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Increasing First Contact Resolution rate (FCR) can make a huge impact to the cost savings in your customer service. We have all experienced it – a lengthy customer service journey where a customer needs to make repeated contacts with the customer service to resolve a problem. It takes valuable time from the customer service team and makes a dent to the overall customer experience if the customer is being moved from one agent to another.

Maybe you can relate to the following story: Customer is having a problem when using a product. There is no suitable solution in the product support website, so he calls to customer support. Five minutes on the waiting queue and he doesn’t get through. He asks his wife to call as well to double their chances. When he finally gets to speak with a customer service agent about the problem, the first agent doesn’t know how to help with that specific problem and forwards the call to a more experienced agent. Customer needs to explain the problem once more to the new agent to eventually find they do not have authorization to make any actions because of a company policy. Customer is not happy about this, but agent promises to respond once she has an answer. One-week later agent sends an email to the customer stating that he needs to be in contact with a repair shop. Customer calls to the repair shop, explains the problem once more and finally gets an answer he was looking for.

As you can see from the story above, this journey can be troublesome for the customer as well as customer support. What if the first contact would have been resolved immediately? Or being more specific – How would it impact the customer service if 15% more of first contacts would be resolved in first attempt? Hold on to your seats and find out what cost reductions can FCR improvement bring to your customer service.

FCR is one metric that can show the performance and efficiency of your contact center. FCR measures the capability to solve a customer problem during the first contact. Usually this is the percentage of resolved issues on the first attempt. The other side of the coin is repeated contacts. Callcentre Helper webinar poll states that 10-24% of contact volume is generally made up from repeat contacts in customer support. That poll asked the question “What percentage of your contact volume are repeat contacts?” and almost every fourth customer service expert stated that 25-100% of their contacts are repeated contacts. Why aren’t these solved with the first contact? Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and explain what FCR improvement could mean for your cost savings.

Global average of First Contact Resolution rate is 70-75%

Why should you invest in improving FCR?

In general, the benefits of improving FCR are as follows:

  • Increased service quality and performance
  • Increased customer service availability when solving issues faster
  • Cost savings when reducing repeating contacts
  • Reducing call-escalation volume to 2nd tier
  • Increase employee satisfaction
  • Customer loyalty and upsell opportunities will increase

Below you can find an example scenario with some fictional information. In this scenario, there is a contact center with 650 agents with an annual salary of $45000 per agent. This contact center receives 333000 contacts every month and the current FCR is 75% (the global average of FCR is 70-75 % by Callcentre helper industry standards). This means 25% of all contacts are repeated contact.

Only a small improvement can make a difference! 75% First contact resolution rate might sound OK but there is more than meets the eye. In this scenario, if you can improve the first contact resolution rate by 15% you able to reduce the number of repeated contacts by 12500 per month.

Every contact has a price tag and that way you can calculate the number of cost savings for reducing the repeated contacts. In this case, total labor cost reductions from improved FCR will be $29000 a month. This comes from the average handling time of a contact which is six minutes. Yearly it will be $348K in cost savings.

By reducing repeated contacts you are able to save time. If your average handling time is 360 seconds, saved hours can be 1250 hours per month in this scenario.

15 % improvement in FCR can bring your customer service over $ 350 K annual cost savings

This was only if a 15% improvement was made. 30% increase would have meant $696K cost savings. What other development could you invest in with those additional savings?

This is only one example but as we love examples here are a few others with different variables:

Example 2
Agents  300
Contacts 150 000
FCR 60%
Improve FCR 10%
Cost savings / month $ 14 000
Annual savings $ 168K
Example 3
Agents  100
Contacts 50 000
FCR 55%
Improve FCR 35%
Cost savings / month $ 18 000
Annual saving $ 220K

It is valuable to reduce the number of unnecessary contacts because that will impact the ticket volumes. If you need to help with high ticket volumes read our 6 tips for overcoming high ticket volumes in customer service.

Try out the Surveypal FCR improvement calculator!

Want to know how much your company can benefit from improving FCR? Come on in and try out the Surveypal FCR improvement calculator. Add the necessary information and we will let you know how much savings you are able to make when investing in FCR.. and it is 100% FREE!

How to improve the FCR?

You need to identify the repeating contacts and where they are originating. Once you understand these repeating contacts and spot the weakest agents you can train your agents to improve efficiency. Sometimes increasing the average handling time can make remarkable results when contact takes longer but it is solved at the first attempt.

We’re sure you got this, and remember that we got your back! Want to learn more about how we make customer support feedback work for you? Book a meeting with our Surveypal experts.

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