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The Impact of Different Call Lengths on First Call Resolution

Feb. 11, 2021 | 4min read

Learn about the impact that different call lengths have on first call resolution (FCR) rate from a customer perspective.

FCR Reimagined Whitepaper

Does Call Length Impact Your First Call Resolution Rate?

Call Length and FCR

SQM's experience is that most call centers do not measure the impact that different call lengths have on their first call resolution (FCR) rate from a customer perspective. This blog will answer the question, "Does call length impact FCR?" This blog's FCR data is based on post-call customer surveys and actual call length data.

SQM's call center industry research shows that the FCR rate is impacted by call length. Our customer experience survey research shows that the FCR rate goes down the longer the call length. For example, the FCR rate for the 1 to 3-minute call length is 72.9% versus the more than 15-minute call length, where the FCR rate is 62.1%. The FCR rate difference between the lowest call length (1 to 3 minutes) and the highest call length (more than 15 minutes) is 10%.

Most call lengths are between 5 to 9 minutes for the call center industry. For those call lengths, the FCR rate is 69%. FCR is the metric with the highest correlation to customer satisfaction (Csat) out of all call center internal or external metrics. The absence of FCR is the strongest driver of customer dissatisfaction. For every 1% improvement in FCR, there is a 1% improvement in Csat.

Interestingly, SQM has many call center clients with world class FCR rate (i.e., FCR is 80% or higher). For those world class FCR call centers, their FCR rate is 80% or higher for all call length times. Put simply, it doesn't matter if the call length is 1 minute or more than 15 minutes; their FCR rate is 80% or higher for all call length times.

First Call Resolution Rate by Minute (Grouped)

Call lengths impact on First Call Resolution

 

For most call centers, making call length shorter by improving people, processes, and technology practices represents an excellent opportunity for improving FCR. The key for improving FCR is to figure out what practices need to be changed to reduce call length to make it easier for Agents to provide FCR.

As previously mentioned, most call centers do not measure or know their FCR rate by call length based on using post-call customer survey feedback and actual call length data. At SQM Group, we have been measuring and benchmarking the voice of the customer (VoC) FCR rate for leading North American call centers for over 25 years. We benchmark the FCR rate with over 500 call centers annually.

FCR VoC Phone

If you're interested in understanding your FCR rate by call length based on VoC post-call survey feedback, click on the below link to learn more about our Call Center FCR/Customer Experience Studies.

Customer Experience Studies ▶

About The Author

If you liked this article, you can learn more about the author Mike Desmarais, MBA, and SQM Group.