First call resolution is when your customer's inquiry is resolved on the...(wait for it)...first call

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. 

Turns out, 2020 was the year for leaders like you to measure more than just agent efficiency. CCW found that while efficiency metrics still held their importance with managers and ops leaders, quality metrics like CSAT, uptime, FCR and customer retention stole the spotlight. 

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. 

What is first call resolution?

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

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The first call resolution metric is one of the industry’s top KPIs for customer experience because it looks at both efficiency and effectiveness. Companies with high first call resolution scores see higher customer satisfaction scores. 

One study from Service Quality Management Group found a direct, one-to-one correlation between FCR and customer satisfaction. Or more frankly, for every 1% improvement in first call resolution a company has, they’ll see a 1% boost in CSAT.

That means it’s crucial to your outcomes to measure FCR. But it’s also one of the hardest to accurately measure.

Use a consistent, concrete formula to accurately measure first call resolution over time. Formulas may differ between companies, but here’s a basic framework:

What is First Call Resolution and How do I measure it?

Historically, contact centers have looked at first call resolution numbers from the customer’s perspective. But sometimes, viewing success only through the lens of the customer makes life harder for your agents. 

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 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 for no fault of their own. 

That’s why as your metrics evolve, it’s important to keep your agent’s viewpoint 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, like Active Contact Resolution. ACR measures the percentage of your agent’s calls that don’t require a customer to call back within a given time frame, like 24 or 72 hours. So, 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. It gives the reins back to your agents. It measures their ability to solve the problem during their own interaction rather than gauging performance on the customers’ interaction history with a host of other agents.           

[Read Now] Check out more definitions that are crucial to making call centers better.

We originally published this post on August 24, 2018 and we updated it for new insight on November 19, 2020.