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First Call Resolution Comprehensive Guide Launched

First Call Resolution: A Comprehensive Guide

SQM Call Center FCR Experts

SQM Group developed a comprehensive guide for the first call resolution metric, the most important call center industry metric for determining performance.

FCR is the KING of all call center metrics because measuring & improving it helps reduce operating costs & customers at risk of defection, improves Esat & Csat, & increase selling opportunities & NPS.”
— Mike Desmarais, MBA - Founder & CEO of SQM Group
VERNON, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, April 26, 2022 / -- SQM group has developed a comprehensive guide for the first call resolution metric. This guide is based on conducting First Call Resolution (FCR) research with over 500 leading North American call centers, and SQM is considered the gold standard for defining, measuring, tracking, benchmarking, and improving FCR to deliver great call center customer service at the lowest cost. The guide answers the following questions:

- What is FCR?
- Why is FCR Important?
- How to Measure FCR?
- How to Improve FCR?
- How to Measure FCR Using CX Software?

The First Call Resolution Comprehensive guide contains videos, free PDF downloads, infographics, and most importantly, groundbreaking research that has helped shape the FCR metric. SQM has provided a brief overview of the guide below but for further information, view the complete First Call Resolution Comprehensive Guide Blog or download the FCR Comprehensive Guide PDF.

What is FCR?
First Call Resolution is a metric that measures a call center's performance for resolving customer interactions on the first call or contact, eliminating the need for follow-up contacts. The FCR metric is essential for monitoring a call center's operating cost efficiency and customer service delivery effectiveness. As a result, FCR is one of the most-watched call center industry metrics and is considered the most important call center metric.

Why is FCR Important?
FCR is not only a measure of customer service effectiveness but also measures the call center's operating efficiency. No other metrics provide effectiveness and efficiency insights to the level that FCR does. Furthermore, the First Call Resolution metric should be considered the most important call center metric of all metrics and KPIs due to the following positive impact areas when an increased FCR rate takes place: reduces operating costs, reduces customers at risk of defection, improves customer satisfaction, improves employee satisfaction, increases opportunities to sell, and improves the Net Promoter Score.

How to Measure FCR?
Below are the common practices for measuring and calculating external and internal First Call Resolution rates.

External FCR measurement is considered the most accurate method for measuring and benchmarking FCR. External FCR measurement lets the customer decide if First Call Resolution took place; after all, their opinion is what matters the most.

Internal FCR measurement can be insightful for trending First Call Resolution and is widely used by contact centers. Based on organization criteria, the FCR rate is determined. However, because the organization uses its own chosen internal standard for measuring FCR, the FCR data, in most cases, is not benchmarkable against other organizations' call centers.

How to Improve FCR?
SQM Group has identified four distinctive FCR Operating Strategies based on two variants: FCR focus and FCR scope. All four FCR Operating Strategies provide cost savings and improved CX. However, there can be significant differences in the benefits achieved from each FCR Operating Strategy. The four strategies are:

- Contact Center with a Cost Focus
- Enterprise-Wide with a Cost Focus
- Contact Center using CX Differentiation
- Enterprise-Wide using CX Differentiation

SQM Group’s view is that First Call Resolution is more than just a metric; it is a proven call center operating philosophy for people, processes, and technology operating practices for cost-effectively delivering great customer service. Below are the top 10 First Call Resolution best practices to increase the FCR rate.

1. Measure, benchmark, and track FCR and Csat for all touchpoints
2. Recognize and reward employees for FCR, call resolution, and Csat
3. Use VoC closed-loop FCR process improvement team
4. Create accountability for FCR, call resolution, and Csat
5. Agents and managers are hired for being a customer-centric fit
6. Performance management system incorporates VoC data
7. CRM and KMT are designed to help agents achieve FCR
8. Agents can contact subject matter experts in real-time
9. Supervisors are trained on how to coach agents for high FCR
10. QA evaluations include customer survey and call compliance data

How to Measure FCR Using CX Software?
SQM Group has developed an intuitive Customer Experience Management software that is excellent for capturing, measuring, and benchmarking first call resolution. SQM offers a Free Demo of their software for call centers looking to improve FCR and other key metrics.

For the complete comprehensive guide to FCR, visit SQM’s website.

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First Call Resolution Video - definition, benefits, measurement, and tips for improving it.