First call resolution (FCR)

* FCR measurement is determined based on the FCR formula and cost per ticket formula. The calculator provided here is for the approximate valuation of your call center and agent performance.

According to MetricNet's benchmarking database, the first call resolution industry standard is 74 percent. This number varies widely, however, from a low of about 41 percent to a high of 94 percent.

What is First call resolution rate (FCR)?

First call resolution rate (FCR) is the percentage of tickets resolved by the first level of support (first call or contact with the IT help desk).

Call center metrics

Research from The Ascent Group shows that 60% of companies that measure FCR for 1+ year report a 1 to 30% improvement in their performance.

Customer service metrics

According to TELUS International, a study conducted by Customer Relationship Metrics found that "CSAT (customer satisfaction) ratings will be 35%-45% lower when a second call is made for the same issue."

The high first call resolution rate is usually associated with higher customer satisfaction as confirmed by a study that Customer Relationship Metrics conducted. Furthermore, a study conducted by the Service Quality Measurement Group also revealed that for every one percent improvement in FCR, you get a one percent improvement in customer or end user satisfaction.

Firstcall resolution is also related to cost per ticket. The following graph represents the cost per ticket for every level.

Cost per ticket at various levels of support:

Call center metrics : Cost per ticket vs. average call handle time taken for resolution

Call center metrics : Cost per ticket

Sometimes IT helpdesk call center agents rush to close tickets during the first call, even without accurate resolutions. Such cases can lead to first call resolution rates rising, while end user satisfaction rates drop drastically, as depicted in the following graph.

First contact resolution Vs. End user satisfaction:

Contact center metrics : First contact resolution vs customer experiences

Comparing FCR rates with end user satisfaction

FCR - Tips & best practices for first call resolution:

Here is a simple three-phase technique to get your IT help desk team resolving tickets in the first call.

Phase 1 : Learn the environment

  • Gather environment-specific knowledge.
  • Populate the knowledge base with the information collected, creating relevant artifacts.
  • Generate regular status reports on the IT help desk performance with sections on lessons learned, achievements, and obstacles overcome.
  • Invite experts to evaluate performance.
  • Create an operations manual that clearly outlines support business processes, centralizes key environmental information, and explicitly defines complex procedures for ticket resolution.

Phase 2 : Fine tune

Generate reports to ascertain that the efforts of phase I panned out, and identify areas of improvement. Below are some sample reports to help you get started.

  • Percentage of calls taken by each agent.
  • Number of repeat calls taken per agent, per hour.
  • Average talk time, by agent.
  • Of the tickets we did not close, where were they transferred?
  • Of those transfer destinations, who received the most tickets?

Phase 3 : Optimize

  • Establish a well-defined process for continual improvement of first call resolution rate.
  • This technique not only helps you improve the FCRR levels, but also helps ensure that tickets are properly resolved, not just closed.
  • Another possible trend is a constantly degrading FCRR, as shown in the following graph.

Constantly degrading FCR

Call center metrics : Tracking firstcall resolution fcr

FCR measured over the months

There are a few reasons this could occur, but the primary reasons are as follows:

  • Lack of requester and system information.
  • Poor agent capabilities.
  • Poor knowledge transfer and sharing.

According to MetricNet's benchmarking levels, the average net FCR for service desks globally is 74 percent, with a range of 41 to 74 percent. The most common factors among all the services on the higher end of the spectrum were the presence of highly trained agents, the availability of knowledge management tools, and the presence of tools such as remote desktop management.

FCR is both an efficiency measure and an effectiveness measure. It is a leading indicator of customer satisfaction because customers want their support requests resolved immediately. FCR is also important to the support contact center because high FCR saves money.

- Kristen Robertson, President, KR Consulting, Inc

Steps to improve first call resolution rate (FCRR):

  • Communicate the importance of FCRR to the agents.
  • Design agent training programs for the first level agents on specific subjects to help resolve customer tickets faster.
  • Maintain a knowledge base of advanced technical solutions and articles exclusively for, and limited to, agents.
  • Create custom forms to collect all relevant information at the time of ticket creation to avoid turnaround delays.
  • Automatically route tickets to the right agent or group based on ticket parameters.

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