Achieving First Call Resolution 2010


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The Ascent Group conducted research in the spring of 2010 to better understand how different companies and industries are measuring and tracking First Call Resolution. This is our sixth study of first call resolution.

We asked companies to share measurement strategies and experiences to identify the practices that lead to higher first call resolution and ultimately to higher customer satisfaction.

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Achieving First Call Resolution 2010

  1. 1. ©2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. 1 Achieving First Call Resolution 2010 Key for Continuous Improvement How many of your customers’ calls are resolved on the first contact? It sounds like it ought to be easy to measure, however many companies have found it difficult to define first call resolution, much less measure it consistently. Tactics to measure FCR vary greatly from company to company. Our survey confirms this. While some companies are measuring first call resolution, many are not and would like to. Customers expect to bring a problem or question to your attention and have it resolved in a timely manner. Not all inquiries can be resolved immediately or on the first contact. However, advances in technology, increasing employee empowerment, and scrutinizing evaluation will increase the number that can. An 80% FCR rate sounds good. Yet with an 80 percent FCR, 20 percent of callers require multiple contacts with your company to achieve resolution. An 80 percent FCR means your customers average 1.2 calls to resolve a question or issue. The 20 percent repeat calls represent increased call volume, inflated operating expenses, and most importantly, dissatisfied customers. Dissatisfied customers are more likely to defect and more likely to tell others about their experiences. First Call Resolution (FCR) is a critical determinant of customer satisfaction, making FCR one of the more powerful call center metrics. Improvement in FCR brings the best of both worlds— improvement in efficiency and effectiveness. You don’t have to worry that you are sacrificing quality because you are reducing costs, or vice versa. When you improve FCR you’re improving quality, reducing costs, and improving customer satisfaction, all at the same time. Measuring First Call Resolution is the first step towards improvement. Due to the nature of what is being measured—an outcome—it can be challenging. Our research identified four primary measures—three of which are internal approximations of First Call Resolution, the fourth provides true customer feedback and perception. While each approach has its appplication, customer perception is king—the customer’s evaluation is what matters most.
  2. 2. ©2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. 2 Customer surveys also have the potential to find out whether the issue was ultimately resolved to the caller’s satisfaction. Internal measurement can only assume, by the lack of a repeat call, that the call and issue was resolved. You really don't know for sure if it was resolved or if the customer just gave up, unless you ask the customer. And the timing of when you do ask the customer is important too—has everything happened that needed to happen to resolve the problem?