can be difficult, especially considering the high attrition rates of contact centre staff. It is essential to create an environment that fosters employee engagement and productivity so that they can deliver great experiences to your customers. 

3. Create a robust knowledge base

Make it as easy as possible for your employees to help customers by creating a robust knowledge base or portal that allows them to access the answers to frequently asked questions quickly. The faster your agents can respond to customers; the more satisfied the customers will be—the more training and support you give to your employees, the better. An excellent knowledge base can not only help your employee’s efficiency but when made available to customers, it can also reduce the need for them to call you if they can self serve. This, in turn, will free up your agents to help customers with more challenging to answer queries. 

4.  Analyse the data

To understand your FCR scores, you should filter down into the data to get a view of the bigger picture. Are there certain teams, individuals, channels or call dispositions that are bringing down your overall performance? A lot of issues affecting your score may be easy to address through additional training, adjusting staffing, or amending specific processes or policies to make it easier for your employees to address customer needs. If your score begins to drop, you should be able to find the culprit in your analysis. 

5. Survey customers to understand their satisfaction

FCR is just a metric. It doesn’t tell you anything about the customer’s feelings or perceptions about the call, regardless of its resolution. It’s important to supplement your KPI with the qualitative data gained from feedback. If something is left unresolved, it also gives your staff the chance to close the loop and follow up with the customer to get address any issues or concerns. We would not recommend having your agents ask how the customer found the call as it might be difficult for customers to answer honestly, so the results are likely to be biased.