SQM Group

First Call Resolution Measurement Best Practice

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a metric that measures a call center's ability to resolve a customer's inquiry or problem on the first call with no-repeat calls required for follow-up from the initial call reason.

Benefits for Measuring and Improving the FCR Rate

As the old saying goes, "you need to measure FCR to improve FCR." FCR is the KING of all call center metrics because it helps reduce operating costs and customers at risk of defection, improves customer and employee satisfaction, increases selling opportunities, and improves Net Promoter Score®. Below is an infographic of the 6 Benefits of Measuring and Improving First Call Resolution. Two great examples of benefits of measuring FCR are "every 1% improvement in FCR, there is a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction" and "every 1% improvement in FCR increases transactional Net Promoter Score® by 1.4 points."

6 benefits of First Call Resolution

You should continuously measure the FCR rate based on external and internal FCR measurement methods. Combining external and internal FCR measurement methods is a powerful approach to measure FCR rate and conduct repeat call analysis so that you can action FCR improvement initiatives.

External FCR Measurement Method

External FCR measurement is considered to be the most accurate method for measuring FCR. External measurement lets the customer judge whether First Call Resolution took place; after all, their opinion is what matters the most. In most cases, a post-call phone or email survey method is used for external FCR measurement. The FCR questions are asked via email, IVR, or a phone survey method. Many call centers contract a 3rd party to conduct these surveys. The external approach for measuring FCR yields high FCR accuracy but can be expensive. 

One of the FCR external measurement method's main advantages is that it uses a standardized approach for measuring FCR, allowing an organization to benchmark FCR against other contact centers. FCR internal measurement methods (e.g., repeat calls tracked) do not have a standardized approach for measuring FCR. Therefore an organization can not benchmark its internal measurement of FCR to other call centers.

Internal FCR Measurement Method

Internal FCR measurement can be very insightful for trending First Call Resolution and is widely used by contact centers. It is common for the internal FCR measurement to use workforce suites, CRM, and ACD telephony technology methods to determine the FCR rate. The internal FCR rate is based on whether the customer called back for the same issue within 1 to 30 days. Choosing the appropriate callback time can be difficult, and as a result, there is no standard for internal FCR measurement, making the FCR rate less accurate. You can use internal methods for measuring FCR to analyze repeat call reasons. Internal FCR data offers an extensive data set for conducting root cause analysis for repeat calls to identify targeted opportunities for improving FCR based on data-driven information.

The external FCR measurement method is an outside-in approach, where the customer determines if FCR is achieved. Conversely, the internal measurement method is an inside-out approach, where the organization determines if FCR is reached. When using internal FCR measurement methods, FCR tends to be 10-20% higher than external FCR measurement methods. But, if you understand the internal FCR measurement method's limitation, this can be an excellent approach to view FCR trends over time.

Client Case Study

FCR Measurement Best Practice

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS

2020 FCR Measurement
Best Practice Winner


FCR is more than just a metric; FCR is an operating philosophy. They have incorporated FCR into their people, processes, and technology practices.

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