Measuring first contact resolution

Many outsourcers prefer to measure first contact resolution (FCR) at your Service Desk subject to some eligibility criteria. When assessing that metric, they seek to exclude calls that cannot be resolved at the desk for any one of a number of reasons, eg, they are hardware requests, need specialist application knowledge, are designated as “catch and dispatch” calls or their client simply hasn’t provided a script. In a recent survey, we found that in-house desks don’t use eligibility criteria. They define FCR on the basis of all tickets. Only outsourced desks used a definition of FCR based on eligible tickets.

Basis for FCR measurementfirst contact resolution measurement

A cynic might say that vendors do this simply to increase their FCR scores. We prefer to think that they’re primarily concerned to measure the effectiveness of their service desks. This seems fair enough – they feel obliged to track the efficiency of the service they provide to their client.

But it is an example of an “inside out” metric, ie, it measures performance from an internal, service desk perspective rather than from the view of a stakeholder or customer. Another problem occurs when the vendor starts recording FCR scores over 95%. Vendors can become resistant to any notion of improvement if they think an element of their service is nigh on perfect!

Our advice is this. Use FCR based on eligible tickets if you find this metric helpful. But strive to get a broader view of your service by also measuring FCR as your users see it – the proportion of total calls that are fixed at the desk!