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What is First Call Resolution(FCR)? How to measure and improve it?

00:00 21 May in Customer Experience
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Last updated on September 9th, 2020 at 06:45 pm

What is FCR?

Do your agents solve customers’ problems–without escalating or transferring– in the very first call?  This is what FCR, or First Call Resolution is. In other words, FCR or first call resolution can be defined as the metric that indicates whether an agent was able to resolve an issue within the first call. Since, cusotmers now often contact businesses via digital channels such as the website chat, email, many multichannel contact centers measure FCR as First Contact Reolution.

IN either of these cases, FCR is  a key metric to measure:

  • How effective is your customer support?
  • How efficient are your agents?
  • How good is your customer experience?

It therefore is an important KPI for your customer support/contact center.

How do call center measure FCR?

In order to measure FCR, call centers must first define what constitutes an FCR versus what constitutes an escalation. There is more than one way  to do this. We outline the steps as follows

  1. First, define FCR .We define a first call resolution as one where there is no repeat call, escalation or transfer. But you need to fine- tune the definition. Consider this:
    • What is a repeat call?
      If a customer calls back within 2 hours, for some other issue, how will you ensure it isn’t logged as a repeat call? If they call back after a week on the same issue, will that be logged as a repeat call? This would depend on what product you provide support for. So it is up to you to define the specifics.
    • What is an escalation/transfer?
      If a manager uses barge-in or call whisper to help an agent during a call, will it be considered an escalation? A caller may have called the wrong department, or may need help from more than one departments to solve their problem. If your agent, conferences in a colleague from the correct department to resolve the issue, will it be considered a transfer? If an agent conferences in a superior to resolve the issue, will it be considered an escalation?
  2. Who identifies the resolution? Who decides if a call is being resolved satisfactorily? Consider these 3 ways:
    • Your agent can mark a call as resolved or not, at the end of the call. Since it is in the agent’s best interest to mark a call as resolved, your results could be skewed. Your system can double check your agent, by “unmarking” the solution if there is a repeat call. Your QA team or a speech analytics system, could double check the agents remarks too.
    • CSAT survey. At the end of the call, the customer can answer a quick IVR survey or SMS to confirm if their issue was resolved. The drawback to this system is that not all customers will answer these surveys
    • Speech analytics. Speech analytics is an accurate, impartial way to check your resolutions. If your agent asks: Have I fully resolved your query? Your speech analytics will automatically login positive responses (“yes”, “mm..hmm”, “sure”, “of course” etc) as a resolved call, and any other response as an unresolved call.

Of course, you can also combine the above methods to identify resolutions accurately.

  1. Are all your channels being monitored? Sometimes the first phone call is an escalation. The customer may already have contacted you via your chat window, email or social media. Or if they were disappointed with a phone conversation, they may revert to email. Monitor all your channel for the “first calls” and “follow ups”
  2. What is your formula? Does your FCR include abandoned calls in the formula. If the caller calls a wrong department, will it affect your FCR?

You can fine tune your formula to consider these variables or not. Here are some examples of FCR formulae:

How to improve First Call Resolution?

  1. Measure & Analyse. Consistently measure your FCR. Consider all the variables and try to understand what is working and what is not. Go through reports, use call recordings, speech analytics and take feedback from customers and agents.
  2. Empower your agent. Give your agent all the information they need to solve a customers problem. The most effective way of doing this is by creating a CRM+ telephony integration. Consider digital assistants and conferencing tools to give your agents all the help they need to solve a problem fast.
  3. Train your agents. Go to your reports and search your FCR by agent. The very top of the list is your star performer, the one agent that is able to resolve customer problems fastest. This agent can share tips and tricks on how he/she solves problems fast. Go into this agent’s call recordings.  Take out a sample of a call resolved in seconds.  Use this to train your other agents.
  4. Identify recurring customer issues.
  5. Use your data. Your call recordings are a valuable source of information. Study calls that escalate for issues. Use reporting & speech analytics to glean the insights they contain.
  6. Take agent feedback. Ask your agents what problems they face. Try to identify common problems. Use analytics to confirm their suggestions.

Good contact center software can help you achieve the stellar support you want to give your customers. Ask your contact center provider about these tools: Reporting, Speech Analytics, Multichannel Support, CRM Integrations, Customer Survey IVRs and Digital Assistants.

Ozonetel has helped its clients achieve Industry Leading FCRs of 85%. Know more about our solutions here.

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