First Call Resolution Rate (Definition And Tips To Improve)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 21 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many businesses employ call centres to respond to client enquiries and issues. The effectiveness with which call centres respond to enquiries may have an impact on a business's overall success. If you are interested in optimising call centre teams, evaluating certain metrics can be beneficial. In this article, we examine what first call resolution (FCR) is, what benefits a business can get by monitoring it and how you can measure it, along with tips for improving FCR rates.

What Is First Call Resolution Rate?

First call resolution rate is a crucial indicator that businesses use to assess the effectiveness of call centre teams and customer service procedures. This critical performance indicator measures how successfully a business addresses a client's concern or query. A higher FCR rate results in fewer calls about a particular client query and subsequently, more satisfied clients.

Related: Guide: What Does A Customer Service Representative Do?

The Benefits Of Optimising FCR Rates

The benefits of optimising FCR rates at a call centre include the following:

Increased revenue

As a customer support executive, you may be able to engage with more clients during a shift if your FCR rate is higher. Speaking with more clients offers the chance to increase sales and maintain more client connections. A company's overall revenue may rise as a result of this.

Example: If each customer call lasts an hour and has a 100% FCR rate during your eight-hour shift, this indicates that you were able to address the problems of a total of eight clients. In contrast, a colleague working the same shift with a 50% FCR rate, may only interact with four customers.

Improved customer retention

Each call is more profitable if the FCR rate is higher. The first-call resolution of a problem effectively and promptly might enhance a customer's perception of a company. A customer may feel that a business values them and gives them priority, if a call is productive. A customer may probably value the time they are spending on the phone and appreciate a prompt resolution. Customers are more likely to patronise businesses they have had good experiences with in the past.

Reduced operating costs

Another benefit that optimising FCR offers is a fall in operating costs. By lowering personnel, technology and managerial support costs, increasing call centre team productivity can lower operational costs. You can minimise a call centre's overall expenditures by optimising the individual FCR of each employee.

More opportunities to sell

A higher FCR rate indicates that a call-centre team is responding to customer issues swiftly and effectively. This can boost customer satisfaction. Customers who are satisfied with support procedures may be more inclined to invest in other offerings of a company. Opportunities for cross-selling can assist a business in creating enduring client relationships that promote more sales. Additionally, it boosts a business's overall revenue.

Measuring FCR Rate

You can measure FCR in different ways, depending on what you are looking for and what customer relationship management system you are using. Companies measure FCR in one of two ways, most prominently through external survey or internal tracking.

External survey

External survey-based FCR calculation is when call centres have surveys at the end of calls and ask customers about their experience. These surveys typically have questions like:

  • Was your concern resolved after one call?

  • If not, how many calls did you make to resolve your concern?

  • What was your concern?

  • Can you rate your experience from one to five, with one being poor and five being excellent?

Managers can use these surveys to calculate the number of issues resolved on the first call with the following FCR formula:

FCR = Total number of queries resolved on the first call / Total number of queries surveyed

Due to the possibility of having to pay a third party for a survey service, this method may be expensive. Since this approach depends on a client's participation it can be challenging to obtain an accurate reading. But there are advantages to this approach as you may use it to better understand how satisfied customers are, find out what the issues were and estimate how they believe an employee addressed the query.

Related: Customer Satisfaction: How To Measure and Tips For Improvement

Internal tracking

Internal tracking-based FCR calculation is when a call centre uses customer relationship management (CRM) software to identify and log repeat calls. The system compares the total number of calls made over the course of a certain period of time to the number of calls made from a particular number. In this approach, recurrent calls indicate an unresolved problem. A CRM software typically uses this formula to determine FCR:

FCR = Total number of issues resolved on the first call / Total number of unique enquiries

Customers may call from other numbers, and a CRM system might not identify this as an unresolved issue. This is one potential weakness of this method. Customers may also experience two distinct queries simultaneously, which the system might record as numerous calls pertaining to an existing query. However, internal calculation can be less expensive because it uses a company's existing CRM system and is typically more accurate than external calculation. Due to its accuracy and ability to integrate into prevalent systems, many companies favour internal computation techniques for determining FCR.

Related: What Is CRM? With Benefits And How To Develop A Strategy

Tips To Improve FCR Rates

Here are some additional tips for improving FCR rate:

Factor in multiple channels

Customer service centres may have multiple channels through which customers can contact them, including emails and chat services. While calculating how long it takes for a customer concern to reach resolution, remember to factor in these additional channels. Businesses may consider different criteria for what constitutes a single query.

Related: What Are Channels Of Communication? (Importance And Types)

Incorporate analytics

FCR rate is a crucial indicator that can inform a business of the effectiveness of its customer support teams. As a manager, it is crucial to keep in mind the additional indicators you can track to monitor and improve a customer support team's performance. Consider how crucial it is to gauge client satisfaction. This indicator can assist you in evaluating the quality of a typical customer's experience. For example, you can keep tabs on the number of resources a support team may incur for each call or transfer.

Related: The Difference Between Data Science And Data Analytics

Avoid transfers

Transfers occur when a member of the call centre staff forwards a customer's enquiry to another division or team member. Minimising transfers to other experts or communication channels can help maintain customer satisfaction and keep call times low. If you keep customers engaged during wait times, they may be less likely to hang up. Customers may grow weary of repeating the same information or having to explain their concerns again. One strategy to raise FCR rates is to reduce the number of transfers in each query.

End conversations politely

If you are a customer support executive, ask customers whether they have any further queries or concerns about a specific issue after you resolve a query. Thank them for contacting your company and offer to speak with them again if they have any more enquiries. Explicitly ensure that they have no further enquiries, to guarantee that they are content with the experience.

Related: 8 Customer Support Skills (Advantages And Ways To Improve)

Minimise number of steps

Consider how many steps a customer has to complete before they can talk to a customer service representative. A customer may be more likely to feel confident in fixing their issue if there are fewer automated questions to respond to before they speak to a competent staff member. By taking into consideration the number of questions required to lead a customer to the appropriate department, you may prevent fatigue and dissatisfaction.

Track common customer issues

Surveys can help you keep track of the most prevalent client concerns. As a manager, you can utilise this information to conduct research and devise remedies for issues, often working with a product or sales team. If you frequently get the same queries, you can establish standardised procedures for effectively resolving them and communicate them to staff members. By taking these steps, you can minimise customer calls while raising FCR rates.

Commit to professional growth

Periodically set aside time to research the most recent developments in customer service. As a manager, you can also prepare a list of changes you can make to enhance performance. Set aside time at least once a year to evaluate customer support performance and train executives to gather relevant skills and techniques for conflict resolution.

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