What is First Contact Resolution and how is it measured?

The First Contact Resolution is one of the main KPI to monitor when offering an assistance service, be it internal or towards its customers.

Digital Transformation is impacting both on sales methods and, consequently, on assistance ones: the Customer Experience is among the priorities of business investments, but it often has to adapt to the ever-changing needs of consumers, today technologically advanced who use various channels contact to interact with the company and the Customer Service.

For this reason, the performance indicators of the assistance services are constantly reviewed: to better reflect the trends and dynamics that govern customer behavior.

Define, measure and optimize the performance indicators of your Service Desk or of the Customer Service, has a positive impact on the ability to acquire new customers and retain existing ones.

What is the First Contact Resolution

One of the most significant and used performance indicators for Customer Service is the so-called First Contact Resolution (FCR).

FCR is defined by Gartner like "the ability to successfully resolve a customer's issue during their first interaction with an organization" that is the ability to satisfy customer needs through a single contact.

This performance indicator may vary depending on the operational context in which it is measured: for a Service Desk, the First Contact Resolution identifies the percentage of contacts resolved at the first interaction with the customer, without the need to forward the ticket to the 2nd Level.

On the other hand, for a Contact Center, the First Contact Resolution measures the percentage of requests processed directly online, on the first call, without further interactions with the customer. In fact, in this scenario, the KPI is often referred to as “First Call Resolution”.

The FCR indicator typically measures real-time interactions, such as phone calls or live-chat, but it can also be applied to e-mail o web-ticket, assuming a direct resolution of the problem highlighted by the customer within a predetermined period of time, the Service Level Agreement.

The advantages of measuring the First Contact Resolution?

Monitoring the First Contact Resolution is very important because it is a parameter that can highlight some valuable aspects of your service, such as:

• the professionality and competence of the operators,
• the complexity of the requests that are made,
• the level of preparation of the operators
• the quantity of repetitive problems, the solution of which could (possibly) be automated.

This performance indicator is able to significantly affect both Customer Satisfaction and the so-called Net Promoter Score.

In fact, when a problem arises with a product or service, the user first tries to solve it independently using self-service tools (such as the FAQ area or by consulting the Knowledge Base). However, if he fails to solve the problem, he turns to Customer Service with the aim of an effective and above all rapid intervention.

The "time" factor is therefore fundamental: if the Customer Service were able to solve the problem at first contact, it would help to enhance the user or customer satisfaction of that particular product or service.

Guidelines for Optimizing First Contact Resolution

But how can this indicator be optimized?

Below we indicate some guidelines to improve the First Contact Resolution typically attributable to two areas of intervention: the training of human resources and, at the same time, the implementation of a Knowledge Management system.

Since the First Contact Resolution is an indicator that also identifies and enhances the professionality of the operators, it is essential to plan a correct training of resources through briefing/debriefing sessions. This approach will help make Customer Service a valuable business area, oriented towards the "continuous improvement" of operational and assistance performance, leading operators to be more able to fulfill customer requests at the first contact.

The second area of intervention to encourage and increase the First Contact Resolution is represented by the ability to make available and, therefore, accessible to resources, a Knowledge Base capable of guaranteeing an always up-to-date and timely operation.

A knowledge management system allows the sharing of information, technical and functional specifications of the products, which enriches the skills of the teams dedicated to support and assistance.