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What's in a name? The FCR Challenge

One of the most popular call center metrics for measuring success is First Call Resolution (FCR). Pretty simple concept: your agent resolves your customer’s concern during the first call the Customer made to your brand. The FCR metric is a pass/fail metric with no gray area.

This changed with specialized departments.

Add in the specializations and the need to get ‘a supervisor’ or ‘XYZ specialist’ to help with the issue, and suddenly FCR gets a new definition.

First Call Resolution has changed to be First Contact Resolution; still the same FCR, but there is room to allow for the specialists to fit in. The customer’s issue is resolved on the first call to the contact center, but there are more agents involved in the conversation. This results in transfers and hold times. It isn’t as easy to determine if the customer’s concern is resolved in one call because now managers have to access call segments from other departments or depend on the customer to understand the metric when they are asked about it on a survey.

Let’s add in the social media channels.

We no longer have First Call or Contact Resolution, now we have First Conversation Resolution. Due to the size of the message allowed by a social media network, or the complexity of the issue, customer issues aren’t always able to be resolved with the first contact. They require some back and forth communication, similar to a phone, but it changes the dynamic of what FCR is.

Here are some examples of how social media FCR is different from other channels:

Verizon Twitter Customer Service 

A customer makes a statement and your brand replies with a link.

Your customer sends more than one message to you because they couldn’t fit it in one. Then you reply with a request for more information.

Citi Bank Social Customer Service 


Citi bank social media 

Social media managers have to rely on the quality of their social media management tool to thread conversations together in a coherent way. They also have to decide which agent gets credit for the FCR metric if several agents are used in the resolution of the issue. Some team models let the original agent work an issue from start to finish, others spread the work between levels or groups of agents that work a part of the issue before handing it off to another agent.

The bottom line?

The goal of FCR is to understand how many times your customer has to reach out to you to get a single issue resolved. Understand what FCR is meant to measure and tailor it to fit your business. For more on the challenges of FCR, check out this Hangout with Justin Robbins where we explore how entire industries have had to adjust.