What is FCR? Strategies to Improve First Call Resolution

Megan Black
What is FCR? Strategies to Improve First Call Resolution

In call centers, First Call Resolution – often abbreviated to FCR – stands as a pivotal performance metric that directly impacts both operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

What is First Call Resolution (FCR)?

First Call Resolution is a frequently used call center key performance indicator (KPI). FCR measures the percentage of calls where the customer's issue is resolved during the first interaction. This eliminates the need for the customer to follow up on the same issue. 

Why is FCR important to call centers?

First Call Resolution is more than just a KPI – it’s a strategy that drives contact center success. When a call center has high FCR rates, the business can simultaneously enhance their operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve agent morale. The emphasis on resolving issues in the initial interaction causes a positive ripple effect throughout the entire organization.

Here’s what an increase in FCR can mean for your call center:

  • Operational Efficiency: By focusing on resolving issues on the first call, less time and resources are spent on follow-ups. This frees up your team to handle a larger volume of customer issues.
  • Cost Management: When fewer calls are required to solve a customer's problem, operational costs decrease. Reduced on-call time means increased agent productivity and a decreased need for extra staffing.
  • Agent Confidence: Successfully resolving a customer issue on the first interaction can boost an agent's confidence. This heightened morale often leads to better performance, reduced attrition rates, and increased retention rates.
  • Improved Reputation: With more satisfied customers, your call center's reputation for effective and efficient customer service is strengthened. This means more future business opportunities.

How does FCR impact customer satisfaction and experience?

Resolving issues on the first call is a big win for your customers. They appreciate not having to call back multiple times for the same problem, which makes their experience smoother and less stressful.

This not only saves your customers time, but it also shows that your company values their time and is committed to addressing their needs promptly. When customers feel valued and their issues are resolved quickly, they're more likely to stay loyal to your company.

Overall, an improved FCR helps customer satisfaction in many ways, including:

  • Customer Time-Savings: Quick resolutions mean customers spend less time dealing with issues, making their experience smoother.
  • Enhanced Customer Loyalty: When customers don't have to call back for the same issue, they feel valued and are more likely to stay with your company.
  • Better Customer Experience: A high FCR rate means fewer frustrations for customers, leading to a more positive overall experience.

How do you calculate FCR?

First Call Resolution calculation might seem straightforward at first glance. The typical formula for calculating call center FCR is: (Number of cases resolved on the first call / Total number of first calls) x 100 = FCR.

In your calculation, remember that a 'first call' refers to the customer's initial contact about a particular issue, not necessarily the first time a customer ever calls your company. A 'resolved issue' signifies that the customer's problem was addressed to their satisfaction during that initial call, and no follow-ups are needed.

Let’s take a look at some FCR examples:

In May, Company A received 645 first calls about different issues. Their agents resolve 468 of these customer issues on that first call. This would mean Company A’s FCR for May is 73%.

Company B resolved 1,106 first calls in May, but they received 1,912 total – an FCR rate of 58%. Despite resolving significantly more first calls than Company A, Company B’s FCR rate is much lower.

Ensuring the accuracy of FCR calculations is essential for understanding your call center's efficiency and customer satisfaction levels.

What’s the best way to measure and track FCR?

In a recent survey, despite the majority of participants saying First Call Resolution is very important, 34% say they don’t measure FCR.

To effectively monitor FCR, you need a consistent and accurate method of tracking resolved issues and first calls. Both management and frontline employees play a crucial role in this process.

This can be achieved through:

  • Agent Self-Assessment: Encouraging agents to self-evaluate their performance on each call and whether they believe it was fully resolved can provide insights into their understanding and perception of FCR. This can be useful for identifying areas where additional training might be needed.
  • Manager Monitoring and Reporting: Team leads and QA teams can monitor calls, conduct quality assessments, and record feedback in your CRM. They can also verify any data logged by agents in the CRM system for accuracy and consistency, ensuring quality adherence and accurate FCR tracking.
  • Call Tracking Software: Specialized software can automate tracking and provide real-time feedback to both agents and supervisors. This can help identify trends and provide timely coaching opportunities.
  • Customer Feedback Surveys: Post-call surveys can help measure perceived resolution from the customer's perspective. Remember to involve your agents and team leads in understanding this feedback as it provides direct insights into their performance.

By involving employees in the measurement and tracking of FCR, organizations not only improve the accuracy of their tracking but also engage their staff in the process of improving FCR rates.

What’s a good FCR target for call centers?

In general, an FCR above 70% is considered standard with above 80% considered exceptional.

