Running an effective contact centre means keeping track of the right information. Companies need to ensure they’re answering the right number of calls per hour, earning the right customer satisfaction ratings, and achieving high employee engagement. Access to the right information can even help you to better understand the customer journey.
One of the most popular metrics of all in today’s contact centre is ‘First Call Resolution’, also known as ‘FCR’.
This measurement is important because it goes beyond looking at how many calls agents have answered or how many customers you’ve helped in one day. With the First Call Resolution formula, you focus on the people you were able to help the first time around.
A good First Call Resolution KPI indicates that your employees are equipped with the right knowledge to deliver quick solutions to all kinds of customer problems. High FCR rates usually correlate with better CSAT and NPS ratings too.
Let’s explore FCR, and why it’s so important.
The First Call Resolution Industry Standard
First Call Resolution is the metric showing how often your contact centre agents resolve problems without the need for subsequent follow-up. According to ICMI, the exact definition of the FCR metric is: the percentage of initial calls that do not require further contact.
To calculate this number, you divide the number of cases resolved first time by the number of cases handled by agents in total. You can multiply the number by 100 to get a percentage. For instance, if 150 calls out of 400 were handled first time, your FCR rate is 37.5%.
First Call Resolution is more than just an insight into your customer’s potential satisfaction levels, it’s also an overview of your operational performance, and how efficient your team is.
When your FCR rate is high, this means you’re keeping customers happy with quick and convenient service. When the percentage is low, your path-to-resolution for customers may be complex and cluttered.
According to information from Ascent Group, measuring First Call Resolution for a year allows companies to improve performance levels by up to 30%.
What’s a Good FCR Rate?
A good First Call Resolution rate is important for a number of reasons.
- It improves customer retention by reducing the frustration associated with getting help.
- It boosts customer satisfaction, leading to better reviews about your business.
- It can increase customer spend. 93% of customers say they’ll make repeat purchases from companies that provide great customer service.
- It reduces contact centre costs by making your team more efficient.
So how do you know if your First Call Resolution rate needs improving?
In general, the industry standard should be between 70 and 75%. This means that only 25-30% of the customers you interact with should need to come back and get extra help on the same problem.
First Call Resolution Best Practices
If your current First Call Resolution service desk statistics aren’t as great as you’d like them to be, there are possible solutions. Everything from better employee training to the use of the right software and tools can significantly heighten FCR. Here’s how to improve First Call Resolution:
1. Set Up the Right Analytics
The first step in improving FCR rates is understanding how to track it. Access to historic and real-time dashboards, where you can track valuable data on how quickly and effectively your agents solve customer queries, is essential. With this software, you can set goals for how much you want to improve your FCR percentage, and track whether you’re working towards it.
2. Implement the Right Technology
Technology is crucial to good customer satisfaction. Your customers should be able to reach out to you on a range of channels and still get the same consistent first-time solution to their problems. With that in mind, it’s important for companies to have an omnichannel contact centre strategy in place, where they can track conversations from one environment to the next.
An intelligent routing system can enhance your chances of getting customers to the right agent first time, by allowing you to route calls based on employee skillsets. Tools like self-service chat bots and FAQs can also help customers to better define their issue before contacting a professional, which also means they can explain the problem better to your agents.
3. Empower Your Employees
To solve problems as quickly as possible, your employees need extra help. A contact centre environment that’s easy to use and intuitive is a must-have. However, it’s also important to ensure the system connects with any sources of data which might be helpful for providing better customer support, such as service desk software or CRMs.
You can empower your employees to deliver more first-time resolutions by ensuring they have access to bots and assistants which can leverage information for them in real time. Plus, using analytics dashboards that your teams can see keeps them motivated to keep performing at their best.
4. Deliver Better Training
The more information you collect about your customers’ experiences and First Call Resolution score, the more you should be able to notice potential knowledge gaps that need to be filled.
Pinpoint areas where your team is most in need of additional help and arrange for training to be provided. At the same time, ensure that employees can get help when they need it in real time.
Access to a comprehensive knowledge base of standardised answers and product guidance can be very useful in improving First Call Resolution. It’s also good to have tools in place which allow managers and supervisors to slip into a call and offer advice to agents who might be struggling with particularly difficult issues.
5. Continuously Improve
First Call Resolution rate is something your company should be constantly working on. After each customer interaction, use an NPS or CSAT survey to learn more about your audience and how satisfied they felt. After calls that required transfers, make notes about how you might have been able to solve the problem first time.
One great option could be to offer employees access to collaborative tools, so they can reach out to specialists while still in the call, without having to transfer the conversation.
How’s Your FCR Score?
Implementing a First Call Resolution action plan can help companies to significantly improve customer satisfaction and brand reputation. In an environment where customer expectations are constantly evolving, it’s crucial that you don’t overlook your FCR score.