Everything you need to know about first call resolution
Customers who call an IT help desk aren’t just looking for solutions to their technical issues; they want immediate resolutions that minimise downtime and ensure a seamless experience. A call centre’s first call resolution (FCR) rate highlights how often customer issues are resolved on the first contact and is an indicator of excellent customer service.
What is the first call resolution rate?
First call resolution or first contact resolution rate is an important metric to monitor as it gauges customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing operating costs. The FCR rate measures the percentage of customer issues resolved on the first call or contact. This saves time and resources as a customer doesn’t need to make follow-up calls over the same issue. FCR rate is a vital industry metric as it is a strong indicator of the effectiveness of a call centre’s customer service delivery and its operating cost efficiency. FCR rate is calculated by dividing the total number of cases resolved during the customer’s first interaction by the total number of cases or calls in a day.
Industry standard for FCR rate
FCR rates differ across businesses, industries, and sectors. Customer volumes, customer service training budgets, and product complexity all raise or lower an organisation’s FCR rate. Extensive research has shown that industry-standard FCR rate to be approximately 70–74%, depending on the nature of the issue and the business sector. Broadly speaking, excellent FCR rates are between 80% and 90%, while 40% is considered extremely low and indicates the need for improvement.
It is important to remember that you can’t directly compare your organisation’s FCR rate with that of competing businesses, which use different processes and technology. For example, calls received by organisations that rely on a self-service strategy for customers to troubleshoot simpler issues will probably be a lot more complicated than those received by an organisation that doesn’t offer self-service options. These complex problems may require more than one interaction to resolve. While a high FCR rate is always desirable, it isn’t always possible to compare with other businesses.
The benefits of FCR
FCR is a crucial aspect in delivering quality customer service. Here are the primary benefits of maintaining a high FCR rate.
Retain customers:Sub-par customer service is a leading cause of customer churn. Attending to an issue and providing a solution on the first interaction is a great way to ensure customer loyalty. A customer who is dissatisfied with the service experience will possibly be looking to your competitors.
Maximise agent productivity:Being able to solve an issue on the first call reduces the number of repeat requests regarding the same issue. Not only does this reduce customer time, but it also allows call centre agents to concentrate on more complicated customer requests.
Provide better customer satisfaction:Leaving your customers satisfied with the outcome after a single call is sure to result in repeat business, and happy customers are more likely to recommend your business and help boost growth.
Ways for agents to increase FCR rate
Improving your organisation’s FCR rate depends on well-trained and knowledgeable customer service agents and you can boost efficiency when handling calls by:
Understanding customers’ precise needs:Listening skills are extremely important here. It’s also advisable to ask clarifying questions and repeat information to the caller to prevent any ambiguity.
Setting expectations:Once you have understood the issue, inform the customer about resolution time. This lets them know that their problem is being attended to and sets realistic expectations.
Providing clear instructions:Give customers detailed instructions on any steps that they may need to take as part of the resolution, and stay on the line with them and walk them through the process if they seem unsure. This ensures they won’t need to call back on the same issue.
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