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Call Center Awards

Call Center – First Contact Resolution Benchmarking Study

Benchmarking Study = $10,000                     FCR/Csat Benchmarking Study Demo Self Tour

Call Center First Call Resolution Benchmarking Study

From a customer perspective, this study benchmarks your call center against 450 leading
North American call centers’ FCR, Csat and Customer Protection – CP SCORE™
performance, identifies repeat call reasons, provides proven best practices on
reducing repeat calls and awards call centers that have demonstrated
FCR, Csat and Customer Protection – CP SCORE™ excellence

SQM uses the Voice of the Customer (VoC) for helping call centers deliver sustained World Class First Call Resolution (FCR) performance. We work closely with our clients to improve their FCR which is the fundamental driver of World Class customer satisfaction (Csat). We believe in the value of outstanding FCR performance and understand its impact on protecting existing customer revenue for the entire organization. SQM has a successful track record of helping call centers improve their FCR and Csat. 70% of SQM’s clients show improvement in their FCR and Csat as a result of working with SQM.

Of all metrics, FCR is the most highly correlated metric to customer satisfaction. In other words, high FCR results in high Csat and conversely, low FCR, results in low Csat. In addition, FCR provides great insights into why a contact channel was not able to resolve the customer’s inquiry. It is SQM’s experience that the FCR metric is by far the most important metric for determining what to work on for improving the customer’s experience in resolving their inquiry when using your organization’s call center contact channel.

For our benchmarking studies, SQM uses VoC metrics such as FCR, Csat and Customer Protection CP SCORE™ to truly understand how your call center impacts the customer service experience, operating costs and the ability of the call center to retain customers. It is SQM’s belief that the call center’s main purpose is to resolve customers’ calls on the first call and to retain customers in order to optimize and protect the organization’s greatest asset – its customers.

Why Participate in SQM’s Call Center FCR Benchmarking Study

Do you know…

  • what your FCR, Csat and Customer Protection – CP Score™ rates are from a customer perspective?
  • how your FCR, Csat and Customer Protection – CP Score™ performance compares to over 450 leading North American call centers?
  • how your FCR and Csat performance is impacting your operating cost?
  • how your FCR and Csat performance impacts your organization’s ability to retain customers and the financial impact of not retaining those customers?
  • the reasons why your customers were not able to resolve their inquiry the first time?
  • the best practices for incorporating FCR as an operating philosophy and improving FCR performance?

If you don’t have quality answers to these questions, let the experts at SQM Group assist you in benchmarking and improving your call center first call resolution and customer satisfaction performance.

The 5 Benefits of Winning an SQM Award

  1. Recognition/Respect – SQM’s Call Center Industry Voice of the Customer/Employee Awards of Excellence program is the most prestigious and sought after North American call center service quality awards program. When you win an SQM award you gain recognition and earn respect from industry peers, within your organization and most importantly customers.
  2. Retain/Attract New Customers – Winners have used their SQM award as a marketing tool to inform existing customers and potential new customers about their world class customer service they provide.
  3. Retain/Attract New Employees – Winners have used their SQM award to inform their employees and potential new employees about the world class customer service they provide and/or the excellent working environment.
  4. Career Opportunities – Leaders of the award winning call centers have more career opportunities within their own organization, as well as outside their organization. Also, a CSR that is certified as a world class performer has more career opportunities because everybody wants them.
  5. World Class Performance Recognition – Winners gain recognition for performing at the world class level. World Class performance is determined by using the FCR metric. World Class FCR performance means that the call center provided great customer service and delivered that service efficiently. FCR is the metric that matters most because it measures both service quality effectiveness and cost efficiency.
Top 5 Reasons to Improve your FCR Performance

Reduce operating cost – for every 1% improvement in FCR, a call center reduces its operating costs by 1%. If a call center is performing at the FCR call center industry average of 70%, it is important to understand that, potentially, 30% of customers will have to call back because their issue was not resolved on the first call. It is also important to note that for the call center industry average, it takes 1.5 calls to resolve a customer’s inquiry or problem yet for customers who do not achieve FCR, it takes on average, 2.5 calls to resolve their call. This is an enormous opportunity to reduce a call center’s operating costs as repeat calls represent 23% of the average call center’s operating budget.

