First contact resolution (FCR) refers to a customer’s issue being fully resolved during the first interaction with a contact center. FCR is a vital key performance indicator to measure the quality of customer experience as well as the efficiency of the contact center. A high FCR rate means that less number of customers have to contact the center again for the resolution of their problem. This results in the saving of time and money for both the customer and the contact center.
If a customer has to reach out to a contact center repeatedly to get his/her issue resolved, it can cause frustration and dissatisfaction in the customer. This, in turn, can impact the customer satisfaction level. Conversely, if a customer’s issue gets resolved in a single contact, it elevates the customer experience and improves operational efficiency. As such, constant measuring, tracking and improving FCR rate are turning out to be the cornerstone of contact center improvement measures.
HOW TO MEASURE FIRST CONTACT RESOLUTION
The ideal FCR rate will be different for different businesses. However, the same tactics to measure FCR can be implemented for all kinds of business.
Define your FCR
The first step of measuring FCR is to select a definition that serves the purpose of your company. You have to decide whether the definition has to be specific, comprehensive, technical, easy to comprehend, or an amalgamation of all four. Keep your FCR definition simple and consistent.
Decide on FCR variables or criteria
Think about the variables or criteria that may or may not be considered as part of your FCR analysis. Make a specific list of all the inclusive and exclusive criteria that can qualify to be resolved in your FCR. Essentially, you will have to decide what counts as FCR and what not.
Set a contact window limit
Set a limit for a contact window. It is the maximum period of time allowed to elapse between contacts so that they can be considered as FCR. If a customer gets in touch after the contact window period, it will not be considered as a follow-up measure and hence, will not impact the FCR rate.
Adopt an FCR formula
In order to measure FCR consistently over time, you need a formula that will enable your team to keep track of the FCR rate. Given below are two standard FCR formulas based on which you can define your formula:
FCR = (Resolved customer issues closed on the first contact/Total customer issues) * 100% OR
FCR = ((Total customer issues resolved – Total customer issued reopened)/Total customer issues opened) * 100
Conduct surveys on customer satisfaction analysis
Knowing the customer’s opinion of whether the issue was resolved or not on the first attempt is an important measure of FCR. This is crucial because you have to be sure whether the issue actually got resolved or the customer stopped contacting after the first attempt. Customer surveys can involve post-call surveys, email surveys, agent surveys, etc.
Carry out call statistics analysis
Call statistics analysis is an effective measure of keeping track of your FCR. There are various tools that can be implemented for the purpose, including CRM systems, automatic call distribution (ACD) and interactive voice response (IVR) systems, call monitoring and recording tools, etc.
HOW TO IMPROVE FIRST CONTACT RESOLUTION
Establish a consistent data collection method
Setting a consistent data collection method is crucial for improving FCR. The data collection method must be designed considering the customer’s issues and needs as well as frequently received queries and complaints.
Provide effective training to agents
Prepare a team of well-trained customer service representatives who can help resolve customer issues the first time they contact the center. Educate and train representativesabout the importance of attending to customers’ issues promptly.
Understand the issues behind repeat calls
Understand the reason behind customers making repeated contacts. Try to analyze the issues that your representatives or agents are unable to resolve during the first contact. Evaluate if there is any need to change your company policy.
Review your repeat contacts
Review your repeat contacts on a monthly basis to find out if there are recurring patterns in the complaints. Think what can be done differently to facilitate resolving such issues in the first contact. Analyze if a contact could have been better handled and the issue resolved without a repeat contact.
Make clear communications with customers
Ensure that representatives dealing with customer issues are clear in their communications with them. Miscommunication can result in repeat contact. Also, customers must be made aware of all factors related to the case so that they don’t feel the need to contact again for information pertaining to their issue.