What Is First Contact Resolution Rate? (Definition & Formula)

What is first contact resolution rate?

First contact resolution (FCR) rate shows the number of customer complaints/requests customer support has managed to resolve during the initial contact. 

First contact resolution is an important customer service metric and one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that reveals your customer support team’s competency. The ability to resolve the issue upon the first try points to well-equipped, educated, and dedicated customer support professionals. 

Eliminating the need for follow-up questions and issue escalation improves customer satisfaction, too — making first-contact resolution a priority for customer support.

How to calculate first contact resolution rate (formula)

To calculate first contact resolution rate, simply divide the number of cases resolved on the first try by the total requests received, then multiply it by 100%.

Here’s the first contact resolution rate formula:

First contact resolution rate = (Number of requests resolved on the first contact / All requests received) * 100%

Here’s an easy example of calculating the FCR rate for one month:

  • In December, a company had a total of 13 customer support tickets opened;
  • Out of these 13 tickets, 8 were resolved on the first contact, and 5 are still in progress;
  • The FCR rate for December would be (8/13)*100% = 61.54%.

What is a good first contact resolution rate?

An FCR rate of 90% and higher is excellent across all industries; anything above 65% is good to have, and FCR scores below 40% are considered low.

The higher, the better — but having lower FCR rates doesn’t mean you provide poor customer service. In reality, FCR depends on multiple factors:

  • The complexity of the issues and requests
  • The channel customers use to contact customer support
  • The problem-solving method for specific issues
  • The safety procedures required for certain requests

Some issues require going back and forth and decrease the FCR rate, but this doesn’t mean that customers are dissatisfied with the customer support they got. 

While the FCR rate is an accurate metric in itself, it won’t provide you with good answers out of context. Be sure to track customer satisfaction for deep insights and possible improvements.

How to improve first contact resolution rate

1. Empower your customers with self-serve options

Enabling the customers to resolve their issues without contacting the support is faster, and easier, and eases the workload for reps. 

There are several ways to help customers handle the issues on their own:

  • Say welcome with a thorough, engaging demo that guides them through your service/product step-by-step;
  • Create a rich resource base: FAQ, help articles, and tutorials;
  • Provide a website or in-app chatbots that are able to come up with satisfactory answers or direct the customers to them.

2. Supply customer support agents with all-inclusive helpdesk solutions 

Create a one-stop-shop for agents so they’re ready for every possible scenario. 

Integrating CRM, ticketing system, live chat, knowledge base, and customer feedback tools gives a 360-degree view of customers’ history and issues.