What the FCR?


First Call / Contact Resolution (FCR) is recognised as one of the most valuable metrics for contact centres. A recent article from Cirrus Response highlighted that 72% of customers expect first call resolution. If a customer query can be resolved first time around it means someone is getting something right, and this results in happier customers. However, as good as this concept sounds, it is not always that easy to measure.

After all, the happiest customers are those that don’t have a problem in the first place. While some customers won’t need to call back if their query is resolved (a genuine FCR), others might need to, but just feel like it is too much hassle.  Examples like this may skew the metric. If a customer does not call back the contact centre might think a query is resolved, when in fact they’ve simply lost the customer.

FCR provides good analytical data which is very valuable. For example: unresolved issues can be more easily identified and analysed. So what are the best ways to go about measuring this metric?

One of the most popular measurement methods is through customer surveys after a query has been logged. Following a call, a customer can be sent an email with a link to an online survey.  This can be easy to administer. However, the survey needs to be short and simple, otherwise customers may think it is too much hassle to complete and will ignore it. An alternative is to schedule a quick call-back. This is less time consuming for the customer and may provide direct answers quicker than the survey. The drawback is that it requires human resources and can only be automated to a point. One method of establishing FCR can be at the end of the call. The agent can ask if the query has been resolved. If the customer answers that it has, the agent can flag the call as an FCR.

Capturing customer contacts can be another indicator of FCR. If a customer calls back their contact details can be flagged. The downside of this method is that the customer may be calling back about a different query, so the contact details on their own are not the best indicator of FCR. One way this method can be optimised is to integrate it with a voice menu. When waiting in the queue, the caller can be asked if this is the first time they are calling about a query or if they are calling back about an existing query.

Another metric can be frequency reports where FCR is determined based on whether a customer calls back within 2-5 days. This is an internal method of reporting. Another internal method of reporting could be to integrate a query resolution into the CRM software.  This can be useful if a specific reference is allocated to each query, which can then be tracked.

It is important to remember that social media is fast becoming the platform to quickly answer customer queries. This means that when customers phone in to a contact centre it could be because their query is more complex. As a result, it may be more difficult to resolve in the first call. While FCR is a valuable metric, it shouldn’t be used in isolation. Combining and alternating with other metrics is more likely to provide you with a broader perspective on the true performance of your contact centre.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Carolyn Blunt – View the original post

Published On: 4th Nov 2014 - Last modified: 5th Feb 2019
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