Ever called a customer service hotline and got your problem solved immediately? First call resolution refers to the ability of each agent to resolve any issues within the first call.
First call resolution is an element that most customer service representatives have to hone in order to succeed in their field.
Defining first call resolution
First call resolution (FCR) pertains to the number of times that an agent resolves a call within their first interaction with a customer.
Often, team leaders assess their team members using this metric to hone in on whether they’re practicing the standard operating procedure when it comes to taking a call.
How do you measure first call resolution?
To put it simply, we calculate FCR against the total number of calls that a call center agent is taking on a daily or monthly basis.
The exact formula for calculating the first call resolution is:
FRC = Total number of resolved calls / Total number of customer calls
What is a good first contact resolution rate?
According to SQM Group, a good rate for the first call resolution is 70% to 75%. It’s the industry standard when it comes to taking in and resolving calls. An after-call survey is just as important as solving the issue. The data will be stored and used for future references.
Why is first call resolution important?
The data that is being collected using an after-call customer satisfaction survey will be able to tell the areas of improvement.
FCR is important because this reflects the company’s ability to train its workforce. It also reflects the agent’s ability to fix any issues that they encounter daily.
First call resolution best practices
Just like in any other standard operating procedure, first call resolution has its own best practices.
They put these into place to ensure that each team member is doing their best to put out the service that they are trained and paid for.
Practice active listening
Active listening—along with empathy—is key to having a productive conversation with a customer.
Even if the other person is being difficult, keep in mind that they have been experiencing these issues way before they reached out.
Practice active listening to pick up some points that will help resolve the issue.
Minimize the waiting time
No one likes to listen to a nameless tune over the phone—especially if the matter is pressing enough.
Minimize the waiting time between customers by delegating the right amount of tasks to active agents. As a team leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure that no one agent has an excessive workload while others barely have anything to do.
Have an easily accessible knowledge base
A knowledge base is a page that is littered with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), solutions to common and well-known issues, and product or service specifications.
Allowing customers to access this kind of information database will lessen misdirected inquiries and calls.
Get as much information as you can
Call center agents and customer service representatives are trained to ask probing questions to help their customers during an interaction.
As an agent, getting as much information as you can is impertinent if you want a certain call to count towards your FCR rate.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Being a team player means that you’re not afraid of asking questions and for additional help when needed.
Most calls and inquiries, even if it doesn’t count towards your first call resolution percentage, are solved when multiple people and opinions are involved.
How do I improve my first call resolution?
To improve your FCR is to identify your weaknesses.
If you’re an agent looking to increase your first call resolution stats, the first thing you should do is lay on your account’s best practices. Brush up on your product and service knowledge.
Be proactive about learning the new updates about the account you’re handling.
FRC tips for agents
- Stay on topic. When the conversation is drifting away from the issue or the inquiry, don’t be afraid to steer it on track again.
- Ask relevant questions. Asking follow-up questions will help you pinpoint the nature of the issue that the customer is calling about.
- Internalize one-on-one coaching sessions with your team lead. Use the coaching session as a safe space for you to point out what else you think you need to improve upon.
Again, first call resolution is an ability that can be taught and developed. It’s also heavily reliant on how the call flows and the nature of the issue is.
First call resolution vs. First contact resolution
There isn’t much of a difference between the two: first call resolution refers to the volume of calls resolved, while first contact resolution pertains to another channel that handles inquiries.
However, both are important to consider when assessing an agent’s FRC rate.