Get it Right the First Time

Mar 25, 2019

In the Information Age, it’s no surprise that data collection and analytics have become ubiquitous in the world of call center management. In fact, the tracking and improvement of key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential to running a successful organization. While almost all call centers maintain KPI goals, there is a widespread misconception regarding which measures drive success. This is demonstrated in the increasing dependence on efficiency and operational metrics, such as number of calls answered and average call time. While these measures boost organizational productivity, they do little to guarantee high levels of service quality and customer satisfaction.

A more useful metric to track would be the first contact resolution rate. A first contact resolution (FCR) occurs when an issue is resolved in one call. The FCR rate is simply the proportion of calls in which an FCR occurs. Several studies have determined that the FCR rate within a call center is the single largest driver of customer satisfaction. In fact, SQM Group performed a call center benchmarking study in which they found a nearly one-to-one correlation between FCR rate and measures of customer satisfaction. FCR rates, therefore, can more accurately gauge the sentiments of customers served.

The same study also determined that only about 43% of call centers track this metric. While this implies that the majority of call centers lack the data necessary to make informed business decisions regarding customer relations, it also highlights opportunities for growth. Organizations wishing to begin tracking FCR rates can do so using a variety of methodologies. For example, a survey could be administered to the customer immediately after the call to assess the status of the issue. This can be delivered by either the customer service representative or an automated system. Another solution is to have a third-party quality assurance evaluator monitor the call to determine if an issue was resolved. Possibly the simplest solution would be to estimate the FCR rate by tracking call back rates. If a customer does not call back within a predetermined length of time, then the issue is considered resolved. To ensure that the highest quality data are available, it is often beneficial for companies to measure the FCR rate using a variety of methods. It is also important that at least one solution relies on customer input in determining whether their problem was adequately addressed, which safeguards a call center from overestimating their FCR rate and potentially masking a deeper issue.

Tracking the FCR rate across call lines is crucial to the success of any call center-supported organization. It can often be the first step in identifying quality issues that negatively affect customer relations. By promoting the use of FCR rate as a KPI, executive leadership can shape call centers that promote efficiency without sacrificing quality or customer satisfaction. Centers that operate according to these principles can be invaluable resources for the organizations they support. It just goes to show: when it comes to resolving customer issues, it pays to get it right the first time.

To learn about the RevHub Call Center Calibrator, ASR’s solution module for call center analytics, click here.