Improve Csat – for every 1% improvement in FCR, there is a 1% improvement in Csat (top box response). Clearly, FCR is highly correlated to Csat. In fact, of all the call center internal or external metrics, FCR is the metric with the highest correlation to Csat. The absence of FCR is the strongest driver of customer dissatisfaction. In fact, as previously mentioned, Csat (top box response) drops, on average, 15% every time a customer has to call back to get their initial call resolved. In other words, if a customer had to call in three times to get their call resolved their Csat (top box response) would be 30% lower than a customer who had their call resolved on the first call.

Improve Esat – for every 1% improvement in FCR there can be a 1% to 5% improvement in Esat. Call centers with high FCR tend to have high Esat. Conversely, call centers with low FCR tend to have low Esat. The level of stress is very high for the CSR who handles the second or third call from a customer whose issue was not resolved on the first call. Increasing FCR improves both Esat and Csat. The bottom line is that when customer calls are consistently resolved on the first call, Esat can increase substantially, especially for low FCR performing call centers. Most call center managers connect to the concept that high Esat can provide high Csat/FCR, but it also goes the other way in that high Csat/FCR can provide high Esat.

Increase opportunities to sell – when a customer’s call is resolved, it increases the customer cross-selling acceptance rate by up to 20%. SQM’s research shows that the customer’s needs must be resolved before the CSR has earned the right to move on to any type of sales activity. If the CSR cross-sells before the inquiry or problem is resolved, the customer typically becomes irritated and feels that the organization is pushing its needs, rather than serving the customer’s needs. As a result, the fundamental customer relationship is undermined.

Reduce customers at risk – only 2% of customers who have their call resolved on the first call expressed their intent not to continue to use the organization’s products and services as a result of their call center experience. However, if the call is unresolved, 19% of customers expressed their intent not to continue to use the organization’s products and services as a result of their call center experience. The cost of customer defections as a result of their call center experience tends not to be understood by call centers because it is not often measured. For many call centers, retaining customers represents the biggest opportunity to add true value to their organization. Resolving calls is the key to reducing customers at risk. In fact, for every 2% improvement in FCR there is a 1% improvement in call resolution which results in helping the call center retain customers.

Call Center FCR Benchmarking Study Methodology

The FCR Benchmarking Study takes key aspects of your call center’s FCR, Csat and operational performance and brings them together for a deeper insight into your first call resolution performance.

There are two surveys:

1. Post-Call Customer Survey
A random sample of 400 post-call surveys are conducted with customers who have had a transaction with your call center within 1 business day of their call. Surveys are conducted by a phone method using SQM’s telephone survey representatives who work in our Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Vernon, British Columbia research centers. The post-call survey is an in-depth interview and is 4-8 minutes in length and is based on up to 20 rating and open-ended questions. SQM’s call center post-call survey has a proven track record for measuring the attributes that accurately assess your FCR, Csat performance and CP SCORE™.

2. FCR Operational Survey
Call center management complete an FCR operational survey which has over 45 metrics covering areas such as speed of answer, talk time, number of calls a CSR handles per day, CSR salary and CSR turnover.

The data from these two surveys are collected separately. However, the benchmark study report combines the data so that you gain greater insight into what really drives your FCR and Csat performance.

Call Center FCR Benchmarking Report Deliverables


A 50 page FCR, Csat and Customer Protection – CP Score™ benchmarking report will be delivered to you and your management team via a conference call with a senior SQM consultant outlining your call center first call resolution, customer satisfaction, operational performance and opportunities for reducing repeat calls.

Specifically, SQM’s FCR and Csat benchmarking study will provide the following:

  • High level and detailed call center FCR and Csat ratings
  • Benchmarking comparison to leading North American organizations’ call centers
  • Amount of revenue the call center protected and lost
  • Unresolved calls impact on operating cost
  • Top 5 repeat call reasons and their improvement opportunity for financial savings
  • Targeted opportunities for reducing repeat calls
  • Best practices for improving your call center’s FCR performance
  • Entry into SQM’s Service Quality Excellence Awards Program

What’s Next

Option 1. Take SQM’s FCR/Csat Demo Self Tour.

Option 2. Contact SQM Group via email OR phone us at (800) 446-2095 to schedule a time where an SQM representative can walk you through the details of our call center benchmarking study.

Your Investment

The total investment for the Call Center First Call Resolution Benchmarking Study is $10,000 plus applicable taxes. If on-site consultation is requested, the only additional charge would be to cover travel and accommodation expenses for the SQM consultant to deliver the results to you and your team on-site.

Additional customer surveys for 15-20 questions is $11 per survey. Surveys with more than 20 questions have an additional charge of $1 per question.

To gain employee insights on your FCR effectiveness there is an additional charge of $4,000.


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