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

Updated: November 22, 2010

Enkata's white paper (2009 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). 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
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