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Exploring First Call Resolution: A Comprehensive Look into Call Center Software

  • April 18, 2024

Businesses don’t have any escape from the fact of becoming a client centric provider. Certainly, enhancing customer service has become a competitive necessity for businesses of all sizes. Employing the right call center software diligently works to elevate the customer service experience. Several metrics help in measuring the effectiveness of customer care campaigns. One of the most important ones is FCR (First Call Resolution).

Undoubtedly, FCR has emerged as a pivotal metric. Clearly, it signifies the effectiveness of handling customer calls. Moreover, it aids in the continuous improvement of customer service practices. Assessing who addressed the call and their handling process is crucial for delivering superior service and expanding clientele. Thus, a majority of contact center solutions provide insight of first call resolution.

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This performance metric is very crucial. It measures all businesses to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of customer care campaigns. To make sure you understand this crucial performance metric, we have a complete guide that covers all the important details about First Call Resolution.

So, let’s begin this interesting topic and discuss details of first call resolution that can help you measure the efficiency of your customer care campaigns.

1. What is FCR?

First Call Resolution is a full form of FCR when you use a call center software solution with a single communication channel, which is voice calling. Conversely, it is known as First Contact Resolution in case you are using omnichannel call center software for small business as this software will have multiple communication channels.

Simply put, FCR indicates the total number of calls that are resolved within the first attempt divided by the total number of received calls. If you are using an omnichannel solution, it covers all communication channels. Regardless of the mode of communication used by the customer, if he or she receives a query or concern resolution within the first attempt, then it is the first contact resolution, FCR.

Undoubtedly, it is a critical KPI (Key Performance Indicator) as it evaluates the ability of a call center to resolve customer interactions during the initial call or contact. This eliminates the need for follow-up by a customer. Therefore, it also improves customer satisfaction (CSAT) rate, which is one of the crucial KPIs in call centers. Moreover, it serves as a key indicator for operational cost efficiency and service delivery effectiveness. Therefore, it is necessary to closely monitor this metric in the call center industry.

According to a research report shared by SQM Group, one of the top expectations of clients is a swift query or concern resolution. In other words, it emphasizes the significance of FCR. Certainly, if you improve FCR rate, then you can also improve other KPIs like AHT (Average Handle Time), Average Hold Time (AHT), and call transfer rates.

In short, the FCR rate is the percentage of customers resolving interactions on the first call, varying across touchpoints. It ensures no repeat calls are needed. Moreover, it signifies a seamless customer journey and elevates customer satisfaction. Distinct from call resolution metrics, FCR specifically gauges the effectiveness of managing calls using the right contact center solutions and their features.

FCR Benchmark

You might be wondering what the best FCR rate to follow is. According to the call center industry benchmark, the best performing businesses will have an FCR rate of 80% or higher. The FCR rate between 75% to 79% is also considered good. Any business that has an FCR rate of 70% or less needs to work on its customer care campaigns to improve its value and performance. Moreover, if the FCR rate is 40% or less, their customer care campaigns obtain the worst performance.

These are the benchmark values of the first call resolution rate. You must keep them in mind to ensure your customer care campaigns are working to yield the expected results.

2. How to Calculate an FCR Rate?

Call Center Solution

Ideally, call center software will count the first call resolution rate for you. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about its calculation. Your software will automatically calculate and present it to you. However, you might want to understand the method that is used to calculate the first call resolution (FCR).

There are two approaches to evaluate the First Call Resolution (FCR) rate:

  • External FCR rate and
  • Internal FCR rate

2.1. External FCR Rate

The external FCR rate is a dependable method for evaluating the First Call Resolution Rate using external factors. Here, the external factor is customer opinions. To calculate the external FCR rate, agents use call center software for small business to gather feedback through surveys conducted at the conclusion of customer calls. Call centers use feedback collection method through different communication channels like an IVR, email, SMS, etc. This feedback collection tool will ask a series of questions or just a single question that defines whether the customer received the required resolution within the first call or not.

The formula to calculate the external FCR rate is as below:

Number of resolved queries / Total calls x 100

For example, if 160 out of 200 calls on day 1 report issue resolution, the FCR rate is 80% and it is calculated like below:

160/200 x 100 = 80%.

2.2 Internal FCR Rate

Interestingly, there is no standard formula to calculate internal first contact resolution even if FCR is the most important key performance indicator for any call center or business seeking a high customer satisfaction rate. Fascinatingly, each company defines FCR in its own way. Certainly, this method and way of calculating FCR has no industry standard or benchmark. However, it still offers insights into contact center performance. Moreover, it aids in setting agent goals for achieving higher FCR rates.

First call resolution is one of the important KPIs. There are multiple other crucial KPIs that you must measure and work on. We have covered major KPIs that your call center must measure in one of our popular blog posts.

