Save Money, Perform Better: The Benefits of Improving First Contact Resolution

When it comes to providing high quality IT service, having a high First Contact Resolution (FCR) rate is essential. High First Contact Resolution rates allow for resolution to be delivered quickly and closely to the customer, minimizing inconvenience and building customer satisfaction. Successful Service Desks are able to resolve routine requests and incidents enabling engineers on levels 2 and 3 to focus on more demanding and specialized tasks.

In order to improve your FCR rate, you will first need to measure your Service Desk's performance. Metrics should not be used as a one-time performance indicator or point of reference; best practices for improving FCR require using metrics for continuous quality improvement.

Metrics should be developed with your Service Level Agreement (SLA) in mind, and your end goal as a point of reference. Not only should metrics help you to analyze black and white aspects of your service such as call volume, FCR rates, etc., but also 360 degree feedback measures like client satisfaction or operational maturity in regards to individual and team performance.

Knowledge management is important for improving First Contact Resolution. Generally, this involves gathering environment-specific knowledge regarding systems, configuration, dependencies and failure points. Use this knowledge to identify opportunities for improvement, and establish a system and culture for sharing knowledge and new techniques. Some effective models for improving knowledge and knowledge sharing include:

  • Regular observation, coaching and feedback sessions with staff
  • Creating a knowledge base that allows for easy searches for information
  • Regular status reports including lessons learned, achievements and obstacles to overcome

High First Contact Resolution rates equate to money saved. The estimated cost for resolving a ticket on level one is around $32 versus $60 for an escalated ticket, hence, thousands of dollars can be saved by improving FCR levels. As an example, a Service Desk that averages 4,000 calls per month will save an estimated $28,000 by improving FCR from 50% to 70%. Beyond financial benefits, improved FCR enhances end-user productivity, job satisfaction for both Level 1 and 2 engineers, relationships between teams, and, of course, customer satisfaction!

Please see Giva's whitepaper on service desk optimization for a much more in-depth review of this subject.

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