Top Three Strategies for Improving First Call Resolution (FCR): Jacada

Author: Guy Tweedle: SVP Jacada

Are you struggling to measure or improve FCR? You’re not alone. Despite its importance, it is nearly the hardest metric to measure accurately. One reason for that is that companies tend to view FCR differently. For some companies, a call is considered resolved on the first call if the customer never calls back, regardless of how many times the customer was transferred to other agents. For others, it is only considered resolved on the first contact if the customer talks to only one agent. In this case, if the customer has to be transferred to another agent, that is not considered resolved.

For our purposes, let’s view FCR through the customer’s eyes, because this metric, more than almost any other, is directly tied to customer satisfaction. How would your customers define it? Most likely, they want to call about an issue once and only once. Personally, if I call a contact centre with an issue, I don’t really care how long I’m on the phone – within reason of course – and I don’t care if I have to talk with one agent or three. What I do care about is that I made one call and by the end of that call, my issue was resolved. However, if I have to call back two weeks later because an agent said “no problem, sir, we’ll get that credit posted to your account within seven days” and ten days it is nowhere to be found on my statement... I’m calling back, very irritated, and in many instances, not doing business with that company again.

By all definitions, if a customer has to call back a second time, that’s bad news. It is inefficient, costly and irritating to the customer. And the customer service organisation takes the hit for it, even if it’s not the contact centre’s “fault”, i.e., a customer places an order for a sweater successfully through the contact centre and then fulfillment sends the wrong size, requiring the customer to make a second call. So, FCR is important and relatively simple in theory: a customer calls, your agents solves his or her problem, the customer hangs up and we all live happily ever after. While that may be oversimplifying it, it really shouldn’t be astronomically hard to do.

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