The most important focus of call centers is on providing good customer service calls . But how do you know if your contact center is delivering quality customer experiences? First find out everything we are going to deal with.
To do this, you need to take a deep look at your call center metrics, such as First Call Resolution (FCR) , to see if your agents are handling customers in a way that matches their expectations.
First Call Resolution (FCR) reveals whether or not your team is efficient at serving your customers from the first time they contact your business. This is an essential metric for customer satisfaction and more complicated than you think, plus it can highlight what you do well and where you need to work.
Ready to learn more about this metric? In the following article we will analyze step by step all the details of this important indicator . In this way, you can improve the quality of your calls.
- 1) What is RCF?
- 2) Why is a first call resolution rate important?
- 2.1) You will retain more clients with resolutions
- 2.2) Can improve performance
- 3) How to measure the resolution of the first call?
- 4) How is the resolution percentage calculated?
- 5) What is a good RCF?
- 6) FCR Resolution Best Practices
- 6.1) 1. Always give clear instructions to your clients
- 6.2) 2. Repeat the information to the client and ask questions
- 6.3) 3. Improve experiences by ending calls
- 7) How can I improve the resolution of the first call?
- 7.1) Define your goals
- 7.2) Train your team
- 7.3) Make the answers to problems easy to find
What is RCF?
A first call resolution rate, sometimes called a first contact resolution rate, measures a company’s ability to resolve a customer’s question, problem, or need the first time they contact about that specific issue.
A successful first call resolution (FCR for short) would mean no follow-up is necessary . When a customer contacts your business for help with a customer service issue, they expect your agents to resolve their issue by the end of the interaction.
If you can’t do that, or your customers have to contact your business multiple times about the same issue, you’re not meeting first call resolution expectations.
Why is a first call resolution rate important?
The number one reason first call resolution is so important is that it is often tied to customer satisfaction rates . If you have high FCR rates, then you are offering superior customer experiences.
Additionally, we can point to two specific arguments as to why FCR should be taken into account when considering how to improve your customer service:
You will retain more customers with resolutions
The importance of providing good customer service to keep your customers loyal cannot be stressed enough. If you were to ask a hundred consumers what makes them stop buying from a brand, more than fifty of them would probably tell you about their poor customer service experience.
Keep in mind that acquiring a new customer costs you more than keeping an existing one, so retention is very important. When you can respond quickly to customer issues and resolve them immediately, they will be satisfied with the service you have provided.
If an issue was resolved in a friendly and timely manner, even a potential naysayer can turn into someone who will praise your business . This could lead you to gain more customers.
Also, let’s not forget that consumers are willing to spend more money on better customer service . Therefore, you should never miss an opportunity to provide quality support and build customer relationships. One way to achieve this is to have excellent first call resolution.
can improve performance
When your team members resolve a customer query the first time they contact your business, that means they won’t demand your team’s attention for the same problem later on. This leads to fewer repeat calls, which means fewer calls overall.
With fewer calls to your contact center, your customers will experience shorter wait times because your agents will be able to reach them faster . By having good FCR rates, your operators can help more customers and be more productive in their work.
As technology improves and services expand their reach, your customers’ expectations will only increase . You can create a smoother customer journey with a high first call resolution rate.
The contact center industry standard FCR rate is around 70-75%.
How to measure the resolution of the first call?
You can measure FCR as long as it has the following metrics:
- The total number of resolved customer cases .
- The total number of cases during a given time period .
To get the FCR rate, divide the number of resolved cases by the number of total cases during the time period being measured . Then multiply that number by one hundred to make it a positive integer.
FCR formula: FCR = (Total number of resolved cases / Total number of cases) x 100
An alternative way to measure your FCR would be:
- Calculate the total number of resolved issues minus the total number of reopened cases.
- Divide it by the total number of calls.
- Multiply it by one hundred to make it a positive integer.
Alternative FCR Formula: FCR = (Total Issues Resolved – Total Issues Reopened) / Total Number of Calls x 100
The higher your FCR, the better your business will be at solving customer problems the first time they reach out.
Of course, these equations alone may not fully illustrate how this can apply to your company’s operations. So, here are some examples that will hopefully make the concept of calculating your FCR clear.
How is the resolution percentage calculated?
Let’s say Securitec had a total of 1,200 calls in September , and of those interactions, the total number of cases that were resolved on first contact is 689.
All you would have to do is divide the number of resolved calls (689) by the total number of calls (1200). This gives you a value of 0.5742.
Multiply that by 100 and you get 57.4. This means that Securitec’s FCR rate is 57.4%.
