Name one person you know who has never contacted a company's support. There probably isn't one, is there? What about someone who was dissatisfied when they solved their issue on the first contact? Nobody. First Contact Resolution (FCR) is a rewarding experience for every customer.
It's likely you've been there. You want to contact support and get your problem solved the first time round. And when it happens, you feel relieved, and your satisfaction with the company grows. Now take the company's side. You want to create positive experiences to increase employee satisfaction and retention. So, one way to achieve that is by measuring the help desk metric First Contact Resolution.
Read on to learn more about FCR, how to calculate it on InvGate Service Desk, and what best practices to follow for an optimal customer experience.
First Contact Resolution definition
First Contact Resolution measures the percentage of customer inquiries solved during the first contact with a support representative without requiring the customer to reach out again for further assistance.
Why is FCR a relevant help desk metric?
FCR is critical for companies to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of their customer service. It directly impacts customer satisfaction. When somebody reaches out to a support team, they are often experiencing a problem that causes frustration and inconvenience. Suppose their issue is resolved quickly and efficiently during the first interaction with a representative. In that case, the customer is more likely to have a positive experience with the company and feel satisfied.
In addition, FCR can help reduce customer effort, another crucial factor in customer satisfaction. When somebody has to reach out multiple times to solve an issue, it can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience. By solving issues on the first attempt, the support team can reduce the time and effort customers must spend to address their issues.
Finally, this indicator is an essential measure of operational efficiency. When a support team can solve issues on the first attempt, it reduces the need for additional follow-up interactions, saving time and resources for both the support team and the customer. The result can be increased productivity, improved response times, and more efficient use of resources.
How to calculate First Contact Resolution on InvGate Service Desk
To calculate the FCR on InvGate Service Desk, follow these steps:
- Go to “Reports” and create a new request.
- Select the metrics to calculate FCR: “Requests,” “Answers,” and “Assignments (Escalations).”
- Drag and drop the dimensions “Creation date,” “Solution date.”, and “Agent.”
- Add the filter “Status is Closed.” You can also filter by agent, creation date, and solution date.
- In Visualization, choose “Details.”
- Count the number of tickets with answers equal to 1 and escalations equal to 0.
- Divide the number of tickets calculated in the previous step by the total number of tickets.
- Multiply the result by 100 to get the FCR percentage.
The formula to calculate FCR is the following:
FCR rate = (Total number of tickets resolved on first contact) / (Total number of customer tickets)
For example, if a company received 100 customer tickets and successfully resolved 75 of those tickets on the first interaction, the FCR rate would be calculated as:
FCR rate = (75) / (100) * 100 = 75%
This indicates that 75% of customer tickets were solved on the first interaction without requiring any additional follow-ups.
What is a good first contact resolution rate?
There is no one-size-fits-all benchmark for FCR rates, as they can vary depending on the industry, the complexity of the product or service, and the customer demographics. However, some general guidelines can serve as a market standard.
According to industry reports, such as the call center company SQM Group report, the average FCR rate across industries is around 70%. However, some industries have higher FCR rates, such as technology and software, which can reach up to 90%, while others have lower rates, such as healthcare or financial services, which can hover around 50-60%.
The best way to determine a good FCR rate for your company is to establish a baseline by tracking it over time and comparing it to industry averages and your own performance goals. This way, you can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to enhance FCR rates and overall customer satisfaction.
Pros and cons of measuring FCR
Measuring First Contact Resolution is crucial for businesses that aspire to provide excellent customer service. While it has several benefits, there are also some drawbacks if you are focusing solely on this metric.
- Improved customer satisfaction and retention - Focusing on FCR ensures customers solve their issues quickly and efficiently, leading to higher satisfaction. Also, they are more likely to remain loyal to the company and recommend it to others.
- Reduced costs - Resolving customer issues during the first interaction eliminates the need for follow-up contact or ticket escalations, reducing the Cost per Ticket.
- Greater agent productivity - When agents resolve issues during the first interaction, they can handle more requests in a given period. Better agent productivity can further cut support costs.
- An incomplete picture - Focusing solely on FCR may provide a partial view of the customer experience. Companies should track additional metrics such as Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, and Customer Effort score to gain a complete picture of the customer experience.
