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Blog / Customer Experience

First Call Resolution: What It Is Plus Tips to Improve Your FCR Rate

Agent talking to a customer using a headset

A professional in any line of work aims to get the job done right the first time. In a contact center, that’s widely seen as FCR – First Call Resolution. We’ll explore the definition of FCR, why it’s important, what it means to your customers and your business, and how to achieve a higher FCR rate.

What is First Call Resolution (FCR)?

First Call Resolution (FCR) is the rate at which your agents can resolve a customer’s inquiry or problem during the first, and therefore only call.

There isn’t one widely accepted method for tracking FCR.

Calculation One: # of calls resolved on first attempt/# of calls received.

Calculation Two: # of calls resolved on first attempt/# of first calls received.

Both calculations will result in useful data, but the second one is the most meaningful. It’s comparing apples to apples, instead of apples to bananas. You can break it down further by determining the reasons or issues involved in the first calls that did or did not get resolved. 

Some contact centers rely on their agents to keep track of their first calls plus the results to determine FCR from that data. This can be as simple as asking at the call’s end, “Did I resolve your issue today?” Others use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, however, that approach has its flaws. A customer might make a first call from their cell and call again later from a work phone or another number. 

Another means of assessing FCR is using a post-call survey that asks the customer to confirm whether they will need to call again.

Whatever way you choose to track it, a general industry benchmark for FCR is 70–75%.

Why is First Call Resolution important?

FCR is widely viewed as the most important Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for a contact center to track. This is arguable; however, it does have a direct impact on Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), your reputation, and your bottom line.

Surveys show that 20% of previously loyal customers will leave a brand after a single negative experience. That number jumps to 86% in reaction to two bad experiences. What constitutes a bad experience? Having to call back to deal with an issue or get the answer to a question that they believe should have been resolved in the first call. According to contact center advisors, many customers place a high value on FCR.

Using ProcedureFlow is one way to lead to an improved FCR. The platform provides an easy-to-access, deep knowledge base, hosted in the cloud and instantly available to agents.

ProcedureFlow makes it easier for your customer service professionals to simply follow the process flow to assist customers and provides them with the info they need. So, your team can spend less time trying to figure out process info and more time focusing on fulfilling customer needs.

For instance, Medavie Blue Cross experienced a 6% higher FCR rate after switching to ProcedureFlow, and escalations from the contact center to Tier 2 support were reduced by 40%.

Benefits of Improved First Call Resolution

Your customers are comfortable handling their own life challenges. They’re booking complex trips via apps, creating home-delivered meal menus online, and decorating their houses by visualizing potential purchases with their smartphones— all without contacting another human being. Attention spans are shorter than ever, and expectations are higher than ever. You can win their hearts and minds—or more specifically, their business and dollars—by turning what’s perceived as a chore (the call) into another checkmark of completion on their to-do list.

Here are just a few benefits of improving FCR:

  • Slowing customer churn: Satisfied customers stay with you. As all business leaders are painfully aware, customer acquisition is expensive. Customer retention is priceless.
  • Sales opportunities: A customer who already likes you is more likely to make another purchase from you or your partners. They’re a much better bet for future sales than starting cold.
  • Improved employee satisfaction: A satisfied employee, one who feels they’re making a difference, is less likely to leave. Employee turnover also costs the company a lot of money.

First Call Resolution Best Practices

  1. Remove barriers between your agents and vital information. To complete the call the first time, call center agents need the proper tools. If they’re spending time searching through a patchwork of information, the waiting customer is growing frustrated by the delay. Give agents a single source of truth that they can find in an instant with ProcedureFlow.
  2. Improve agent trainingProcedureFlow makes agents experts faster. Scenario-based learning with ProcedureFlow develops muscle memory when it comes to handling real calls. There’s nothing more effective.
  3. Include the team. Empower your team to share ideas. Welcome their input. After all, they’re on the front lines, experiencing any roadblocks to achieving a better FCR rate. Allow them to contribute to dismantling those roadblocks.
  4. Track it. You’ll need a baseline from which to show progress. Using one of the methods mentioned above, determine your current FCR and set a goal for where you’d like it to be.

Tips for Improving First Call Resolution

Achieving an improved FCR starts from the ground up with questions to ask of your organization.

Do we have barriers that prevent our agents from accessing crucial information quickly? Is any of our information siloed?

Have we designed our processes to require minimal effort from customers? Have we shifted the burden off them and onto ourselves? Do we make customers feel valued and welcome?

Are the right staff members in place? Are they maintaining positivity and resilience with our customers? Do they know how to find what they need? Are we coaching them properly and refreshing their training from time to time? Do they feel confident that they can do the job, and if not, have we listened to their reasons why and considered implementing their suggestions?

Do we have deep insight into what our customers want? Are we evaluating our processes on a regular basis to keep pace with changing customer needs?

Would anyone like to bring donuts to share for Donut Fridays? Just an idea we’re throwing out there.


Your organization’s FCR rate is a crucial KPI. ProcedureFlow is a game-changer when it comes to increasing this metric. Talk to an expert to find out how this cloud-based knowledge management software can improve First Call Resolution rates for call centers like yours.

To find out how ProcedureFlow can help your employees reach proficiency faster, book a demo today.

Written by Lisa Brandt.

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