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Tackling the First Call Resolution (FCR) Metric for Call Centers

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Author: Jon Mcdonald

In terms of tracking metrics for commercial call centers, the importance of First Call Resolution (FCR) cannot be overstated. As a metric for measuring how many customer issues are resolved on the first call, a high FCR rate is a sign of an effective and properly trained agent workforce.

By the same token, if customers are calling back on solvable issues, this points to the need for further training or operations modifications.

“FCR is both an efficiency measure and an effectiveness measure,” says Kristen Robertson, President of KR Consulting, Inc. “It is a leading indicator of customer satisfaction because customers want their support requests resolved immediately. FCR is also important to the support center because high FCR saves money.”

Customer satisfaction is built on successful FCR—but many call centers struggle to adequately measure it. According to a 2008 study by the International Customer Management Institute, just a little over 50 per­cent of the 300 con­tact cen­ter pro­fes­sion­als sur­veyed mea­sured FCR for live agent calls. This number fell further when it came to emails and chat: only 25 percent tracked FCR in email and only four percent in chat.

Why is FCR So Important?

Much of the difficulty in measuring the FCR metric seems to stem from the fact that FCR should ideally be defined from the customer’s perspective. Successful FCR is directly tied to a Customer Service Satisfaction Score (CSAT)—with 35 to 45 percent lower CSAT ratings reported when a second call is made for the same issue.

Another study conducted by the Service Quality Measurement Group revealed an even more direct connection: for every one percent improvement in FCR, a call center can expect a one percent improvement in CSAT. This leads to fewer callbacks, lower overall call volume and lower agent burnout rates—all resulting in more profitable operations.

How Can You Measure FCR?

While FCR can be tricky to measure, there are several ways to effectively analyze FCR:

    • Repeat-call tracking. Tracking whether or not a customer calls back one or more times regarding an issue they previously called about can go a long way toward identifying potentially ineffective or inefficient practices. Still, as a single metric, it can be deceptive: customers may route contact through alternative channels like chat or email if they feel their calls are particularly ineffective—or worse, opt for the competition.

Post-call surveys. A great way to gauge the effectiveness of a call, as well as measure CSAT, post-call surveys are ideal for gathering data straight from the source. Automation, in particular, can be useful for managing contact with customers post-call and synthesizing data into organized, useful reports.

Call quality monitoring. Simply monitoring whether the call was “resolved” or “unresolved,” as well as other pertinent details from the agent’s perspective, can color and inform FCR assessments in a way that makes modifying practices more efficient. Knowing how agents feel about calls will help guide any changes to FCR best practices.

Ensuring that customers hang up the phone satisfied that their agent interactions have met their immediate needs is vital to the success of any call center—and saves call centers valuable time and money.

FCR metrics can easily be measured and integrated into operations through the use of automation and the integrated business data analytics offered by TCN’s cloud-based call center software solutions.

Discover how to work smarter with technology solutions for the modern call center—check out our Top 10 List When Considering a Cloud-Based Contact Center Solution whitepaper.

About the Author: Jon Mcdonald


Jon McDonald manages new client implementation and on-boarding and ensures client satisfaction. Jon also oversees new employee orientation and training within the Customer Service & Support department. His international business has helped TCN grow and understand various verticals across many industries. He routinely travels to client sites and assists with setup and training for new accounts as well as troubleshooting and presenting new features to existing clients.