Improve First Call Resolution Rate to Drive Increased Profitability

Learn how you can boost your profitability by improving your first call resolution rate in this quick guide from the business productivity experts.

Improve First Call Resolution rate to drive increased profitability

Every company should aim to lower its costs, increase its sales and revenues, improve its customer satisfaction levels, refine their operational performance and efficiency and develop their employee engagement whilst maintaining true to their brand and service offering.  The metric First Call Resolution rate (FCR) is a key success metric used in call centres but is overlooked in non-call centre based businesses.

Knowing this metric gives a business a competitive advantage over their competition if they are not using it. Why? Because it can drive reduced costs, more sales opportunities, enhanced staff productivity, improved marketing results and fewer customer service issues.

Creating an efficient working environment that drives these goals seems challenging, costly and time consuming.

A low First Call Resolution rate means reduced customer satisfaction levels, increased operating costs and higher call volumes. In working with our clients we see this metric is a key driver in understanding how to improve customer satisfaction and improve operational efficiency.

To use FCR for non-call centre style businesses we need to define it differently to how it is used in a call centre where it is used to ensure agents are properly trained, that they receive the right type of calls for their role and have the necessary information to hand to resolve all calls quickly and efficiently whenever possible.

However you don’t need to be an insurance company to have a call centre. If inbound sales and customer service calls are important to your business then you have your own contact centre that needs the FCR metric defined, measured and managed.

First Call Resolution rate for businesses

Defining the First Call Resolution rate for your business then measuring it consistently can be hard to achieve. Not all calls can be resolved on the first call. Those that can’t be should be identified and managed accordingly perhaps via the BridgeBox IVR or call routing to ensure those calls are taken by an agent focussed on those types of calls, e.g. billing, delivery or lost property issues where further investigation may be needed.

The First Call Resolution rate for a call centre would have a single purpose, to measure customer satisfaction on the first call. BridgeBox Business FCR assessment improves both call quality and reduces call volumes.

Defining FCR for business needs to embrace other call levels to gain full advantage of this key business metric:

BridgeBox First Call Resolution rate business levels:

FCR levelHow measuredPurposeFCR for the Customer

Call analysis
Post call surveys
Agent post call keyingGrade the calls against a predefined criteria to assess customer satisfactionFCR for SalesCall analysisAssess if sales opportunity was properly assessed and managed for sales resolution rate.FCR for MarketingCall analysis

Call statistics

Assess if lead was correctly managed and logged for accurate marketing analysis.FCR for customer serviceCall analysis

Call statistics

Assess call driver or reason, that it was correctly evaluated and acted on.

FCR for AgentsCall analysisAssess agent training, correct attitude with information to hand.

Measuring First Call Resolution rate

When do you measure FCR? It can be challenging, time consuming and costly to achieve in a consistent way.

There are challenges to assessing this value:

  • Agent bias as to whether the call was resolved or not
  • Understanding the customers perspective on resolution

In any business there are multiple touch points; on the phone, web enquiries and in social media and there are the follow up calls too. By monitoring First Call Resolution rate on the inbound sales and customer service calls however, you gain insight that will be reflected in your other customer touch points too. Slow or ill-defined call handling will most likely also show up in poor enquiry form management. The root cause analysis of many issues lay at a much deeper level in a company in training, recruitment, values and culture.

Business level FCRs are a good metric to evaluate both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of operational performance.

Drive operational performance improvement

With BridgeBox call analysis we create a framework for accurate and consistent measurement and root cause identification. This can cover any or all of the following:

  • Identify the contact types that need further investigation.
  • Once the metrics have been defined and measured then analysis of the different call types will guide the further actions needed to create improvements.
  • Develop and communicate internal business best practice
  • Promote a focus on First Call Resolution rate throughout the business
  • Fix and streamline business processes for increased efficiencies
  • Ensure staff are properly trained with correct information to hand
  • Build into your training programs
  • Update recruitment programs

These measures will reduce the cost per resolution, improve customer satisfaction, lower agent attrition, increase conversion rates, customer retention and improve loyalty. This will drive increased profitability.

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