What is first call resolution?

What is First Call Resolution [Definition]

Contact center metrics are always in flux. Every day new priorities rise to the top of your managerial to-do list and customers expect more. So, naturally, what you measure in your contact center changes along with it. 

As metrics change and shift in your world, we want to help you keep up. We’re sharing a quick update on a most-loved call center metric, first call resolution. 

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What is first call resolution?

Simply put, first call resolution is when your customer’s question or problem is resolved in a single contact.

First Call Resolution is one of the industry’s top KPIs for customer experience because it points to organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Companies with high first call resolution scores see higher CSAT scores, too. 

In fact, a study from Service Quality Management Group found a direct, 1-to-1 correlation between FCR and customer satisfaction. Or more frankly, for every 1% improvement in first call resolution, companies see a 1% boost in CSAT.

But there’s a problem with FCR. Your agents can’t control it. 

Let’s walk through an example: 

A customer calls in for help with a problem and an agent solves the issues on the first touch. FCR sits at 100% – cheers to that! But, what happens when the customer reaches back out for help three days later and gets a different agent? It’s already impossible for these agents – helping a customer through their second or third interaction – to resolve an issue on the first contact. Their FCR suffers and it’s not their fault.

Swapping FCR for the new ACR Metric

As your metrics evolve, it’s important to keep your agents in mind, too. Metrics, measured in the traditional sense, like FCR, aren’t directly actionable by your agents. And when you measure agents on metrics out of their control, they disengage with their work and stop trying to help customers.

That’s why we advocate for a new spin on FCR: Active Contact Resolution (ACR). It’s a new metric our data science team introduced, and it’s native to our platform. 

What is Active Contact Resolution?

ACR measures the percentage of your agent’s interactions that don’t require a customer to call back within a given time frame, like 1, 3 or 7 days. 

If your agent’s ACR sits at 90%, it means 9 out of 10 customers didn’t have to call back for help after talking to that specific agent. Agents are scored by their percentage of successful interactions. It measures your agents’ ability to solve the problem during their own interaction rather than gauging performance on the customers’ interaction history with a host of other agents.           

What’s more? Just like with FCR, we’ve found that ACR has a direct correlation with CSAT scores, too. 

Check out the data: There's a positive correlation between ACR and CSAT.

We measured and mapped ACR for our customers, and we plotted the metric alongside their CSAT scores. We found that agents who score higher on ACR score higher on CSAT. While CSAT can be tough to measure, ACR isn’t. This correlation gives you an easy and accurate way to keep tabs on your customer satisfaction, so you can improve it.

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We originally published this post on August 24, 2018, and we updated it for new insight on August 5, 2021.