But this score neglects to factor in the uniqueness of each individual call center. FCR targets can vary due to many reasons, including:

How Industry Affects FCR Targets

Different industries face distinct customer interactions, which naturally impact FCR rates. For instance, in the retail industry, calls often involve simpler transactions such as order status inquiries or returns, possibly leading to higher FCR rates.

However, in sectors like healthcare or finance, the calls might revolve around more complex issues, such as policy explanations or financial advice, which could result in lower FCR rates due to the additional follow-ups these issues might require.

How Call Type Affects FCR Targets

Call complexity significantly influences the FCR rate. For instance, if your call center deals with simple inquiries or transactions, you might expect a higher FCR rate. However, if your center handles more complex issues, the First Call Resolution may be lower.

Seasonality can also come into play here. For instance, during tax season, a call center handling tax-related queries may see a drop in FCR rates due to the complexity and volume of the queries. Similarly, a retail call center might experience fluctuating FCR rates during holiday seasons when call volumes surge and queries become more varied and complex.

It is essential to set realistic and achievable targets tailored to your industry, the complexity of customer issues, and the unique dynamics of your call center. Constant monitoring, analysis, and benchmarking against industry standards will help determine the most appropriate FCR target for your call center.

Always remember, a high FCR is generally desirable, but it shouldn't compromise the quality of customer service or satisfaction. Striking the right balance is key.

How can you improve FCR?

Improving FCR hinges on effective coaching, gaining better visibility into FCR metrics, and evaluating the impact of these coaching sessions. Regular, data-driven feedback sessions, tailored coaching for agents, and leveraging analytics to track and understand FCR trends are crucial.

Equally important is assessing how these coaching sessions translate into improved FCR rates. Additionally, consider enhancing agent training programs, streamlining call workflows, and leveraging AI technologies for real-time guidance.

Consider these strategies to improve FCR:

  • Optimize Coaching Process: Increase or start targeted coaching sessions focused on improving an agent’s FCR skills. Regular, constructive feedback and coaching sessions can help agents hone their problem-solving skills and understand how to better meet customer needs on the first call. But just because the coaching is done, doesn’t mean it’s done well. Regularly assess the impact of these sessions on FCR rates to ensure the coaching sessions – and the coaches – are effective.
  • Review L&D Training: Work with your Learning and Development teams on comprehensive training to handle a broad range of customer service situations most likely to be resolved on the first call. Use insights from FCR metrics to update and evolve the training materials continually, ensuring agents are well-prepared to address these customer issues quickly and effectively.
  • Streamline Call Workflows: Optimize your processes and systems to facilitate quicker resolution. This could include integrating systems for easier data access, improving escalation procedures, or simplifying the customer follow-up process.
  • Enhance Visibility into FCR Metrics: Gain a clearer understanding of your FCR trends by leveraging analytics and dashboards. This allows you to pinpoint when and why resolutions are not occurring on the first call. Plus, when you provide this information on the agent’s dashboard, they can be self-motivated to improve their own rating. 

How can you avoid the most common FCR mistakes?

Common mistakes include not having a clear definition of FCR, overlooking the impact of FCR on other call center metrics, focusing solely on FCR at the expense of other KPIs, and not taking a holistic view that includes other aspects of the customer experience.

Take a look at these eight common mistakes that can hurt your FCR rates:

  1. Not Being Clear About FCR: If everyone in your team doesn't have the same understanding of what FCR is, you might end up with confusing results. Everyone should have the same definition of "first call" and "resolved issue" and also know what the definitions are.
  2. Only Focusing on FCR: FCR is important, but it's not the only thing that matters. If your team is too focused on getting a high FCR, they might rush calls or avoid hard questions. This could make customers less happy with your service.
  3. Only Looking at FCR: FCR should be one part of your bigger plan to make customers happy. If you only look at FCR, you might miss other things that are making customers unhappy, like long wait times or rude service.
  4. Not Training Enough: You need to keep training and coaching your team if you want your FCR to get better. If your team doesn't have the right skills or knowledge, they won't be able to solve customer problems on the first call.
  5. Ignoring What Customers Say: Customers often tell you how you can improve. If you ignore this or don't have a way to keep track of it, you might miss out on chances to get better at solving problems on the first call.
  6. Not Supporting New Hires: When new people join your team, they might not know everything they need to handle customer calls. If you don't give them the training and support they need, they might struggle to solve customer problems on the first call.
  7. Not Celebrating Success: When your team does well, it's important to celebrate! If you don't recognize or reward people for doing a good job at solving problems on the first call, they might lose motivation to keep improving.
  8. Inefficient FCR Coaching: If coaches are not effectively teaching how to improve FCR, the coaching sessions won't deliver the desired improvements. Coaches should be trained to provide targeted, constructive feedback and to demonstrate effective problem-solving methods. Plus, coaches need to be able to deliver the right feedback at the right time – delayed coaching isn’t efficient coaching.

