Call Tracking Metrics: How to Measure First Call Resolution (FCR)

Call Tracking Metrics: First Call Resolution (FCR) is a tricky term, though it's one of the most important call center metrics for most organization. It’s almost as ambiguous as Customer Relations Management (CRM), which could either be a philosophy or a software package. FCR can be measured many different ways, from internal quality monitoring to external customer surveys.

Measuring FCR depends on two things. The first is your company’s definition of “resolution.” The second is your ability to pull data for your desired criteria. One company I worked with in the past considered a call resolved if the customer didn’t call back for the same reason within one week. Another company in the same industry considered a call resolved if the customer didn’t call back for any reason in 72 hours. Who was right?

They both were. One company had a longer time frame for the next call, but fewer constraints, i.e. it had to be a repeat of the same issue. The other company had a significantly shorter time frame, but more requirements, i.e. the customer could not call back for any reason. These were tech support queues, so if the tech agent determines the cause to be a billing issue, the billing issue must be resolved as well – the trick being that this involves another

Determining your own standard for resolution is critical. When thinking through this issue, consider these items:

  • Are you going to tie a bonus or incentive to the metric at the agent, team, or department level? If so, a metric that requires full compliance by other agents or other departments may not be well received by your employees.
  • Do you have the means to track customer interactions and measure resolution at this level? This would most likely involve a report from a CRM (the software kind of CRM, not the philosophical kind!). If you use multiple applications across the enterprise, you may not be able to accurately mine for data showing resolution across multiple business units.

As you measure FCR, you should try to use at least two reporting standards to allow for calibration. The best means for calibrating on FCR is to weigh an internal measurement against an external measurement. You may monitor a call and determine the CSR did everything correctly, and resolved the call within your support guidelines. However, if you ask the customer, he or she may not always share your opinion. Some variance is going to be present, especially in a billing department where customers are requesting credits. Your goal should be to identify where the variance occurs, and then try to minimize it.

A customer survey application is an ideal way to get your customer’s perspective on FCR, as well as other key performance indicators.

  1. Was their call resolved?
  2. Do your customers like your IVR / phone tree?
  3. Do they feel their call was answered fast enough?
  4. How do they rate the person they spoke with?
  5. How do they rate your products and services, will they buy from you again?

All of these questions can be asked through a survey, or a variety of surveys. In our next post we will discuss ways to tarnsfer the caller to the survey and incentives to get the customer to participate.