Agent Onboarding

What Is First Call Resolution (FCR) (and Why Is It Important)?

Picture an all too common scenario: Your customers encounter an issue they can’t resolve or have a question they can’t find the answer to on their own. What happens next?

They turn to your customer service support channels for help.

Now when your customers call, email, or reach out via live chat to get in touch with your team, how many of these inquiries get completely taken care of during this initial point of contact?

That’s precisely what first contact resolution—also known as first call resolution (FCR)—measures. In short: As the name suggests, FCR is the rate at which companies are able to successfully resolve any customer inquiry within the first point of contact. 

What Is First Call Resolution (FCR), Anyway?

Among the top customer service terms you need to know and one of the top customer service KPIs that matter, first call resolution is a metric that tells us how often customer service teams are able to fully address—and close out—any given concern, complaint, or question during the very first customer interaction, whether that’s over the phone, email, text, or another channel.

Here’s a formula you can use to calculate your team’s overall FCR rate:

First Call Resolution Rate

There are two common methods companies use to assess whether a customer inquiry has been resolved on the first attempt, via:

  • QA audits, where team members review interactions to assess whether it seems like a given issue has been fully addressed within the first exchange
  • Simple voice of the customer survey questions, such as asking: Did we resolve your problem today?

While QA audits measure FCR from the brand’s internal perspective, using VoC feedback takes the customer point of view into consideration.

How First Call Resolution Fits into Customer Service Team Performance Management

First call resolution is a critical indicator of contact center performance. It lets companies know how well they’re serving their customers, with low FCR scores signaling when there’s room for improvement.

The Value of Understanding, Measuring, and Improving FCR

The value of knowing your company’s FCR, keeping track of it on an ongoing basis, and finding ways to improve it is clear. When FCR is high, revenue goes up. When FCR is low, costs go up. 

Across industries, the global average FCR rate is about 74 to 78%, and while most brands may never achieve a perfect 100% FCR rate, striving for that goal by tracking this metric on an ongoing basis can help shed light on how efficiently your customer service team is working to meet your customers’ needs and, at the same time, can help your company save time and money and drive important customer and business outcomes. 

After all, when customers have to reach out to customer service more than once—because their issue hasn’t successfully been resolved on their first attempt—customer service costs go up. That’s why even incremental increases in FCR can lead to thousands in annual savings for brands. 

Important KPIs Related to FCR

Businesses that are able to improve their first call resolution rate often see other key customer metrics improve as well, including overall customer satisfaction (CSAT)

First Call Resolution Rate compared to Customer Satisfaction rate.

Data from a 2016 MetricNet global benchmarking study, pictured in the graph above, highlight the strong correlation between FCR and CSAT

That makes sense because CSAT is a metric that sees major declines when customers have to keep calling back to get their issue resolved. Not only that, two other KPIs—sales and customer lifetime value—can suffer as a result. 

Correlation between customer satisfaction and first call resolution.

As shown in the graph above, our Stella Connect clients see their star ratings improve when their FCR rate improves.

Ready to Take Your Customer Service Team Performance to the Next Level?

Accurately detecting the gaps in your customer service delivery and pinpointing opportunities for growth requires collecting accurate data about how your customers feel in the moment and how your team is performing in real time.

Stella Connect client leading motorcycle parts and accessories brand RevZilla has harnessed the power of our real-time customer feedback, QA, and coaching solutions to improve customer service team performance, achieving an impressive 15% gain in first contact resolution, hundreds of thousands in savings by boosting productivity, and more.

See for yourself how Stella Connect can help your company strengthen your most important customer service performance metrics. Schedule a demo today