Five Ways to Accurately Measure First-Call Resolution
When you call the bank for help with your credit card, you expect to get the issue fixed after you make the call, right? It’s the same story when your internet goes down and you call your ISP, you expect your line to be back up by the time you finish the call. This concept of getting things resolved on the first call is known as First Call Resolution (FCR) and it’s one of the key metrics of any contact center.
It sounds simple in practice, but measuring it can be challenging. So how does one go about measuring FCR?
FCR is such a hot metric for today’s contact center. FCR has been shown to reduce operational costs: fewer call backs means resources saved and put to other calls. A study from Ameyo shows that a 15% increase in FCR will result in a 57% reduction in repeat calls. That’s a lot of time and money saved!
The bigger cost is the potential loss of a customer: a survey done by American Express shows that 78% of their consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase due to poor customer service.
Another study from New Voice Media shows that $62 billion in business was lost due to poor customer service. Nothing points to bad customer service like needing to call two, three or more times for the same issue and still not getting it fixed.
So how can we measure and control FCR? Here are five of the most common methods used to measure FCR today.
1. Repeat Call Tracking
This is one of the simplest and easiest methods to implement. By identifying the same people calling and determining a window, you can reliably estimate whether the same person calling back is following up on a previous issue or calling for a new reason.
While easy to do with existing IVR and call switch technology, repeat call tracking doesn’t offer a detailed analysis of each call, and it doesn’t always get the metric right. It’s possible for a customer to call again within a day for a totally different issue, or to call for the same issue a week later.
2. Post Call Customer Surveys
Offering a survey to the caller to get the Voice of the Customer (VOC) for feedback is a very useful and insightful tool, and asking whether the customer’s concern was resolved gives you a definite answer as to whether you had FCR or not. You also get a very precise look at the customer’s mindset, and even the exact reasons why the issue was not resolved. The drawback of this method lies in its scalability: you may get a few customers taking surveys, but most callers don’t have the time or inclination to take a survey after their call, especially if the survey takes more than a few minutes to complete.
3. Quality Monitoring
Another way to check for FCR is having an internal audit team to check each call for resolution. A skilled quality rater can determine if the call was resolved based on what happened during the call, and checking system data to see if any requested changes have been accomplished properly. This method grades the call and provides feedback to coach the agent.
4. Agent Affirmation Tick Boxes
Similar to offering customer surveys, you can instead end each call with an affirmation from the agent such as, “Have I answered all of your concerns for today?” This gets the information directly from the caller, and the agent can notate this in the call resolution screen for that call. This can be implemented on every call, but the drawback is that it is more prone to agent error. You would still need quality raters to check a statistical portion of the calls to ensure that proper FCR is done.
5. Speech Analytics
A new technology to study calls allows contact centers to monitor calls and get good amounts of macro data for reporting. Speech analytics measures each call for specific phrases, the emotional character of the speech, and even figure out what topics are being discussed, and provide a complete report that managers can use to formulate strategies to improve performance. The technology is still relatively new, but it is quite effective in providing an overall picture of your actual FCR.
Each of these methods works well to give you a good picture of your FCR, but it’s one of those metrics that you’ll never really be able to get a precise, 100% accurate figure of. Fortunately, you don’t really need to know the exact percentage of calls and contacts getting FCR. The bigger picture is to put in the effort to ensure your customer’s concerns are being taken care of at the first point of contact, and to continually improve your processes.
By using one or a combination of these methods, you can run your contact center with an effective knowledge of what needs improvement, and make plans and adjustments accordingly to ensure that the most important concerns are being resolved. The bottom line is to keep your customers happy by resolving their concerns.