What Is First Contact Resolution Rate And How To Calculate It

Calculating first contact resolution rate can help dramatically improve your customer service. Here's what you should know about the metric
Published on: Oct 24, 2022
Last updated: May 15, 2023

TL: DR

  • First contact resolution or first call resolution (FCR) rate is the percentage of customer support issues that are resolved on the first contact with the company.
  • This metric is essential for businesses because it's a good indicator of customer satisfaction and can help reduce customer churn.
  • To calculate your FCR rate, divide the number of issues resolved on first contact by the total number of customer support issues.
  • There are many ways to improve your FCR score, such as training your customer support team, implementing a knowledge base, and improving communication between departments. 

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First contact resolution rate (FCR) is one of the most crucial customer support metrics to track. It measures the percentage of customer support inquiries that are resolved on the first try. This metric is important because it can help you identify and fix problems before they become more significant issues, which can help decrease customer churn and increase customer satisfaction.

Previously, we've tackled how to calculate customer retention rate, CSAT, and Net Revenue Retention. In this blog post, we'll explore what first contact resolution rate is, why it's so important to your company, and how to calculate it.

What is first contact resolution rate?

First Contact Resolution Rate, sometimes used interchangeably with First Call Resolution Rate, is a metric that calculates how many customer requests and questions are resolved during the first contact with customer support.

In the ideal scenario, there would not be a need to have any follow-up calls or contact after the first interaction.

This metric is important because it helps you understand how efficient your customer support team is at resolving issues. For example, a low first-contact resolution rate could indicate that your team needs more training or that there are systemic issues that need to be addressed.

A high first-contact resolution rate, on the other hand, is a good indication that your team is doing a great job. It also frees up customer support reps to handle more complex issues and helps reduce customer frustration.

Since your first contact resolution rate can directly impact your CSAT scores, it's essential to keep track of this metric and work towards improving it. In fact, by reducing any issues in your customer support interactions, customer satisfaction levels will naturally rise as customers are constantly searching for convenience.

For example, if a customer has to make multiple support calls to resolve an issue, they're likely to be less satisfied than if the issue was resolved on the first call.

How to calculate first contact resolution rate

Now that you understand what first contact resolution rate is and why it's important, let's explore how to calculate it. The formula for this metric is actually quite simple:

First Contact Resolution Rate = (Number of issues resolved on first contact / Total number of customer support requests) x 100

Not sure how this works? Here's a simple example. Let's say you receive 1,000 customer support requests in a month, and your team is able to resolve 650 of them on the first contact. You would divide these two numbers together and times by 100 to get 65% as your first contact resolution rate.

If you want to get a more accurate picture of your first contact resolution rate, you can break it down by channel. This will help you identify which channels have the highest and lowest rates so you can focus your efforts on improving the channels with lower rates.

To do this, simply replace the Total number of customer support requests in the formula above with the number of requests for each channel. This will give you the first contact resolution rate for each channel.

First contact rate vs. First response time

  • First Contact Resolution Rate measures how many tickets are closed on the first contact, while First Response Time measures how long it takes for a support agent to reply to the customer. While they may seem similar, they are actually quite different.
  • First Response Time is a measure of efficiency and is used to calculate how quickly your team is able to resolve issues. On the other hand, First Contact Resolution Rate is a measure of effectiveness and is used to calculate how many issues are actually resolved during the first contact.
  • First Response Time is important because it gives you insight into how quickly your team is able to resolve issues. A high First Response Time means that your team is taking too long to resolve issues, which can lead to customer frustration and, ultimately, customer churn.
  • First Contact Resolution Rate is important because it gives you insight into how many issues are actually being resolved during the first contact. A low First Contact Resolution Rate means that your team is not doing a good job of resolving issues on the first contact, which can lead to customers having to make multiple support calls and can ultimately impact customer satisfaction.

To sum it up, First Response Time is a measure of efficiency, and First Contact Resolution Rate is a measure of effectiveness. Both are important metrics to track, but they provide different insights into your customer support team's performance.

What is a good first call resolution rate?

Now that you understand how to calculate your first contact resolution rate, you might be wondering what a good rate is. According to industry reports, a good FCR rate will range between 70% to 79%. However, the higher the rate, the better.

See our breakdown of FCR by industry to see what you should be aiming for.

Aside from industry benchmarking, you can also compare your first contact resolution rate to your internal data to see if you're improving over time. If you see a decrease in your first contact resolution rate, that could be an indication that something is wrong, and you need to take action.

How to improve your first contact resolution rate

If your first contact resolution rate is low, don't despair. There are a few things you can do to improve it.

  • Train your customer support team: Make sure your team has the skills and knowledge they need to resolve customer issues on the first contact. This might involve additional training on your product or on customer service skills.
  • Implement a knowledge base: A knowledge base is a repository of information that can be used to resolve customer issues. Having a knowledge base will give your team the ability to quickly find answers to common questions, which will help them resolve issues on the first contact.
  • Improve communication between departments: If you have multiple departments working on customer issues, it's important to make sure there is clear communication between them. This will help to ensure that all of the information needed to resolve an issue is available and that everyone is on the same page.
  • Encourage feedback: Encourage your team to give feedback on customer support issues. This feedback can be used to improve your processes and make sure that issues are being resolved in the most effective way possible.

By following these tips, you can improve your first contact resolution rate and provide better customer support.

Wrapping things up

First contact resolution rate is an important metric for businesses to track because it provides insight into how effectively customer issues are being resolved. A high first-contact resolution rate is indicative of a well-trained and effective customer support team. If your first contact resolution rate is low, there are a few things you can do to improve it, such as training your team, implementing a knowledge base, and encouraging feedback.

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