What is First Call Resolution?
First call resolution, or FCR, is one of many vital metrics measured by call centers. Not only is it an important metric overall, but it's just one element of your customer relationship management (CRM) strategy. Actually, the term explains itself – your FCR rate is basically how well your center resolves customer issues or answers their questions upon first contact – making follow-up calls unnecessary.
There are two ways to calculate your current FCR rate:
- Dividing total calls resolved upon first interaction by total calls
- Dividing total calls resolved upon first interaction by first call number
It doesn't matter how you choose to track your FCR rate – resolving customer issues the first time they contact you ensures a smoothly running call center.
Why is First Call Resolution So Important?
For starters, FCR is one of the most important metrics for a call center. That said, it's just one of many, and when you're able to couple other data points with your FCR rate, you'll see the overall efficiency of your call team and their processes. Most of all, customers appreciate when you resolve their issues quickly – so, it's a fantastic way to keep your focus trained on customer experience.
All in all, though, remember – your FCR rate is only one metric. It doesn't comprehensively indicate your customers' satisfaction or the effectiveness of your processes. It must be coupled with other metrics so you can monitor trends and discover areas that need improvement.
How Can You Successfully Track and Monitor FCR?
In order to optimize your FCR, it is first important to understand your customers' issues, and your company's issues. First understanding the issues your product or service may experience will help the process. Analyzing your customer demographics and behavior will also help to train your agents how to resolve issues more efficiently.
Several factors can impact your FCR. Improving your FCR rate isn't something simple, such as hosting an 8-hour customer service session or making a switch to a better software program – though having the right software is important, but more on that in a moment. Your call center can take these actionable steps to begin – and continue – to improve your FCR rate:
- Assess the current situation
- Set priorities strategically
- Equip your call center reps with the tools they need
- Adjust processes
- Measure progress
Call Center Software is Vital to Improve FCR
Providing your agents with the right tools will help bolster their success. Integrating the right technology can help with such things as:
- Automated Tasks
- Skill Based Routing
- Dashboard and Metrics
Software is vital in modern call centers. Manual processes leave room for error and allow things to fall through the cracks. Utilizing automation will help improve efficiency and track statistics for analysis later to learn and improve upon.
Optimize Your Processes with Call Center Software Data
With data acquired from your agents and their tools, taking a look at your call center structure and policies can help your agents achieve greater success. This can help to resolve some issues before the customer even experiences them. Once issues are identified, they can be incorporated in training and workflow procedures.
There are quite a few ways to measure the performance and success of your call center, so why is your FCR so prominent? In a nutshell, it's the ability to see your call center through the eyes of your customers. The majority of consumers don't like making multiple calls regarding the same issue. They're better satisfied when their issue is handled properly the first time.
In fact, many consumers opt for self-service methods of addressing their straightforward concerns, reserving phone calls for issues that are more complex. So, what does this mean for call centers?
If a customer calls in, it's highly likely they can't solve their issue or complete their purchase without the assistance of an agent. Having properly trained agents ready to address calls properly the first time helps your FCR rate.