Have you ever called customer service… and then been forced to call again days or even hours later because your issue wasn’t resolved properly? It’s frustrating for everyone. Your customer is annoyed that they have to spend more time on the phone and your busy call centre has yet another call to handle.
A recent survey found that 80% of customers churn due to dissatisfaction with service quality and worse, it only takes one negative experience. That’s right, it only takes one negative experience with your contact centre for a customer or prospect to take their business elsewhere.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. All you need to do is pay attention to your first call resolution (FCR). In this blog, we’ll discuss what FCR is, why it’s important, how to calculate it and most importantly, how to measure and optimise FCR to improve the customer experience.
What is FCR in call centres?
First call resolution, also called first contact resolution, is defined as a company’s ability to handle a customer query, issue or complaint the first time they get in touch. For call centres, this means being able to resolve a customer’s issue the first time they call. It sounds simple on paper, but without the right tools in place, you might find your FCR rate is much worse than it should be due to follow-up calls or lack of knowledge.
What is FCR important for contact centres?
FCR is considered an important measure of contact centre efficiency, as it indicates that your agents are equipped with the skills they need to provide solutions to problems and queries. It gives you insight into how well your contact centre is performing operationally and where you can improve. It should be a key focus if you want to provide quality customer experiences.
The benefits of good FCR include:
Higher customer satisfaction and retention rates.
Time and money savings for your contact centre.
Increased agent productivity and confidence.
Don’t just take our word for it. Studies have shown that for every 1% improvement in FCR, businesses also see a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the Ascent Group claims that businesses who measure FCR for at least a year improve their performance by up to 30%. Gradual improvements can have huge overall impact.
How to calculate FCR rates
If you want to improve your FCR, you need to know where you stand. To calculate your FCR rate, you need to know the total number of resolved customer calls as well as the total number of customer calls over a particular time frame.
For example, let’s say over the course of a month, you had 1,000 calls and you were successfully able to resolve 850 of them without any follow-ups. To calculate your FCR rate, you would simply follow this formula:
FCR = (Total number of resolved calls / Total number of calls) x 100
So, in our scenario, we would divide 850 by 1,000, then times that figure by 100. This would give us a FCR rate of 85%. That sounds pretty good, but what is deemed to be a good FCR rate? The industry standard for call centres tends to be between 70-75%, meaning only a quarter of the customers that call need to get back in touch.
How to improve FCR in your contact centre
1. Monitor and analyse customer calls
The first step in improving FCR is to understand why your customers are calling. To do this well, you need more than a small sample of customer calls, you need to be monitoring and analysing customer calls at scale. Call intelligence software can automatically monitor and analyse calls, giving you comprehensive keyword data and common queries or issues, making it easier to address and resolve customer calls the first time.
2. Use tools to automatically log interactions
In addition to automatically monitoring and analysing calls, you also need a clear way of tracking the calls that are coming into your contact centre. Call tracking software is a must. But you don’t just want to know which customers called and when, you also need visibility on when agents call back to get accurate FCR rates. With Infinity’s Outbound visibility, you're going to be able to track and analyse all outbound calls in the same way as you can for your inbound calls.
3. Improve your self-service offering
One of the simplest ways to improve FCR – and even reduce the volume of calls altogether – is to invest in self-service options for customers. For example, creating an FAQ section on your website which makes it easy for customers and prospects to independently find solutions. Being able to provide effective self-service usually involves gathering intel from customer calls at scale, which is where Conversation Analytics comes in handy.
4. Enhance your scripts with real call intel
If you notice that customers are calling to ask the same types of questions over and over again, or a simple issue occurs often, you need to start using this information to build an internal knowledge base. By collecting FAQs and using them to create more detailed and efficient scripts, your team are equipped to resolve queries in the first instance and free up their time for more complex issues.
How Conversation Analytics can improve your FCR rate
With Infinity’s Speech analytics suite, Conversation Analytics, you can take steps to improve your FCR rate using real customer intel.
Being able to identify the finer points of conversation quickly and easily using call categorisation gives you the context and nuance that can be difficult to track when you’re handling high volumes of calls. Conversation Analytics can tell you things such as:
Why people are getting in touch, by monitoring and logging the topics of conversation, including any associated keywords and phrases.
The outcome of each call, so you can surface trends from calls that delivered positive or successful outcomes.
How customer sentiment is changing throughout the call, so you can pinpoint exactly what makes the phone call experience positive or negative and improve from there.
When you put Conversation Analytics and Agent ID together, things get even more interesting. You can gain actionable insights in to how well individual agents are handling the calls coming in, and going out, of your contact centre are. You can uncover the best calls to use for training, rapidly upskill your teams and decrease average handling time, all while increasing conversion rates and ensuring that your customers are truly satisfied.
Plus, Conversation Analytics integrates seamlessly with many contact centre technologies and CRM systems, including Vocalcom. This allows you to harness rich data automatically and draw links between marketing data and customer data.
Matt is Head of Brand at Infinity. He has extensive experience helping B2B and B2C brands enhance and manage their reputations, nail their positioning, and launch hard-hitting campaigns through data-driven decision-making.