What is First Contact Resolution Rate?
Your First Contact Resolution (FCR) Rate is a measure of your ability to resolve the issues that your customers face in their very first interaction with you.
It is the percentage of support requests across all channels & touchpoints that your agents managed to resolve in the very first interaction, without making your customers wait for you to get back to them at a later time.
How is First Contact Resolution measured?
If you’re looking to measure your first call or first contact resolution, you need to tweak and tailor it for your organization, your agent’s skills, your communication channels, and the best practices that your company defines.
Some businesses only measure first contact resolution for phone or video calls. Others include it for their chatbot and live chat conversations across the website, mobile app, and social media handles. There also are disagreements about whether customer support queries that necessitate a callback, a transfer to another agent or department, or an escalation would count as first contact resolution.
How to calculate First Contact Resolution Rate?
Your first contact resolution rate is calculated by dividing the number of support requests that your agents resolved in the very first interaction, by the total number of customer support requests that you received during a certain period of time.
First Contact Resolution Rate = [(Number of cases resolved in the first interaction)/(Total number of cases)] x 100
Why is First Contact Resolution Rate important?
Your first contact resolution rate is an indicator of your efficiency is resolving customer issues. It is also tied very closely to your CSAT score. Customers are impatient beings. They want answers immediately. The higher your first contact resolution rate, the greater your customer satisfaction levels tend to be.
Usually, a first contact resolution rate near 90% is considered high, while 74% is considered average and anything below 40% is considered rather low. But, these numbers tend to vary according to industry.
What are the advantages of high first contact resolution rate?
1. Increases retention
Substandard customer service is a major cause for customer churn. Solving their issues in the very first interaction will create a better customer experience, cause your customers to stick with your business for a longer period of time.
2. Revenue growth
When you resolve customer issues in the first interaction consistently, your customers will trust you more. It would even be easier to upsell and cross-sell, while increasing retention, thus increasing your customer lifetime value and your revenue.
3. Reduction in cart abandonment
According to Forrester, 53% of customers abandon their carts because they do not receive immediate answers to their questions. A high first contact resolution rate would help you save a vast portion of the carts that would otherwise be abandoned.
4. Increases agent productivity
When your agents resolve issues the first time around, they won’t have to worry as much about followups and repeat requests. This allows them to take care of more customers than they could if each issue took multiple conversations to be resolved.
First Contact Resolution Rate best practices
Here are a few things you could consider doing to improve your first contact resolution rate:
1. Effective routing
Route queries to agents who are equipped to deal with them. This saves you the effort of sending them through multiple agents and departments till they reach someone who can actually handle them.
Engati Live Chat routes conversations based on context to the agents which are best suited to handle them.
2. Empower your agents
You can’t expect to have a high first contact resolution rate if your agents allows need to seek permission from their managers before committing to a solution.
The Ritz Carlton puts a number on this. Their employees are allowed to spend upto $2000 to solve customer issues and create great experiences for them, without needing to ask their managers.
While $2000 dollars an incident would be unrealistic for many businesses, they could still set reasonable limits, giving their agents a fair amount of leeway.
3. Train your agents
To have a high FCR rate you need to train your agents effectively. They need to understand your product so well that the need to escalate the call to a subject matter expert is minimized.
In addition to your agents, you should also train your chatbot on a continuous basis. As your business grows, so do your customers’ needs and queries. Keep an eye on the insights on the analytics dashboard of your chatbot platform. You’ll be able to see what customer queries your bot was not able to answer. If you notice that a lot of your customers are asking the same question (or a variation of it), you should train your chatbot to answer that question effectively, so that the conversation does not need to be transferred to a live agent.
4. Ask whether they have further queries
At the end of each interaction, your customer support agents need to ask your customers whether there is anything else that they can help them with. You want to make sure that all the issues that the customer faced have been resolved and that no new issues have come up during the support interaction. If any did arise during the interaction, you should make sure to solve them as well. This will help you solve all their queries, improve your first contact resolution rate, and even get your customers to see that you care about them and are not just trying to get done with the interaction as quickly as possible.
It will even help you get an idea of how effective your customer support is.