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Mastering First Call Resolution: How to Boost Customer Satisfaction

Learn what first call resolution is and how it can boost your customer satisfaction.

An important aspect of customer satisfaction is customer service. Customers who have an issue with your product or service want answers fast. Unfortunately, bottlenecks, improper training, and a poor customer service strategy can affect your customer satisfaction rates.

You already know the importance of customer service, but are you measuring your efforts? Measuring customer service performance is crucial. Without understanding how your customer service is performing, you won't know if your customers are happy with your products and how well you handle their issues.

While a single bad customer experience is enough to scare prospects away for good, having a good customer service strategy can help turn dissatisfied customers into loyal customers because of how you handle their complaints.

First call resolution is a metric to determine how effective your customer service strategy is and if your agents delight customers and keep them satisfied. When a customer calls you, they expect a solution quickly. Keep reading to learn more about this key customer service metric and how to improve your first call resolution for higher customer satisfaction rates.

What is first call resolution?

First call resolution (FCR) is a customer service resolution metric that helps you gauge customer satisfaction by how fast you solve their problems. It's a measurement of your ability to solve customer issues, questions, and complaints on the first call or contact.

Ultimately, striving for resolution during the first communication with your customer can help your business succeed. It means you're able to solve customer issues immediately, improving their entire experience with your brand.

With first call resolution, no follow-ups or repeat calls are required; the customer shouldn't reach back out, and you won't have to follow up with them to ensure their issues were resolved.

Why is first call resolution important?

First call resolution can help you determine how effective your customer service strategy is and help you save time. The less time you spend resolving customer complaints, the more you can focus on other business initiatives. Additionally, the faster you satisfy your customers, the more money you can save since agents can serve more customers in less time.

The overall goal of measuring your first call resolution is to determine how quickly your customer service agents delight customers to reduce churn rate and increase customer satisfaction.

While first call resolution is an important metric, it's not the only one you should measure. Call centers often measure time to resolution, call abandonment rate, and average speed. These metrics can help you determine if your customer service is effective.

Benefits of first call resolution

Every business should use first call resolution to ensure their customer service agents are supporting your customer experience efforts. For example, if a customer is unhappy with your product or service and you can resolve it on the first call or contact with them, you can expect the following benefits:

Reduced costs

The faster your customer service agents can serve customers, the more customers they can help in a day. First call resolution can tell you how quickly you can resolve customer issues, and improving your first contact resolution rate can give agents more time to focus on intensive customer complaints.

Increased efficiency

Increased efficiency results in reduced costs and the ability to serve more customers. Call centers answer thousands of calls a day to support customers. A high first contact resolution rate means you're more efficient in your customer service efforts.

If you're handling the customer service inquiries in-house, you can get more done in a single day, which may allow your customer support team to focus on other initiatives like helping the sales team sell more.

Improved customer satisfaction

First call resolution means you can satisfy customers on the first call. When your customers don't have to follow up or wait to hear back from you, they'll be more satisfied with your customer service.

Being able to solve problems quickly is crucial, and the faster you can deal with customer service issues, the happier your customers will be.

More opportunities to sell

Salespeople sometimes take on the role of customer service in small businesses. If your salespeople spend all their time on the phone with customers trying to solve issues, they have less time to sell. By increasing your first call resolution rate, your salespeople can return to what they do best — selling more for your business.

Increased customer retention

Resolving customer issues on the first call can improve your customer retention rates because it increases their satisfaction with your business. Many of your customers are reasonable and will allow you to make something right. If you can resolve their issues immediately, you can impress them with quality customer service that keeps them coming back for more.

How to calculate first call resolution rate

The formula to calculate first call resolution is as follows:

FCR= (Resolved cases/Number of cases) x 100

You can find your first call resolution rate for any given period. For instance, if you resolved 500 cases this month and there were 700 cases, your first call resolution rate would be 71%.

What is a good FCR performance rate?

A good first contact resolution rate depends on your business, market, and customers. Some businesses may have more complex customer issues.

For instance, an e-commerce company might handle consumer inquiries about shipping and delivery. But a B2B company might have to deal with customer service issues regarding broken equipment, which may take longer to resolve.

In general, a good first call resolution rate is around 75%. However, while striving to improve your FCR, you should understand it's not the only metric that tells you how effective your customer service teams are.

Quality customer service is always more important than your metrics. It may take several calls with a customer to ensure they're satisfied with your product or service but aim to solve your customer's inquiries the first time around.

How to improve first call resolution

Improving your first call resolution can increase customer satisfaction and retention. However, building your customer service strategy can take time because you must identify common patterns and devise processes that enable you to streamline your efforts.

Follow these first call resolution best practices to improve your customer service:

Set clear expectations

Your customer service team should have clear expectations for the metrics you're tracking. By telling them you're aiming for a certain first call resolution ratio, you can help them track their customer service calls better.

Of course, you shouldn't put too much emphasis on metrics; make sure your agents understand that customer satisfaction is more important than the number of calls it takes to make customers happy.

Provide ongoing training for employees

Customer service agents should be provided with ongoing training to ensure they have enough information to effectively serve customers.

For instance, if you launch a new product, you must ensure your employees understand its features and how it works to walk customers through troubleshooting. Additionally, you should provide them with scripts to help them provide a cohesive support experience for every customer.

Monitor and measure performance

Monitoring and measuring your performance is the only way to know if your first call resolution efforts are succeeding.

Of course, some days will be better than others, so don’t focus too much on looking at daily metrics. Instead, look at this metric monthly and quarterly to ensure you're improving or maintaining a good first call resolution ratio.

The best way to measure your performance and ensure your customers are satisfied is to send customer surveys after each resolved customer service inquiry. With customer feedback, you can find new ways to resolve issues faster while making them happier.

Use technology to streamline the process

First call resolution doesn't just affect call rate. We live in a digital world, and your customer service team needs to be armed with the tools they can use to best serve customers, which may mean chatbots, ticketing software, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and social media. Using customer service platforms can integrate your different tools into one dashboard, allowing agents to resolve issues faster.

Additionally, these platforms can provide key metrics to help you transform your customer service experience and serve customers better.

Create a customer-centric culture

An important first call resolution tip to increase your FCR rates is to adopt a customer-first customer service philosophy.

A customer-centric business strategy puts the customers at the forefront of your business, making it easier to solve issues and prevent them in the first place. When your customers know you care about them, they'll be more satisfied with the products and resolution options you provide.

Deliver exceptional customer service with First Call Resolution

First contact resolution is just one customer service metric that can help you satisfy customers more efficiently while measuring the performance of your customer service strategy.

Whether you use chatbots, live chat, social media, a ticketing system, phone calls, email, or all of the above, you must measure how quickly you can resolve issues and find ways to improve your first call resolution ratio.

Gathering feedback is one of the best ways to learn about customer experiences with your customer service team. Use Mailchimp to generate customer surveys to collect the valuable feedback you need to support your customer service efforts.

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