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What is first call resolution?

Please help with the definition "first call resolution" from a CRM/call center perspective.

First call resolution, simply defined, is properly addressing the customer's need the first time they call, thereby eliminating the need for the customer to follow up with a second call. First call resolution is the desire of every call center manager and, I would assume, most agents.

The primary goal of every support-oriented call center is to solve the customer's problem as quickly as possible and with as much finality as possible. Notice I didn't say "as quickly as possible" period. It is very easy to give customers answers that get them off the phone. It can be more difficult to give customers answers that don't lead to follow-up calls.

Of course, it's the follow-up call that presents problems for call center managers and customers alike.

Follow-up calls are a problem for a call center because of the additional cost of handling a second call that would not have taken place had the first call been resolved successfully. Follow-up calls lead to increased call volume and a need for more agents than would be necessary with high first call resolution rates. More seriously, first call resolution is vital to quality customer service. Forcing customers to call repeatedly to get answers to the same question is a good way to frustrate them and make sure they won?t be customers much longer.

Talk time (the average time agents spend on each call) is a common call center performance metric, but it can be a misleading one when taken out of context. Fast talk time averages accompanied by poor first call resolution rates are a recipe for disaster. Most call center managers would gladly trade increased talk times for increased first call resolution rates.

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