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Once again it is time to revisit FCR. There are quite a number of new studies and statistics, which I will cite below.

Enkata’s white paper (2009 www.enkata.com) reports that only 40% of centers are measuring FCR, SQM Group puts the percentage at 50% (SQM’s World Class Call Center Book excerpt, p. 1), and less than 20% are measuring FCR for all of their calls according to a study by ICMI (International Customer Management Institute).

It was further noted that 65% of all repeat calls are the result of agent errors. For instance, if an agent:

1) Doesn’t give a confident answer

2) Doesn’t set the proper expectations

3) Doesn’t follow through on a commitment

4) Simply gives the wrong answer

A typical customer will not call back. Not only does this keep costs high, but it decreases customer loyalty and increases turnover. In addition, SQM Group suggests there is a 20% point drop in customer satisfaction for each additional call required to resolve the customer call. (SQP Group, FCR 2008, p. 3) Additionally, customers who did not get their call resolved are 5 times more likely to defect than those who had their call resolved (p. 5).

On the other hand, improving FCR can

1) Reduce overall customer calls

2) Decrease rework

3) Improve service

4) Enhance customer satisfaction

5) Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities

6) High value customer interactions

7) Take customers from satisfied to loyal

Six Common techniques for measuring FCR according to Service Agility (ContactCenterPipeline.com, March, 2009, p. 17)

Methods

Advantages

Disadvantages

1. Agent self-reporting

Ease of implementation

Agent bias

Minimal investment required

No way to correlate to customer callback on the same issue

2. Ask caller at end of call

3. Quality Monitoring System

4. Post-call surveys (IVR)

5. Post-call surveys (follow up call)

6. FCR-tracking technology

Based on customer’s perspective

Minimal investment required

Utilizes existing formalized quality program

QA team can validate all agent activity, including communication to customer and accuracy of documentation and follow up

Ability to analyze results by call type and identify process improvement and call center training opportunities

Ability to provide FCR-focused feedback and coaching to the call-handling agent

Provides immediate feedback from the customer’s perspective

Moderate investment required

No bias if customer opts for survey

Ability to provide FCR-focused feedback and coaching to the call-handling agent

Provides immediate feedback from the customer’s perspective

Moderate cost to support

Ability to provide FCR-focused feedback and coaching to the call-handling agent

Measures performance by call type

Identification of process improvement opportunities

Ability to track FCR by call type

Customer may not know if the issue has been resolved until later

No way to correlate to a customer callback on the same issue

Can be costly to get significant sample size

Based on subjectivity of QA team

Customer may not know if the issue has been resolved until later

Agent bias if it’s their option to offer the survey

Customer may not know if the issue has been resolved until later

Difficult to reach customers

Major investment required

If customer calls back from work, cell phone or other phone number data may not be captured


Research by TARP Worldwide found that agent self reporting typically results in 20% higher FCR than customer reported methods–reinforcing the importance of using several measuring techniques, like those suggested above, and then correlating the results, identifying the gaps, and initiating adjustments as needed. By evaluating the types of calls that are not resolved on first contact, you can determine common causes and revamp training, workflow, and coaching accordingly.

In order to truly calculate FCR, you need to know 3 things:

1) If it was the same caller

2) If it was for the same reason

3) If it occurred within a present callback time window

Top organizations recognize that agents are the true customer contact experts in the center. Therefore, encourage your agents to make suggestions, as well as offer feedback in support of FCR success.

We believe the best practice for measuring FCR is:

1) Ask the customer – ultimately they are the determining factor

2) If the customer completes a survey, there should be questions that ask, “Was your call resolved?” and “How many calls did you made to resolve your call?”

3) If the customer said the call was resolved in one call, then that customer experienced FCR

4) If the call is transferred and the next person resolves the issue–without the customer having to call back–it is still FCR. The customer only made the one call.

FCR is still the #1 driver of customer satisfaction. Don’t be one of the 50% or 60% of organizations not measuring FCR. Remember what gets measured gets managed, and what get managed gets better.

ROSANNE D’AUSILIO, Ph.D., an industrial psychologist, consultant, master trainer, best selling author, executive coach, customer service expert, and President of Human Technologies Global, Inc., specializes in human performance management. Over the last 25 years, she has provided needs analyses, instructional design, and customized, live customer service skills trainings as well as executive/leadership coaching. Also offered is agent and facilitator university certification through Purdue University’s Center for Customer Driven Quality.

Known as ‘the practical champion of the human,’ she authors best sellers “Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanize Your Interaction Hub,” 4th ed, “Customer Service and the Human Experience,” “Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack Your Personal Deck (includes a 32-card deck of cards)—motivational and inspirational readings, How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: 101 Insider Tips , How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: ANOTHER 101 Insider Tips (http://www.customer-service-expert.com), and The Expert’s Guide to Customer Service (http://www.customer-service-expert.com/report.htm) as well as her popular complimentary ‘tips’ newsletter on How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch! at http://www.HumanTechTips.com

Rosanne is also a Certified Call Center Benchmarking Auditor through Purdue University’s Center for Customer Driven Quality.  This certification training focuses on the access and use of key performance data to help better understand benchmarking results so as to advise on practical solutions for improvement.

For 10 years prior to starting her own organization, Rosanne had responsibility for marketing, budgeting, promoting and ultimately producing domestic and international computerized trade shows in the US, London, Belgium, and Frankfurt. She inaugurated, created, trained and directed a telemarketing on-site staff and was one of the first 150 people to attain CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certification.

She is a columnist for TMCnet.com and Ask the Expert at supportindustry.com. She represents the human element on the Advisory Board of an Italian software company, authors numerous articles for industry newsletters, and is a much sought after dynamic, vibrant, internationally prominent keynote speaker.