When a customer calls a contact center, they have a clear objective in mind. That objective might be to pay a bill, buy a product or service, or ask a question. They want to achieve that objective as quickly as possible, ideally without having to call a second time. The "first call resolution" metric is a measure of how many contact center calls are resolved on the first attempt.

What is First Call Resolution?

The simplest first call resolution definition is that first call resolution (FCR) is a measure of the number of customer service calls that are successfully resolved upon the first contact.

This metric is rarely used in isolation. It's usually considered alongside the average handling time (AHT), which is a measure of how much time the caller spends on the telephone. Of the two, FCR is perhaps the most important, because customer dissatisfaction has been shown to increase if a customer has to call back to get an issue resolved.

First Call Resolution Strategies

Improving first call resolution means training your contact center staff to understand best practices and how to communicate clearly with customers. The key points are as follows:

  • Make sure you understand the needs of the customer
  • Ask qualifying and clarifying questions
  • Set clear and appropriate expectations
  • Keep the customer informed throughout the call
  • Be confident
  • Make it clear that you understand the urgency or challenges of the call
  • Don't commit to something if you're not sure you can deliver
  • Bring in second-line or senior support if required
  • Follow through on any promises that you make
  • Ask the customer if there's anything else you can help with

First Call Resolution Tips

The points listed above should be a part of any general customer service training, including first call resolution training.

If you've noticed that your first call resolution rate is lower than you think it could be, your first step should be to investigate the reasons why people are calling back and figure out what's going wrong during that first call.

Is there a specific call category that's attracting the most repeat calls? Are certain agents resolving a lower percentage of first calls than others?

With the right contact center analytics tools, you can identify the areas where your first call resolution rate is being pulled down. You can then invest in training your customer service agents, improving call screening and routing, and upgrading your CRM tools to allow your staff to do a better job.

At 8x8, we offer some sophisticated contact center tools that can make it easier to understand how calls are being processed within your company. Our customer experience analytics tools, CRM software, quality management tools, and omnichannel routing products give you the information and tools you need to improve customer service, handle high call volumes and address complex cases successfully.

If you'd like to know more about our tools and how they can help your business, contact us today to discuss our contact center services or request a quote.