Common methods for measuring an internal FCR rate include system tools and methods. For example, it can include QA, call monitoring, CRM, automatic call distributor, repeat call technology, and other tools. These tools assess whether a customer calls back with the same issue within a specified period. This period is known as the callback time. The companies that calculate FCR will decide the callback period. Simply put, if a customer calls back within the callback period with the same issue, then the call center has to improve FCR rate. However, if the customer does not call back within the callback period, then customer care campaigns are working well, and you are improving FCR rate.

The standard formula for calculating internal FCR is as below:

Internal FCR rate = Number of queries resolved without a return call/Total number of first-time calls x 100

For example, if you receive 200 calls. Let’s consider out of 200, 180 are first-time callers. Out of these 180 calls, if the internal tools determine that 120 queries were resolved without a return call within the callback time, then using the aforementioned formula, FCR is counted as below, and the answer is 66.67%.

(120/180) × 100 =66.67

Notably, it is important to consider that internal FCR metrics can be subjective because they are influenced by several factors. For example, it may consider data collection methods, qualifying window, the definition of repeat calls, scope, callback time, and several other factors. Therefore, it is also easy to manipulate the internal FCR rate.

3. Why is FCR Crucial to Measure?

First Call Resolution

Undoubtedly, call centers measure different KPIs. Likewise, all businesses must measure different performance metrics as that can help in gauging how successful your efforts in a particular direction are. Moreover, measuring performance can also help in optimizing strategies for your call center or business. First call resolution is one of the most important performance indicators for customer care campaigns. If you are not measuring its value using one of the best contact center solutions, then you must read this section to learn why FCR is important to measure.

3.1 Increase Customer Retention Rate

Undoubtedly, if you succeed in solving customer concerns seamlessly, and that too during the first call itself, your customers will love your services. Moreover, customers are bound to stay with your business for a long time. Unquestionably, all customers expect a quick resolution to their problems because they don’t want to spend a lot of time on the call. Moreover, they would hate to repeat the same issue again and again while calling back to the customer care center to get the resolution. Therefore, working on strategies to improve FCR can help you resolve customer concerns effectively and efficiently. As a result, you can increase the total customer retention rate.

3.2. Increase Sales Opportunities

If you succeed in increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty with improved first call resolution, then you will be able to make your sales cycles shorter. Unquestionably, happy customers are more interested in buying other offerings of the company. Moreover, they will work as your brand advocate in one way or another to help you gain more sales.

3.3. More Productive Agents

When agents are solving customer issues within the first call, it eliminates the need for repeat calls. As a result, agents can handle calls from other customers because of the short wait time. Furthermore, increasing the FCR rate will also improve agent morale, which will reflect increased productivity and efficiency. Additionally, an increased FCR rate will help agents manage more calls, and also more variety of calls. As a result, agents will work more productively. This will work in two ways. Firstly, it will help in increasing FCR directly or indirectly. Secondly, it will persistently sharpen the skills of agents and improve their productivity.

3.4. Drive Revenue Growth

When a customer is happy with the customer service, they are likely to spend 17% more just because of customer service. In other words, your clients will be happy to pay more for your support and service if they are happy. This is not cross-selling or upselling to increase revenue. This is direct customer care revenue. Therefore, it is inevitable to focus on improving customer experience, which is reflected in the value of FCR that is calculated in the contact center solutions.

3.5. Decrease Expenses

Acquiring a new customer is more expensive than retaining an existing one. This fact is advocated by several customer care and statistic generation companies. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on customer care to reduce expenses. Conversely, when you increase FCR, you can save resources by getting involved with the same client to resolve his or her concern. Certainly, this will reduce expenses even further. Therefore, focus on providing the best customer service for your existing customers through FCR to reduce contact center costs.

4. Top Tips to Improve FCR Rate

If you are one of those call centers that are aware of the importance of high FCR, but don’t know how to maintain the first call resolution rate, then here are the top tips to follow for you.

4.1 Use the Best Tools

The first and foremost thing is to get the best tools that are packed with the latest technologies and leverage the full potential of trends. For example, use a powerful call center software solution that has all the necessary features along with built-in CRM and AI automation, etc.

4.2 Empowered Agents

Whether you hire a highly skilled team of agents or you sharpen their skills with ongoing training, your team must have the required efficiency and access to deliver exceptional support to increase FCR.

4.3 Resolve Common Issues From the Root

Monitor all issues and try to resolve the common ones from the root. Moreover, you must focus on resolving common issues permanently. This will help in increasing FCR and even customer concern calls.

Concluding Notes

Undoubtedly, increased customer satisfaction brings in a plethora of advantages. Certainly, a high FCR reflects high customer satisfaction. Therefore, it is necessary to understand, measure, and improve your FCR rate. To help you, we have covered all necessary details related to first call resolution. Additionally, we provide the best solutions that can help you improve FCR and other KPIs for your call center or business. To learn more about our call center software and book its free trial, contact us.

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