The Most Important Metric to Gauge Customer Service Success (or Failure)

Updated: November 22, 2010

Enkata's white paper (2009 www.enkata.com) reports that only 40% of contact centers are measuring First Call Resolution (FCR), SQM Group puts the percentage at 50% (SQM's World Class Call Center Book excerpt, p. 1), yet less than 20% are measuring FCR for all of their calls according to a study by ICMI (International Customer Management Institute).

BenchmarkPortal.com reports best practices at 86%. My question is what about the 14% that are calling you more than once, more than twice? This not only frustrates your employees and yourselves, but your customers as well. Repeat calls are costly not only to operations and the bottom line, but they negatively impact customer service success.

It was further noted that 65% of all repeat calls are the result of agent errors. For instance, if an agent:

  1. Doesn't give a confident answer
  2. Doesn't set the proper expectations
  3. Doesn't follow through on a commitment
  4. Simply gives the wrong answer

A typical customer will not call back. Not only does this keep costs high, but it decreases customer loyalty and increases turnover. In addition, SQM Group suggests there is a 20% point drop in customer satisfaction for each additional call required to resolve the customer call. (SQP Group, FCR 2008, p. 3) Additionally, customers who did not get their call resolved are 5 times more likely to defect than those who had their call resolved (p. 5).

On the other hand, improving FCR can:

  1. Reduce overall customer calls
  2. Decrease rework
  3. Improve service
  4. Enhance customer satisfaction
  5. Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
  6. High value customer interactions
  7. Take customers from satisfied to loyal
Featured Research
  • 10 Reasons Why  Automated Agents  Aren't the Answer

    Automated customer service agents are a tempting option. They never need time off. You don’t have to pay them a salary. They don’t even need a physical workspace. But despite these advantages, they remain a poor substitute for live agents. more

  • The 2017 Contact Center Comparison Guide: Q2 Edition

    We want to make sure you have the freshest information possible, so we’ve updated that chart to reflect the state of the contact center market for Q2. more

  • Contact Center Software for SMBs

    If you run a small- to medium-sized business (SMB), finding ways to compete with larger, more established companies can prove troublesome—fortunately, contact center software can help. more

  • How to Update Your Contact Center Software

    If improving customer experience is important to you (it should be), then 2017 may be a good year to reevaluate the software you use for your contact center. With customer preferences shifting, the importance of an efficient contact center has never been higher. You cannot afford to simply focus on keeping costs low. Significant competitive advantages are available to businesses who manage this area effectively. more

  • An Introduction to Global Contact Centers

    If you’re like many people, you may not trust the idea of a global contact center. They’ve traditionally been associated with language barriers and poor customer service. more