Now let’s see what would happen if the alternative formula is used to calculate Securitec’s FCR . Let’s say the number of cases reopened in September was 42. First, you would take the number of cases resolved (689) minus the total number of cases that were reopened (42). This would give you 647.
We would then divide that number (647) by the total number of calls (1,200). This would give you a value of 0.5392. Multiply that by 100 and you have an FCR rate of 53.9% .
With these two examples, it is important to note that the Securitec FCR rate is different depending on the formula you choose to calculate it.
What is a good RCF?
Generally speaking, the contact center industry standard FCR rate is around 70-75%. So if your rate is 70% or higher, you know you’re doing well in terms of first contact resolution.
Another way to think of this is that you’ll want to resolve customer issues during their first call about 3 out of 4 times. However, as I pointed out with the FCR formulas in the previous section, there are different ways to measure first call resolution.
All you have to know is that the higher your FCR rate, the better your company will be at helping customers the first time they contact you. And higher FCR rates are linked to higher customer satisfaction.
FCR Resolution Best Practices
All this information about FCR would be incomplete if you don’t know its best practices. If your team members don’t know how to achieve FCR correctly, your business will never reach its full potential. Below are three of the best practices for first call resolution.
1. Always give clear instructions to your clients
When one of your team members identifies the reason a customer has asked for help , they will need to communicate what actions need to be taken to resolve the issue. If the customer needs to do something, your agent should walk them through the steps involved.
It is extremely important to communicate clearly so that both the client and the agent understand each other. By taking their time and giving thorough explanations, your team members can increase the FCR rate of your business.
When an issue is especially complex , you can try submitting additional documentation or even a video tutorial if you have one. On the other hand, sometimes screen sharing or a video call may be your best option.
2. Repeat the information to the client and ask questions
Active listening is the best option when it comes to identifying a customer’s problem. If you can quickly figure out what the customer wants and what’s stopping them from getting it, you can start helping them right away.
Active listening includes both asking questions and repeating information to your customer. It’s a way to get additional details, clear up misunderstandings, and ensure everyone is on the same page.
3. Improve experiences by ending calls
Although you may have other calls to take, never be in a rush to end a customer interaction. A simple “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” will do wonders for your FCR.
Doing this encourages the customer to convey other sticking points in their experience with your offers and reduces the chance of the same person calling back with a related issue.
When you ask callers to do this, you’ll also address potential problems before they become a problem later on.
How can I improve the resolution of the first call?
With the practices above, you will give your customer service team members a good foundation for quality FCR that will lead to excellent customer service. This, in turn, will result in a better FCR.
Of course, those practices were primarily focused on how each of your agents can improve their first call resolution.
Now that your team members know what they can do to provide better service, we can talk about how your entire business can evolve to improve your FCR initiative.
Define your goals
Without the proper call resolution definitions and specificity, you will not be able to accurately calculate FCR rates. Since different companies may define first call resolution differently , make sure your company has clear guidelines indicating when an interaction counts as resolved.
For example, do customer issues need to be resolved at the end of the day? But what does “end of the day” mean? Does it mean the end of an agent’s shift, or does it mean something else along the lines of during office hours? It could mean a more literal end to a 24-hour day (midnight).
What if an issue is escalated to a manager? Would that call be considered to have escalated beyond the first point of contact?
Make your FCR expectations clear so you know how to track them . For the best record keeping, be sure to track the time, number of people involved, and communication channel for each customer interaction.
Train your team
This may seem like obvious advice, but it bears repeating: don’t duplicate your support team. When you do, it puts pressure on your team members and can pressure them to rush their work.
So provide your team members with up-to-date training sessions , so they always have the information they need to help your customers. As your products and services change and improve, you can set your staff up for success by keeping them up to date.
If you don’t update your staff, they could provide a customer with an outdated solution or information that may not be accurate. Worse yet, your team could take the wrong action in addressing the case, which will definitely hurt your FCR.
Make answers to problems easy to find
Many calling customers are likely to face similar problems. Because of this, they will want to look at a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on your website, or specific knowledge bases that can act as online repositories of answers to common questions.
FAQ pages and knowledge base articles allow your agents to easily refer customers to a helpful resource. This prevents your agents from having to dig too deep into a customer’s problem , as they will have the solution readily available.
When you make the answers to a common problem easy to find online and on your website , customers won’t have to call for help. This helps provide preventative solutions, which will reduce the number of calls needed to close a common case.
Very well! You ‘ve learned all about FCR, from what it means to alternative formulas that let you know how well your business is doing. Also, you now know what to do to improve this KPI in your call center.