More FAQs about FCR

While we’ve covered a lot about First Call Resolution, here are a few other commonly asked questions

"What's the relationship between FCR and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score?"

FCR and CSAT are closely tied together. When a customer's issue is resolved on the first interaction, they are more likely to be satisfied with the service they received which means improving FCR typically leads to higher CSAT scores.

"How does Average Handle Time (AHT) impact FCR?"

AHT refers to the average time an agent spends handling a call. This includes the conversation time and any follow-up work related to the call. A lower AHT may seem ideal, but sometimes a push to lower AHT may mean agents rush through calls requiring customers to call back later.

"How do different channels (phone, email, live chat, social media) impact FCR rates?"

Traditional channels like phone calls often have higher FCR rates because issues can be resolved in real-time. Digital channels like email and live chat tend to have lower FCR rates. However, this can be improved by coaching agents on the strengths and limitations of each channel and how to respond most efficiently.

"How does employee engagement impact FCR?"

Boosting employee engagement can significantly improve FCR rates. Engaged employees are typically more committed to their jobs, tend to develop better problem-solving skills, and more likely to go the extra mile to resolve a customer's issue on the first call. 

"How should FCR be balanced with other call center KPIs?"

While FCR is an important KPI, it should not be considered in isolation. Balancing FCR with other KPIs ensures a more comprehensive view of call center performance. For instance, a high FCR combined with a high AHT might indicate agents are spending too long on calls to resolve issues on the first contact. Having a system that balances FCR with other KPIs is critical to improving overall call center performance.

How can AmplifAI improve a call center’s FCR?

If you’re looking to improve your FCR – or any call center KPI – AmplifAI’s AI-driven performance enablement platform might just be the solution you’re looking for to boost productivity, engagement, and overall performance.

Here are just a few ways AmplifAI can help boost your First Call Resolution rate: 

  • Gamification: Gamification is a great way to motivate employees and deliver recognition. Easily create games tailored around positive FCR scores to encourage your agents to resolve customer issues promptly and efficiently.
  • Clear Dashboards: With AmplifAI, both agents and supervisors have access to clear, intuitive dashboards. These dashboards provide a snapshot of individual and team performance metrics, including FCR, enabling quick identification of areas needing improvement.
  • Next Best Actions: With so many factors affecting FCR, it can be hard to know exactly what to coach next. AmplifAI uses advanced AI to analyze data and indicate the Next Best Action for each agent – ensuring supervisors are coaching on the right issue at the right time.
  • Coaching Effectiveness: Just because your team leads are coaching, doesn’t mean they’re coaching well. AmplifAI provides an understanding of how well coaching interventions translate into improved FCR and other performance metrics.

For one BPO, adding AmplifAI led to a 4% increase in FCR for this leading U.S. telecommunications company. The call center also improved their coaching effectiveness by 67% and a 24% improvement to AHT. Read the full case study here.

With AmplifAI's help, teams can transform their FCR metrics by providing clear, data-driven insights, actionable next steps, and efficient coaching methods.

Better FCR Rates Reduce Costs, Decrease Attrition, and Enhance Operational Efficiency

First Call Resolution (FCR) serves as an integral performance metric for call centers, offering benefits from operational efficiency to customer satisfaction.

High FCR rates lead to enhanced operational efficiency, reduced costs, increased agent morale, and a strengthened reputation. Accurately calculating and tracking FCR is crucial, yet some common mistakes like unclear definitions and overemphasis on FCR can hinder your rates. A focus on agent training, streamlining workflows, and leveraging analytics can help improve FCR.

Maximizing FCR means happier customers, more motivated agents, and a better-performing call center.


Could AmplifAI help you improve your FCR? Let’s find out!

Improved Performance & Customer Experience
Month over month gains in Issue Resolution,
FCR and NPS;
Month over month reductions in Handle times,
ACW and Hold
Winning additional client headcount
30% improvement in sales conversion
Retaining talented people
8-point reduction in turnover
Improving financial performance
10% increase in utilization


The future of success in your contact center is contingent on how you impact performance in ways that are both immediate and sustainable. And it doesn’t matter whether your agents are on-site, at-home, full-time, part-time, or temporary – you must deliver on performance.

Coaching is one of the most significant tools we can use to deliver on the engagement and performance of our people – but we must develop our processes, our people and leadership skills, and our technology tools, in order to overthrow the pervasive challenges to achieving greater coaching effectiveness and supercharging contact center performance!

Unlock the potential of your employees and skyrocket your ROI with cutting-edge coaching.

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Connect with the authors:

Melissa Pollock Customer Success at AmplifAI

Jim Rembach President at CX Media

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