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Calculating First Contact Resolution

By: Peg Ayers & Turaj Seryafiaan

Definition: The percentage of customer contacts resolved during (or as a result of) the first contact, requiring no additional contacts.

This is a key metric not only for customer satisfaction and retention but also in determining the overall work-load and operating expenses. In many Contact Centers, 75% First Contact Resolution (FCR) is considered to be a good result. But looking at it from another angle, this means that 25% of your contacts are repeat contacts and in essence added work-load. Analyzing contacts beyond the first one can lead to significant process improvements.

 

First Contact Resolution (FCR) is generally measured through data analysis after the contact. Many companies look at contacts from the same customer, identified by phone number, email address or some other means, within a pre-determined period of time, which can range from a few days to a month. Depending on your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, it can be difficult to confirm that the second contact in that period of time was related to the first. It may simply have been an additional contact related to a different matter.

 

Disposition codes, used correctly, can improve accuracy by clearly indicating whether the subsequent contact was related to the first. But these require the agent to make the determination, so it can be prone to error. If it’s a key performance indication (KPI) for the agent, it can even encourage agents to use inaccurate codes, if they see benefit to themselves or their colleagues. Disposition codes can give you your process-improvement list. The type of contact that results in the most additional contacts probably offers many improvement possibilities.

 

Like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), FCR can be noted within the internal Quality Assurance (QA) system. In addition to the usual questions, QA can note whether this was a follow-up to a prior contact.

 

Another common method is to survey the customer at the end of the contact. However, in our opinion, this method results in the most inaccurate measurement! Often, the customer has no way of knowing whether this contact really solved their problem, because they have to wait to see a shipment, credit or another follow-up. Some customers will relate later calls to earlier ones in error or fail to connect a new call with a prior one when they should.

 

Measuring and reporting FCR is far more important than the measurement method you choose. Regardless of how you measure FCR, it is not going to be 100% accurate but it will be an excellent indicator of where you are (internal benchmark), where you need to improve and if your center is improving.

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