First-contact resolution (FCR) means to resolve a customer’s issue directly and is an essential metric for customer support centers. Improving that metric can result in a stronger customer experience and more satisfactory conditions for agents. Let's get to know first-contact resolution better.
What is first-contact resolution?
In short, you could say that first contact resolution (FCR) measures how successful your contact center is at solving customers' issues in the first interaction, meaning the customer doesn’t need to contact you multiple times to get the same issue resolved.
Is first-contact resolution the same as first call resolution, first touch resolution, or one-call resolution? Yes, but first-contact resolution has a broader meaning since it includes contacts both on the phone and other channels like social media, chat, and email. Besides resolving problems on the first interaction, another essential metric to review and reduce is the time-to-resolution, i.e., how long it takes for an agent to solve a problem.
Why is first-contact resolution important?
First-contact resolution is an excellent way of measuring how efficient your contact center and its agents are. As the problem is solved directly, the customer won’t contact you about the same problem again. The result? Fewer cases, shorter customer wait times, and a more productive and efficient customer service team.
Besides measuring efficiency, you get better insight into the processes and technology of your contact center, and are able to study both the performance of the team and individual performances. To find the right contact center solution for your company, take a look at this guide.
If you're able to solve a customer complaint directly, without them having to contact you again, the chance of them staying with the company increases. Remember that FCR can also please previously dissatisfied customers and encourage them to become promoters of your company.
A 1% increase in FCR equals a 1% increase in customer satisfaction. It is a clear reminder of the importance of FCR – by solving customer issues at the first interaction, you can expect happier customers.
Fewer open agent cases
First-contact resolution will reduce the number of calls, emails, and messages your support team gets, as customers aren’t contacting you repeatedly with the same issue. This makes your team’s jobs more manageable as they won't have as many ongoing open cases.
How to calculate first-contact resolution
To calculate your support team's first-contact resolution rate, you divide the number of cases resolved at the first try by the total number of cases. Multiply this number by 100, and you get the FCR percentage rate. The higher the percentage, the better your agents can solve issues directly.
FCR = (total resolved cases / total number of cases) x 100
How to know if the issue was really solved?
You may need to collect agent notes, review conversations, and calculate yourself. The best way to know if the interaction was solved at the first interaction is to ask the customer. You can send out a customer survey or a recap of the customer interaction with an agent. Ask the customer if they believe the issue was solved or if they needed further assistance.
Don’t confuse FCR with repeated contacts. That describes when a customer contacts you again within a short period of time for a completely unrelated matter. Since that is a separate issue, it doesn’t mean you didn’t solve their first problem.
How to improve first-contact-resolution
What issues are not solved?
Find out what problems are more complex for agents to solve. Can you find patterns between these issues? Analyse these issues, figure out the root cause, and set up guidelines for resolving them.
Direct the customer to the right place from the start
When a customer seeks contact, they should be forwarded to a person qualified to help them – otherwise, the possibility increases of not resolving the issue directly. Using a PBX service with proper routing functionality that sends callers to the right agent is one place to start.
Have all information at hand
Agents must also have all the information they need, preferably in front of them when they receive the call, email, or similar. Using a contact center where all information about customers is available in one platform is helpful, so your team doesn't have to be constantly switching between programs in order to find the information they need.
Allow for multi-channel communication
If you let customers reach out in the channel they feel most comfortable with, it might also be easier for an agent to help them. And the fact that the customer was able to reach you where they were at the time is a factor that can improve customer satisfaction. For example, some customers may be more comfortable speaking to an agent over the phone, whereas others prefer email or social media messenger.
Using a contact center with omnichannel functionality means you can resolve the issue directly using the same platform. The support rep doesn't need to spend time switching between platforms, and the customer isn't asked to use another channel. E.g., if they contact you via social media, you don't need to ask them to submit a separate email inquiry.
4 questions to find out where you need to make improvements:
- How many support requests do you get?
- How many support-related questions do you get on each channel?
- How many of these are resolved?
- How many of these are solved during first contact?
How Telavox can help you improve FCR
Telavox’s UcaaS solution gathers contact center, PBX, telephony, and related communication solutions in one platform. Besides getting happier customers with endless possibilities to contact you, agents can solve issues easier as they have all the tools they need in front of them at all times, regardless of whether they work from the office or at home.
With Telavox contact center, it will be easier for your support team to improve first-contact resolution thanks to an overall strengthened communication, partly due to smooth integrations with other programs that create seamless communication in all channels.
FCR measures your success rate in handling customer queries and resolving issues on the first interaction. But while it's becoming a popular indicator of efficiency, it can be hard to measure as you need to know what cases are fully resolved. With a modern contact center, you'll have the necessary tools available to meet your customer's needs better – and make it easier to solve their problems directly!