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Call Centers are the Last Line of Defense for Stopping Customers from Defecting

April 19, 2022 | 2min read

FCR Positive Impact on Customer Retention

Given the high percentage of customers using the call center last when they used another channel to resolve the same interaction, it underscores that the call center is the last line of defense for resolving an inquiry or problem.

Call centers need to improve their First Call Resolution (FCR) and call resolution performance to protect customers from leaving the organization. Our research shows that 95% of customers will continue doing business with an organization when FCR is achieved.

FCR Impact

Put differently, only 5% of customers expressed their desire to stop doing business with a company when FCR occurs. When it took two or more calls to resolve an interaction, 9% of customers said they would defect. However, an alarming 25% of customers said they would defect if their interactions were unresolved. In other words, when a call is unresolved, customers are five times more prone to defection than if they experienced FCR.


Call Resolution

The figure below shows that 45% of customers will tell someone about their experience and will tell only one person in the call center industry. For customers who experienced FCR, 41% will tell someone and, on average, will tell only one person. This means that 59% of people will not tell anyone if they experience FCR. However, 74% of customers whose call was unresolved and who were very dissatisfied with their call center experience will tell someone about their poor call center experience and, on average, will tell five people, who may then tell others.

In other words, many satisfied customers will tell no one, but those who are dissatisfied will tell many more. This is the basis of SQM's message that the call center's primary purpose should be to protect existing customers from leaving the organization. SQM's research shows that the average customer's experience when calling a specific organization's call center consists of a six to 10-minute call only two times, or less, per year. Given that most customers call a specific call center infrequently with a short call, an agent has few opportunities to provide great customer service.


Number of Customers