One of the most critical IT support metrics to track, whether you’re running a Help Desk or a Service Desk, is first contact resolution (FCR).
Let’s take a look at the FCR statistic, covering how to calculate and define it, as well as best practices and improvement techniques.
What is the definition of first contact resolution?
The percentage of inbound service calls or requests that are resolved during the first engagement with the customer, avoiding the need for the customer or IT Support to make a second contact, is known as first contact resolution.
FCR is one of many IT support indicators that businesses can monitor.
What makes FCR so important?
It’s crucial to keep track of your IT Support first contact resolution rate for two reasons. First and first, customer happiness is driven by FCR, which should and must be assessed. High customer satisfaction levels are frequently connected with high FCR rates.
First Contact Resolution (FCR) can be used in conjunction with other measures to determine their effectiveness.
Consider combining FCR with Average Talk Time (also known as Average Handle Time) for service calls—that is, the amount of time an agent spends with a customer during a call—as a metric for determining customer satisfaction.
Fast Average Talk Time rates mixed with low FCR rates are seen to be an indicator of low customer happiness.
Second, FCR rates have an impact on IT Support personnel. Low FCR rates typically suggest more follow-up calls for customer complaints, necessitating the hiring of additional service desk agents to handle the incoming calls.
A high FCR rate indicates that IT Support is properly resolving customer needs the first time, decreasing or eliminating the need for a second contact by the customer or IT Support.
The FCR can reflect how well you’ve trained your service desk agents, the tools you make accessible to them (such as diagnostics, remote access, and so on), and even your efficiency and ability to service more customers with fewer resources, depending on how you set up your IT service desk metrics.
How do you calculate the FCR?
How do you define First Contact Resolution (FCR), given that you can’t improve what you can’t measure, and you can’t quantify what you can’t define? FCR is commonly calculated as either gross or net FCR using the following equations:
Because many tickets cannot be addressed on the first encounter, Net FCR is a more valuable and widely used metric. Hardware requisitions, software rollouts, and local or regional concerns, such as an email or Internet outage, will necessitate numerous touchpoints and levels of support to be resolved.
You must first determine which tickets are FCR-eligible and only count those tickets when computing your net FCR rate.
FCR measurement best practices
First Contact Resolution (FCR) measurement can get problematic in the following areas, in addition to employing Net FCR over Gross FCR. To look at realistic IT and business outcomes, you’ll need to alter your measurements like you would with any metric. Here are some pointers on how to measure FCR more precisely:
For both direct and indirect tickets, adjust the first contact resolution.
Because there are so many various ways to enter service tickets, companies must alter their definition of what constitutes first contact resolution dependent on whether each service ticket was entered directly or indirectly, and through which channel.
First contact resolution tickets should be assigned to service desk contacts that are addressed immediately through directly answered phone calls or chat sessions.
For tickets that are begun indirectly through voicemail, email, the company’s website, or social media platforms, you may need to change your definition
If the resolution and notification occur within the organization’s Service Level Agreement, indirect tickets may be regarded first contact resolved (SLA). Consider a company that guarantees a three-hour response time for service tickets.
The ticket should not be considered first contact resolved if the service ticket is not resolved and the customer is not informed until the next business day. Other organizations may not allow indirect service tickets to be resolved through the first contact method.
Consider whether and how indirect tickets should be counted in your FCR strategy. Also, look at your SLAs to see if they have any implications for your first contact resolution criteria.
Determine whether a ticket was resolved at the time of the initial interaction.
The question of whether individual tickets were addressed on first contact is not a frivolous one. For both directly and indirectly replied tickets, some of the more prevalent methods of determining first contact resolution status include:
Counting that is done automatically.
If the ticket was resolved on the first call, the ticketing software will automatically mark it as an FCR resolution.
Reporting from the agent. The IT Support agent determines whether a problem was resolved on the first interaction and labels it as such for directly originated tickets. If you’re using agent reporting, you should conduct monthly ticket audits to ensure that your agents are reporting their FRC tickets correctly.
The consumer is given a post-call survey asking if the ticket was resolved on the first contact, and based on their response, the ticket is tagged yes or no on first contact resolution.
When a live transfer happens, define the first contact resolution.
Many people believe that First Contact Resolution (FCR) means the ticket was handled on the first contact if the client contacts IT Support and the issue is resolved in a single unbroken contact.
What if the customer contacts IT Support, the agent conducts level 1 diagnostics, and then transfers the ticket to a level 2 agent in real time?
Was the ticket resolved on the first contact if the level 2 agent was able to handle the issue on the handoff from the level 1 support agent?
Some organizations may respond positively, while others may respond negatively.
It’s critical to set limits for whether or not live transfer tickets should be included in your Net FCR rate.
Take a look at FCR and reopened tickets.
Is the First Contact Resolution (FCR) rating withdrawn if a ticket tagged as FCR resolved is reopened because the issue recurs?
It’s standard procedure for businesses to keep a ticket open for 24 hours after it’s been resolved, and then reopen it if the consumer reports that the remedy didn’t work. When calculating your FCR rates, remember to account for reopened tickets.
These difficulties are essential for accurate FCR tracking. Make sure you’ve specified your FCR eligibility and tracking criteria, that everyone engaged understands them, and that your system is set up to count FCR tickets based on them.
Consistency in marking and counting FCR tickets is essential for obtaining an exact count—without correct figures, that measure would be useless to your company.
How to improve your FCR rates
Tier 1 support should be able to do Tier 2 responsibilities.
Give tier 1 support agents the knowledge and power to resolve common issues, eliminating the need for them to escalate some calls to tier 2 support.
Consider whether you want to train and authorize tier 1 agents to escalate email address changes to tier 2 support, for example, if this is a typical occurrence.
Examine the items that tier 1 frequently escalates and see if any of them may be handled by tier 1 agents with the appropriate authority and a script for making the change or repair.
The greater the number of jobs or tickets that tier 1 agents can do, the more likely the task will be completed on the first contact.
Make items for a knowledge base for common, easily repairable problems.
One of the reasons issues are escalated is that the customer or tier 1 support does not have the necessary knowledge to resolve the issue. Analyze incoming requests and use a knowledge document to decide which items can be easily repaired by the customer or lower-level IT assistance.
If you make those knowledge docs available, you’ll see an increase in first-contact resolution rates since specific situations, events, and requests won’t need to be escalated.
Common issues can be automated.
Self-service automation for common ticket items should be implemented. Password resets are one of the most typical IT support requests—the customer’s password has expired or has been forgotten.
Implementing and training your clients on how to use an automatic self-service password reset system would provide immediate assistance in restoring expired or forgotten passwords, especially on weekends when IT support is scarce.
Automation can improve customer satisfaction if it can quickly resolve an issue without requiring a call to the help desk.
Enhance the procedure
Conduct a ticket analysis to identify the customer’s common pain points, where things go wrong frequently, and what technical support is needed to resolve. Then you must address the issues. First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates improve as issues are removed. It also minimizes the frequency of IT assistance calls, which will please both employees and consumers.