- Overemphasis on FCR can lead to an over-reliance on self-service resources - If companies prioritize FCR above all else, they may push customers towards self-service resources even if those resources do not contain the most accurate or up-to-date information, leading to customer frustration and potentially necessitating follow-up interactions. To overcome this disadvantage, companies should use self-service options as part of a broader suite of support channels to provide a well-rounded customer support experience.
- Potential for gaming the system - Focusing solely on FCR can lead agents to prioritize speed over quality, which may result in a bad customer experience. To overcome this drawback, companies should encourage agents to prioritize quality over speed by providing adequate training, support, and incentives that promote a positive customer experience.
5 First Contact Resolution best practices
1. Clearly define what resolution is
Before measuring this metric, defining First Contact Resolution for your company is crucial. This definition should be consistent across all channels and interactions. For example, if a customer contacts a support representative with an issue and follows up with a second inquiry related to the same topic, does that count as one interaction or two? You should clearly define these parameters to ensure consistency.
2. Define what constitutes a successfully resolved issue
You should align this definition with customer expectations and communicate it effectively to all customer service agents. This way, all agents work towards the same goal and clearly understand what is expected of them.
3. Monitor re-open rates to improve FCR precision
To accurately measure FCR, tracking the number of times customers need to reopen a ticket or contact support for the same issue is essential. By analyzing reopen rates, you can identify common tickets that are not being resolved adequately and take action to address them.
4. View the whole customer journey
FCR doesn't always happen on the first interaction with a customer service representative. It's important to consider the entire customer journey, from the initial contact to the resolution of the issue. To do this, you need to understand how customers interact with your company across multiple channels of communication, including email, phone, chat, and social media. By analyzing the customer journey, you can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to enhance the overall experience.
5. Empower customers with self-service options
By providing customers with resources and tools to solve their issues independently, companies can reduce the Ticket Volume, leading to higher FCR rates for the remaining interactions.
Self-service options can include a FAQ section, a knowledge base, online tutorials, or chatbots that can quickly answer common customer questions. These options improve FCR rates and enhance the overall customer experience by providing customers with quick and convenient solutions. Additionally, self-service options can help reduce handling times, increase agent productivity, and decrease support costs, making it a win-win for both companies and customers.
How to improve First Contact Resolution
Improving FCR is crucial for businesses that aim to provide excellent customer service. Here are some tips and ideas to help improve FCR at your help desk:
- Provide adequate training - Proper training ensures your support team has the knowledge and tools to achieve FCR. This includes providing them with product knowledge, communication skills, an internal knowledge base, and problem-solving techniques. When support representatives are properly trained, they are more likely to be able to resolve customer issues in a single interaction.
- Provide a knowledge base - Offer a centralized repository of information with answers to common customer requests and issues. Encourage agents to use it to quickly and accurately provide customer solutions. Additionally, providing customers with self-service options can reduce the need for human intervention and improve FCR.
- Implement automation processes - Automation helps handle simple inquiries and issues, freeing human agents to focus on more complex customer inquiries. Implementing tools like workflows, ticket assignment rules, automated reports, AI-powered replies, and predictive suggestions can improve FCR by quickly resolving simple issues without requiring follow-up interactions.
- Improve communication channels - Providing customers with multiple communication channels, such as email, chat, and phone, can improve FCR by allowing customers to choose the medium they are most comfortable with.
- Analyze customer data - Analyzing customer data with dashboards and reports can help identify trends and common issues. Use this information to make improvements to your customer service processes and training.
- Track FCR consistently - Consistently tracking FCR is crucial to identifying areas for improvement. Use FCR data to set goals and benchmarks for improvement and regularly review and analyze the data to ensure progress is being made.
In today's competitive marketplace, providing exceptional customer service is critical to maintaining customer loyalty and driving business growth. First Contact Resolution is a vital metric for measuring customer service performance, and should be a key focus for any company that wants to enhance its customers' experience.
The benefits of tracking this indicator include improved customer satisfaction and retention, reduced customer effort, operational efficiency, increased agent productivity, and reduced costs. Organizations should know how to calculate the metric to track and analyze it over time and identify areas for improvement, implement best practices, and optimize their performance.
InvGate Service Desk's dashboards and reporting capabilities are the best way to easily and clearly stay on top of your help desk metrics at all times and make informed decisions to improve your support services. Ask for a 30 day free trial to see for yourself!