First call resolution is a term related to CRM system. It means properly addressing the customer’s need the first time they call. This eliminates the need for the customer to follow up with a second call. The average time an agent spends on each call is known as talk time and is a common call center performance metric. Moreover, fast talk time averages are desirable. However, fast talk time averages accompanied by poor first call resolution rates are a sign that customer calls are not being answered satisfactorily.
Follow up calls are consistently monitored by the call center managers because in addition to being an indication of customer dissatisfaction, follow-up calls create an overall increased call volume. This further indicates the increased requirement of agents. In most cases, an increase in talk time is acceptable as long as the first call resolution rate increases along with the talk time.
According to a research conducted by CFI Group states that FCR has the most impact on customer satisfaction, and therefore, a customer’s loyalty and likelihood to recommend. It also states that across all industries, almost a fifth of all callers hung up due to dissatisfaction as their issues could not be resolved. Out of these dissatisfied callers, 68% are at risk of defection, 43% said they would definitely defect, and 25% weren’t sure. Also, it has been reported that for every 1% improvement in FCR, you get 1% improvement in customer satisfaction. Moreover, if a customer’s inquiry or problem were resolved in the first call, only 3% of those customers would be at risk of switching to a competitor.
These days, some of the centers allow agents to determine if the customer’s issue was resolved on first contact while other centers use their QA (Quality Assurance) people to decide whether calls were resolved on first contact. However, this method is based on random sampling and doesn’t reflect a complete picture. On the other hand there are a number of centers that employ post-call surveys and directly ask the customer whether or not their issue was resolved on the first contact.