What is First Contact Resolution?

Author: Simon Black | Date: 24/11/2022

Most businesses today understand how important customer service is, and contact centres play a vital role in providing exceptional customer support across industries. 

To provide the best possible service, contact centres need to identify and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) that enable them to track and maintain their performance — ensuring they provide the best possible customer service. 

One of the most important KPIs is First Contact Resolution (FCR). FCR measures how many queries contact centre agents have resolved on the first call without the need for follow-ups.

A high FCR rate indicates that support agents are providing customers with a quick and efficient service that minimises repeat calls, which itself leads to increased satisfaction levels.

In today’s blog, we’re going to take a closer look at what FCR is, its associated challenges and benefits and how you can improve your contact centre’s First Contact Resolution rate. Let’s get started.

Suggested reading: If you’re interested in how technology can help drive contact centre KPIs, take a look at our free eBook — Your Contact Centre Could Operate Better. A Lot Better

What is First Contact Resolution?

First contact resolution rate, sometimes known as one contact resolution or first call resolution rate, is the percentage of customer service calls resolved during the first contact with a customer.

In other words, this KPI is designed to measure how often customers have to call back or wait for a callback to resolve their issue

Why is First Contact Resolution important?

Measuring and improving a contact centre’s FCR can have a number of desirable outcomes that help to drive long-term business growth and success. These include:

  • Keeping customers satisfiedA study found that 82% of customers who had their issue resolved on the first contact were satisfied with the experience, while only 46% of those who didn’t have their issue resolved on the first contact were satisfied.1
  • Retaining customers: When customers have their problems solved quickly and efficiently, they are more likely to continue doing business with a company.
  • Changing the mind of dissatisfied customers: A recent study found that 70% of customers who had a positive first contact experience with a company were likely to do business with that company again.2
  • Getting the most out of agents: A high FCR rate helps to reduce the time agents spend on each case. As a result, agents have increased capacity to deal with more customer queries throughout the day

Challenges of First Contact Resolution

There’s no doubt that First Contact Resolution (FCR) is a key metric within customer service. But achieving a high FCR rate is not always easy. Here are some of the challenges associated with FCR:

Measuring First Contact Resolution 

Accurately measuring the number of customer calls resolved on the first contact can be difficult. That’s because it requires tracking all customer inquiries, both online and offline, and then determining which ones were resolved on the first contact. 

Once contact centres have been able to determine a way of identifying which queries have been resolved on first contact, calculating the FCR rate itself is straightforward. Simply take the number of calls resolved at the first attempt over a specific period and divide that by the total number of calls received during the same period.

When is a call resolved

As outlined above, to measure first call resolution (FCR) effectively, contact centres need to accurately determine when a call has been resolved. This can be challenging, as many calls are transferred or escalated to another department before they are resolved.

To accurately measure FCR, contact centres need a system to track all calls from start to finish. This way, they can see which calls are resolved on the first attempt and which ones require follow-ups.

By tracking all calls and recording resolutions accurately, contact centres can measure their FCR rate, information that can then be used to improve processes and better serve customers.

First call resolution is one of the most critical measures in understanding how effective your contact centre is. Ready to take the next steps?

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First Contact Resolution best practices

In any contact centre, the goal is to reduce the number of calls while still providing excellent customer service. Improving FCR is key to doing just that. 

There are numerous best practices that managers and team leaders can implement in order to help to improve FCR in their contact centres. Some of these include:

Documenting answers to common issues

An FAQ section on a company website can serve as an online library for answers to common questions about product services. This can be beneficial for both the customer and the company.

For customers, an FAQ section can provide quick and easy access to information they may need about a product or service. This can save them time and frustration, as they do not need to contact customer service or search through a long list of questions to find the answer they are looking for. For companies, an FAQ section can help reduce the number of customer service inquiries, saving time and money. 

Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions to ensure your knowledge-base articles can be easily found. For example, if you have an article about resetting passwords, include “reset password” in the title and description. That way, your article will come up when customers search for how to reset their password. 

Including keywords will also help your articles show up in search engine results. When potential customers find your website through a search engine, you want them to be able to find the answers to their questions right away.

Respond to queries quickly

It is essential for contact centre managers to ensure that their staff are trained in how to handle customer enquiries quickly and efficiently. This will help to improve the centre’s FCR rates. 

To achieve this, contact centres need to: 

  • Staff teams to avoid excessive wait times 
  • Train staff in the knowledge they need to handle support more efficiently 
  • Structure customer service teams so the right individuals with the appropriate knowledge are given the customers that match their skillset.

Anticipate customer needs

One of the keys to improving FCR is anticipating the issues customers may run into before they occur. This can be done by keeping track of common customer issues and implementing proactive measures to prevent them from happening. 

For example, if you notice that many customers are having difficulty using your website, you can put in place a system that alerts you when someone has been on your site for more than a certain amount of time so you can reach out and offer assistance.

You can significantly improve your FCR rate and overall customer service by anticipating and preventing potential customer issues. This will lead to happier customers and higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Provide agents with training and incentives

To resolve calls on first contact, agents need knowledge and motivation. They need to be able to access the right information and have the desire to help customers.

One of the most essential things for agents is having the proper knowledge through training. They need to be able to find the answers to customer questions quickly and efficiently. This can be challenging if they are unfamiliar with the company’s systems or products. Additionally, they may need to consult with other team members to find a resolution.

It is also important that agents are motivated to help customers. They should be patient and understand that each call is unique. They should also be driven to provide a positive experience for each customer. This can be difficult sometimes, but it is essential to ensure that calls are resolved on first contact.

Guide agents with cutting-edge software

Using cutting-edge software for FCR helps to ensure that agents have all the information they need at their fingertips. This includes customer history, contact information, and any previous interactions they may have had with your company. 

Moreover, it provides a centralized place for agents to track and manage customer interactions. This makes it easy to follow up with customers and ensure that their inquiries are resolved promptly. Finally, cutting-edge software can help you measure and track your team’s performance to identify areas of improvement.

Two specific technologies that can help here include:

  • Agent guidance — guides agents through every call to deliver the correct information at the right time. 
  •  Speech analytics — analyse every call, email and message agents deal with, understand customers’ demand, and identify improvements.

The benefits of improving First Contact Resolution

By implementing some of the best practices outlined above and deploying the latest contact centre software, businesses can unlock a number of benefits that come with enhanced FCR rates. These include:

  • Increased customer retention and loyalty: When customers resolve their issues quickly and efficiently, they are more likely to continue doing business with the company.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Customers who resolve their issues quickly and efficiently are more likely to be satisfied and less likely to take their business elsewhere.
  • Enhance productivity: Businesses can save time by not having to deal with the same issue multiple times, also eliminating the need for customers to reach out multiple times to resolve their issues.

Improve First Contact Resolution in your contact centre using technology 

Technology is the key to driving high FCR rates in your contact centre. As a result, choosing a provider that gives you the tools you need to make the necessary process improvements is crucial.

That’s where Awaken can help. We developed our cost-effective software to help contact centres unlock actionable agents and support agents in real-time, driving contact centre efficiency against important KPIs in the process.

With the help of our dynamic guidance tool and speech analytics solutions, you can improve First Contact Resolution in your contact centre and provide your customers with the service they deserve.

Book a demo today to see for yourself how Awaken can take your contact centre to the next level.

  1.  The Evolution of The Contact Center Experience
  2.  50 Stats That Prove The Value Of Customer Experience