Customer Support Metrics 101: First Call Resolution Defined + Do’s and Dont’s

In her book, Spectacular Support Centers: Best Practices for Small to Mid-Sized Help Desks and Technical Support Centers, Kristin Robertson once said, “[First call resolution] is both an efficiency measure and an effectiveness measure. It is a leading indicator of customer satisfaction because customers want their support requests resolved immediately. It is also important to the support center because high FCR saves money.”

This definition of First Call Resolution gives you as a business a clear view of the importance of valuing FCR’s. Your employees’ time will be freed, your customers will be happy, and when you crunch the numbers, your company comes out in the positive. Smaller organizations may feel that this metric doesn’t quite apply, but it’s equally important to be aware of your team’s effectiveness as a small business as it is when you hit it big. Prioritizing the amount of times you can hit that FCR goal for the quarter can also be a really positive and motivating factor to toss around with your company, so that everyone stays involved with the group’s goals on a whole. But Robertson’s follow-up sentence reveals the other side of the coin: “Beware of putting too much focus on this metric without balancing it with re-open rates.”

It is easy to sing the praises of what a high FCR can do for you. But it’s also easy to overlook the downside. If you view the FCR as the all-important goal and you don’t keep an eye on the quality of the service you’re offering, you will wind up with a lot of disgruntled customers who don’t understand why their issue wasn’t fully taken care of when they first opened their concern. If this becomes a trend in your company, rather than seeing positive side-effects of FCR, you will see a very slippery slope into a customer relations nightmare. In this day and age, people will sound off from all manner of cyber platforms to let everyone and anyone know what kind of service your company gives, so make sure you keep yourself on top of the dangers when pushing for those FCR’s in your customer service department.

With all of that in mind, you can safely set your team’s sights on achieving the right amount of FCR’s by giving them the information and software they need to comfortably resolve your customer’s concerns on the first contact point. If you ensure that your agents have a good knowledge base, a reliable system of customer management with easily accessible information, and a ready, dependable management team to back them up, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of FCR without weathering the detriments! 



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