First contact resolution, first call resolution, FCR, there are many names for it in your call center or contact center. In any instance, you must measure it and manage it. From the customer’s perspective takes the highest priority.

3 Things Enable Agents to Increase FCR

Everyone knows that repeat callers are expensive, even really expensive. That’s why most companies track First Call Resolution (FCR) as a metric on their agents’ scorecards. Hold them responsible for FCR and the percentage will improve, right?

Maybe not. Your plan may be undermined by your company and its internally created road blocks that make FCR […]

Why FCR is more powerful than a genie in a bottle

A contact center manager was walking along a beach and found an old lamp. She picked it up and rubbed it and out popped a genie. The genie said, “Okay, you released me from the lamp, blah blah blah. This is the fourth time this month and I’m getting sick of these wishes so instead […]

Contact Center Budget Wars: New Armor to Defend Against Cuts

Life in this decade is full of more contentious situations than life in the previous decade. Remember the days when you peacefully focused on spending your contact center budget so you could eagerly request for more in the coming year? It was great, budgets were ever-expanding and the resources to meet the demands were not […]

By |October 16th, 2014|Call Center Operations, Customer Experience, FCR|0 Comments

Delivering that Chick-fil-A Contact Center Experience

As a customer experience consultant, I look at every consumer experience as a learning experience. Last week, I conducted a “quality review” at Chick fil-A® to better interpret the contact center experience.

I purposefully arrived during the lunch time rush and joined the line to order just outside the door. It was just like being in queue for a contact center agent. But I never mind waiting at Chick fil-A® because I get to watch, instead of hearing IVR messaging. It’s so interesting to watch the team behind the counter when they have a queue.


Contact center knowledge base – friend or foe?

“Does your quality department have the authority to make changes to your knowledge base platform?” is one of the questions asked in the 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid e-book and self-assessment. Our intent in asking this question is not to assess the quality of your contact center knowledge tool, but instead to determine if it’s being managed properly. The e-book contains diagnostic questions to help you identify issues affecting your Quality Assurance program. We want to offer insight to help illuminate missed opportunities, especially those which are pervasive in the contact center industry. For contact center agents, access to company knowledge is a vital component to being able to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

It’s easy to make your contact center knowledge base a foe


By |May 22nd, 2014|Call Center Quality, FCR, Quality Assurance|0 Comments

Why FCR is not a contact center metric anymore

“Do other parts of your business take responsibility for FCR performance?” is a question that was included in the 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid ebook and self-assessment. The ebook and self-assessment includes a series of diagnostic questions to uncover long-term problems of Quality Assurance in contact centers. It’s likely that you have seen benchmarking information on FCR, but beware – it’s easy to focus on common practices that position FCR as just a contact center metric. With FCR, it’s difficult to benchmark considering that this contact center metric is not calculated in a comparative format. Benchmarking activities has resulted in a narrow Quality Assurance definition that, for most, has not developed past the middle/average service experience. This ebook was developed to help you be much more than average and position FCR as more than a contact center metric. […]

By |February 20th, 2014|FCR, Quality Assurance|0 Comments

Will automating the transfer to post-call IVR surveys prevent agents from cheating?

“Do you agree automating the process for callers to participate in post-call IVR surveys will prevent agents from cheating?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys eBook and self-assessment. The eBook and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions for you to uncover problems in your program that I have come across since inventing post-call IVR surveying in contact centers 20 years ago. Many of the misunderstandings have become false truths, and this question is part of a topic that is widely misunderstood.   

Why is this a problem?

Automated is not the same as fool-proof. defines automated: to apply the principles of automation to a mechanical process, industry, office, etc. Nowhere in that definition does it state that doing so will create a perfect, fool-proof process. In this case, automated means customers answering ‘yes’ they would like to participate in a survey when prompted by the IVR at the start of the call will then be transferred to complete the survey once the agent disconnects. Sounds fool-proof and simple enough, right? Not so much. […]

By |May 2nd, 2013|FCR, IVR Post-call Surveys|0 Comments

Real-time IVR Post-call Survey Alerts are a MUST

Real-time post call IVR survey alerts are a must, because where within your customer experience engineering plans do you meet head-on the failed service experiences?  Is it only after multiple complaints? Is it only after your company president shows up in the contact center? Is it after you are on the 5:00 news?  Do you ignore the ones that are not loud?  Do you make an attempt to gain back loyalty points that were lost during a failed call experience?

Callers make judgments about your entire organization based on their interaction with your contact center agents.  Why is it so important to focus on the recovery of customers who had a dissatisfying service experience?  Although the caller may not have been satisfied with the service experience in general, satisfaction with the service recovery experience is significantly related to their intention to repurchase (Boshoff, 1999).  […]

All you have to do is listen to your customers

Voice of the Customer; a catch phrase commonly uttered in offices around the globe. But what does it mean exactly? Where does it come from? How does a business decipher constructive (and valuable) feedback from noise?  It is not uncommon to hear a manager say that you need to listen to the voice of the […]

Your quick start to the customer experience gold mine

Mining and analyzing customer comments to understand sentiment is no longer a wish. It’s a must. Based on years of experience, I suspect many of you are like the business partners I work with: you understand the value of the activity, would love to be able to get your hands on the insight, but don’t have the resources to do the work. 

