The Importance of First Call Resolution in the Call Center

Call Center | 4 minute read

Call centers are constantly balancing efficiency and service quality for their customers. Lean too much in one direction, and your agents will quickly find themselves in a bind.

First Call Resolution (FCR) is one of the best metrics for tracking your success in both these areas. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the most widely used KPIs in the contact center industry. Learn more about its significance and how you can use it to improve your call center’s performance below!

What is First Call Resolution (FCR)?

FCR is a standard metric used in almost every call center. It measures the percentage of customer inquiries solved in a single interaction.

To calculate FCR, simply take the total number of calls resolved on the first attempt and divide it by the total number of calls received. This will give you a percentage — for example, a 75% FCR means three out of four interactions are resolved without need for follow up.

What is Your FCR Telling You?

FCR is great for evaluating your contact center’s efficiency. An issue that drags over multiple interactions is a waste of time for both the customer and your agents. The faster you can resolve queries, the more customers you can help.

You can also use FCR to measure the quality of service your contact center provides. The more knowledgeable and capable your agents are, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to resolve customer issues the first time.

DID YOU KNOW?

First Contact Resolution is a metric that’s almost identical to First Call Resolution. The former encompasses all channels, including email and live chat, while the latter refers to the voice channel exclusively.

Here are some other benefits linked with high FCR:

6 Tips to Improve FCR.

Now that you’re up to speed on the importance of FCR, it’s time to optimize your contact center strategy. To do this, you’ll need to focus on improving your customer experience and operational efficiency.

FACT:

“42% of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications.” – Aspect

Here are some tips to give your FCR a boost:

1. Identify gaps in the customer journey.

It’s important to review your contact center’s current processes so you can make strategic, data-driven decisions.

Take the customer journey through your website, IVR, and any other channels frequented by your customers. Then, identify factors that may contribute to a low FCR. You can also review customer recordings to better understand the challenges that your customers and agents face.

2. Ease unnecessary friction.

Consumers today are looking for service that is quick and easy — and if you can’t meet those expectations, they’ll get frustrated fast.

Once you’ve evaluated your channels, find ways to make them more user-friendly. This could mean anything from upgrading your server for faster loading times on your website to streamlining confusing and outdated IVR menus.

3. Adopt call-back technology.

Speaking of unnecessary friction, long hold times are one of the biggest complaints among customers looking for support. Frustrated customers will be much less patient when connected with an agent (assuming they don’t abandon the call first!).

Call-back technology is the easiest and most cost-effective solution to this issue. This way, your customers don’t have to wait on hold and can rest assured knowing they’ll receive a call-back to resolve their issue when an agent is available.

4. Offer self-service channels.

While the voice channel is still the preferred method of service for customers, offering self-service channels can help ease pressure off your phone lines and your agents.

Create an online knowledge base or host an AI chatbot to address common customer concerns. This way, your agents can focus on handling more challenging queries, improving your quality of service and your FCR.

FACT:

“55% of consumers fall in love with a brand when that brand offers “easy access to information and support.” – RightNow

5. Empower your agents.

Lack of knowledge and authority can be a huge contributor to low FCR. After all, if your agents can’t solve customer problems properly, you can be sure they’ll reach out again.

Conduct regular training to ensure your agents are up to speed on the latest product and service updates. Make sure they are confident in the material and give them the power to resolve customer issues properly.

6. Gather customer feedback.

There’s always room to improve your call center. Surveys and questionnaires are great ways to gain insight into customer opinions and grievances.

Collect and review this data regularly. Remember, boosting your KPIs isn’t a one-time deal — it requires constant evaluation and nurturing. But the payoff is a high-performing contact center, so it’s worth it!

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