April 29, 2014

First Call Resolution - It’s Not Only a Quality Metric

I consider First Call Resolution (FCR) the “magic metric” for call centers, because it has impact on both quality and costs.  
Most managers concentrate on the quality side of FCR, and for good reason.  Our statistical studies show that FCR correlates with customer satisfaction.  It is very easy to understand, intuitively, why customers are happier when they can resolve their issue with their first call.  

Often ignored, however, is the impact on contact center economics.  Relatively few managers do the math to understand how improving their FCR can help the bottom line, and help them justify needed investments. While an in-depth analysis of a particular center requires considerable customization, the following is a short primer for inbound customer service/tech support centers that will help you to begin wrapping your mind around this issue.

First, calculate your average cost per call.  As an initial cut, simply take your entire budget (include all direct costs) and divide by the number of calls taken; let’s say the cost is $8.00 per call.

Benchmark your FCR against that of your industry.  If your FCR is 65% and your industry’s average is 75%, then you know your window of opportunity for improvement is, at least, 10%, to be on par with the average for your industry.  
Next, determine how many calls, on average, are needed to resolve issues that are not resolved on that first call.  Our studies show that 1.5 is a reasonable estimate.  

Pulling things together, here is a sample situation:

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