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05 Steps to Improving First Contact Resolution (FCR)



These five steps will provide a powerful First Contact Resolution (FCR) plan that will give you the information and tools needed to improve your assisted-service channels’ performance. First Call Resolution is often used as a benchmark, and samples and averages are sufficient for these purposes. The steps below outline the things that a business needs to do for sustainable, fact-based First Contact Resolution improvement.

#1 – Measurement must be reliable and consistent

FCR measurement that you take in your contact centers needs to provide the same information about your agent performance and customer experience today that it does tomorrow and the next day. The measurement needs to be based on a single and consistent set of automated rules and provide consistent and fair results for all agents.

#2 – Measurement must be accurate and auditable

You can’t manage the customer experience directly; you can only manage the tools that you control. The information you collect on FCR should be used to manage your agents consistently, and as a result, you will need to be able to provide specific examples of good and bad performance. The summary numbers you provide must be an accurate representation of that agent’s performance, and you need to be able to prove its validity as well.

#3 – Coverall interactions and all channels

To provide an example to an agent of a specific repeat call for a specific repeat reason, you would potentially require a survey sample size that exceeds your entire interaction volume for the month. By capturing information on every interaction, you can easily locate the examples you need for an agent or process improvement leading to increased FCR.

#4 – Measurement is actionable down to the individual agent, customer, and interaction level

People, processes, and technology make up your contact center. Customer interactions occur with systems and with agents, and the information you collect should provide information on each of these different ‘views’ of the overall experience. By providing detailed information on customer experience as the customer sees it and looking at that same information from the agent’s viewpoint, you can connect the dots between what the agent does and what the customer experiences. You can now take actionable steps towards understanding what changes in the call center will do to the customer experience and the subsequent effect on cost and revenues.

#5 – Repeat reasons should be identifiable

Imagine if your child in grade school came home with a report card that told you that their average for the term was B+. With no detailed per subject breakdown of the marks, you wouldn’t be able to help your child improve. You could only provide a broad tutoring program across all subjects hoping that the overall mark would go up. Contact centers are often managed this way, with attention paid to specific units and specific tests that may be particularly bad but not representative of the overall performance. By capturing contact reasons on all contacts, you can start looking at FCR performance on a per subject basis and start helping the agents improve in the specific subjects’ areas they have problems with.


I'm Nikos Alepidis, blogger at motivirus. I'm passioned for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire people to become better.

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