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First call resolution (FCR) -- what does it really mean?

A debate on what constitutes first call resolution (FCR) in the call center with advice from Lori Bocklund, call center metrics expert.

We are having a dispute in our organization about the meaning of first call resolution (FCR). Here are two scenarios: Scenario 1- Customer calls and our call center resolves issue immediately. Is this first call resolution? Scenario 2- Customer calls, and call center forwards as a warm transfer to Tier 2 for resolution. Tier 2 resolves the issue. Is this considered first contact resolution since the customer is satisfied the first time they called but not by the first person they spoke to? Please advise as the group is divided on this issue.

Your scenario 1 is the most common and precise definition of first call resolution (FCR). Generally, customers don't like to be transferred, and it is not efficient to have to transfer calls. First call resolution is a measure that reflects customer satisfiers (or dissatisfies), as well as efficiency. So the first definition is most appropriate. Having said that, the value of looking at these metrics is to figure out what can be done to improve them.

If your Scenario 2 is common (and thus the argument for it being the definition of the metric), some energy should be focused on why. Perhaps there are training improvements, knowledge tools, enhanced routing, or knowledge transfer that can take place to help increase the first call resolution rate as defined in Scenario 1.

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