First call resolution (FCR) helps determine your call center’s ability to resolve customer issues in their first call. A higher FCR rate means that most of your customers are satisfied. As a result, you will see an increase in customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and cost savings (because of no-repeat calls).
How to Calculate First Call Resolution Rate?
First call resolution rate = (Resolved incidents in first contact / Total incidentes) x 100
For example, if you receive 100 calls in a day, out of which 70 got resolved in the first contact, then your FCR rate will be:
First call resolution rate = (70/100) x 100 = 70%
The global industry benchmark for FCR is between 70 and 75%. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a number higher than this. Let’s look at the top 10 ways to improve first call resolution.
Top 10 First Call Resolution Strategies
1- Emphasize FCR Techniques in Training
Train your agents on how to resolve customer issues on the first contact from the initial days. Also, identify the representatives with the highest repeat calls cases and conduct short coaching sessions to improve their FCR.
2- Measure FCR on Multiple Channels
If you offer customer support across channels (e.g., phone, email, and chat), look at the whole picture. Define first call resolution goals and strategies for each channel. You can’t have a high FCR if you struggle to resolve the issue in the first contact in any of the channels.
3- Buy the Right Call Center Software
The right call center software will provide you with a complete history of the caller in a centralized interface. When your agents have extensive information on the caller even before answering the call, they will be better able to satisfy the customer’s needs. Your call center software should also:
- Update call logs automatically
- Show new information added to agents in real-time
- Update all the integrated system
- Has routing options based on various characteristics, such as department, skill, knowledge, language spoken, demographics, and location
4- Find Common Issues for Delayed Resolution
There will be certain issues that cannot be resolved in the first contact, such as products with physical assistance (AC, TV, etc.) or network outage for a phone and internet company. It will likely take a few calls until the technician visits and solves the issue. Identify such common problems and create strategies to increase the resolution speed.
5- Incentivize Agents With Higher FCR
Incentivizing agents for a higher FCR encourages them to work harder to resolve the issue in their first call with a customer. Besides, when an employee gets recognition for the work he/she is doing, he/she is more likely to give their best in every call.
6- Minimize Call Transfers
Transferring a call from one agent to another can decrease customer satisfaction, cause the customer to hang up (if the wait time is high), and reduce FCR. You can minimize call transfers by giving your agents the power to:
- Issue refunds and credits (up to a certain limit)
- Remove shipping charges
- Adjust billing cycles and timing
- Remove late fees
- Solve warranty-related issues
- Apply promotional discounts
7- Segment Customers With Similar Characteristics
Segment your customers into different groups based on common traits (e.g., age, location, gender, average income, interests, etc.). You can also segment customers based on why they are calling (problem areas).
You can then use this information to route specific calls to agents capable of solving their issue in the first call. It also helps you better train your team to anticipate callers’ needs.
8- Promote Total Contact Ownership
When the agent who attended the initial call follows it from start to finish, it is termed as Total Contact Ownership. Instead of transferring calls, the agent collaborates with other personnel within the call center (e.g., senior agents, technical team, management, etc.) to solve the issue. This will increase the first call resolution rate and customer satisfaction.
9- Ask for Agent Feedback to Improve FCR
Agents have a better knowledge of the reasons and what causes repeat calls. Conduct feedback sessions regularly to learn from agents about the most common issues that your customers have and what’s preventing them from resolving it in the first call are strategically beneficial steps.
10- Leverage Automation and Self-Service Options
Configure your IVR (Interactive Voice Response) to provide basic information (like account information, business hours, etc.), create a knowledge base, and a training manual (with details about your product, solutions to common issues, troubleshooting tips, etc.) on your website. Your agents can then redirect customers with minor problems to self-service options to increase FCR.
Improving first call resolution increases customer satisfaction and reduces call volume. Follow the ten strategies mentioned in the article to increase your first call resolution and provide better customer service.
Did we miss any critical FCR strategy? What tactics do you use to increase FCR in your call center? Let us know in the comments.