First Contact Resolution (FCR) - Opinion

Author: Nigel Warburton

Numerous metrics have been used over many years to determine the overall performance levels of the contact centre. These have included average hold time, calls handled per agent and average call duration and metrics specific to sales based contact centres, that focus on sales value per call / per agent. However, in this article we are going to consider the measurement that many believe is the most important for the support or service orientated contact centre, whether in the public or private sector.

Why First Contact Resolution?

Until recently, the geeks from the contact centre world have defined the abbreviation FCR as First Call Resolution; it would seem more appropriate in today’s multi-media world that we change this definition to First Contact Resolution. This is since the aim of the contact centre is assist customers and citizens in any way that is most appropriate and we should consider our web site, our social media activity and our use of other communications techniques to form a part of our overall contact centre strategy.

Why is FCR so important? Metrics provide a health check for a contact centre; often there is a greater focus on reducing call times rather than looking at the complete picture. The real metric that should be captured is time to resolution and is typically kept considerably lower when the call is resolved in the first attempt; that more and more customers are expecting. The real benefit of improving FCR rates is one of the few targets that are always a win-win.

Improved FCR rates will not only increase customer satisfaction, they will simultaneously improve cost effectiveness. At a time when all organisations, particularly those in the public sector, are trying to do more with less, this is vitally important.

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