But there is good news. Using basic business intelligence approaches, it is possible to get a quick start on sentiment and text analysis to better understand what your customers think and say about your business. This information can then be leveraged to better serve customers and ultimately, improve the bottom line. 

The rate at which customers provide commentary in customer experience surveys in itself can be very telling.  Below are examples of insights that can be gained simply by examining the relationship between key real-time survey metrics and the propensity of customers to provide verbal feedback. 

For the business partner depicted in the chart below, customer comments and real time alert rates were highly correlated. The more likely a customer was to comment, the more likely alert rates were to increase, and vice versa. This suggests that dissatisfied customers who required a follow up call from a manager were more likely to leave negative comments than positive ones. 

While this may seem troublesome at first blush, understanding customer complaints is often an untapped gold mine.  Reading and mining these comments could offer significant intelligence and gains for this business partner which can then be woven back into continuous improvement initiatives. […]

Is UPS or FedEx damaging FCR in your Call Center?

I primarily shop online and therefore get many packages delivered.  My UPS deliveryman never makes eye-contact, never says hello; he just tosses me the package and has me sign.  Conversely, whenever I get a package from FedEx, this cheery fellow smiles while he asks me how I’m doing, and tells me to have a nice day; once we even had a laugh about my crazy dog that started licking him uncontrollably.  While in both cases I received my packages, my customer service experience is drastically different.

So let me ask you, based on my delivery customer experience, would you shop more at online retailers that use UPS or FedEx?  Would you be more lenient when a package does not arrive as expected with UPS or FedEx? Would you wait longer to call the retailer’s call center to track the package when you know it’s UPS versus FedEx?

We talk often about the importance of positive service over the phone in the contact center, but quality face-to-face interactions can affect the calls you are receiving in your call center and your first contact resolution rates (FCR); even if your service providers/vendors are involved in the service experience.


Hey, here’s how you use my survey feedback to prevent social media warfare

Are you willing to take responsibility for creating this much noise for your organization?  Assuming you responded ‘No’ from the previous blog post, below are a few steps you can begin taking today to minimize your social media threat.  And, since Mom always told us kids that we need to focus on the bright side, that’s exactly what I will do.  From here you get to choose your own remedy based on the current structure and capabilities of your existing survey program and its tools:


By |February 11th, 2011|Customer Experience, FCR, Social Media|1 Comment

3 Call center mistakes that could kill your business

There are actually a lot more than three call center metrics that can kill your business. I often get opportunities to help clients identify problems they were innocently unaware of that lead to solving problems they were aware of. Working with metrics often results in situation like this. It is fun to help clients identify problems they didn’t even know they had. If your organization doesn’t have a data czar, analytic rock-star or business intelligence guru, you need one. What you don’t know may be a ticking time bomb!  Below are three real world examples of how analytics and applied business intelligence stopped the ticking of the time bomb and saved the organizations money and headaches.


By |January 18th, 2011|Analytics, Business Intelligence, FCR|3 Comments

Rev Up Your FCR Rate

This guest blog post is written by Greg Levin, He has been researching, reporting on and satirizing contact centers and customer care since 1994.

First-contact resolution has been a hot call center metric for years now. […]

Don’t assume with FCR, ask

Customers need to be the ones determining First Call Resolution. It should not be left up the organization's perception of the call being resolved the first time.

By |September 30th, 2010|FCR, For External Relationships, IVR Post-call Surveys|0 Comments

Really? How many times do I have to call you?

Consider your average number of calls per month, say 80,000 for example, at an average fully loaded cost of $8.00 per call.  You are looking at $640,000 to cover these customer interactions taking place in your call center.  Now consider your repeat calls, say 30%, and you can see that it’s costing $192,000 to have […]

By |June 21st, 2010|FCR, Knuggets and Knuckleheads|0 Comments

Avoid Call Center Schizophrenia from Pay for Performance – Part 1 of a 2-Part Blog Series

When reflecting on the life inside a call center, it’s easy to believe that we are patients that are often not medicated to control our delusions. Not only is it insanely intense, it is also a place of constant contradiction. We often have expectations of our employees and our call center agents to adhere to a specific model intended to produce a controlled response (a great service experience). In the same breath, we also expect that model to produce the opposite results (do it fast, right and cheap). Isn’t this setting your team up to feel schizophrenic? In the Pay for Performance model, call center agents are being paid based on metrics such as number of calls handled and number of minutes spent on those calls. This is the expectation set forth. At the end of the month, organizations are left scratching their heads as to why customer satisfaction scores are so low. This 2-Part series will dive into the schizophrenic world of Pay for Performance and introduce a model that works much better in the call center world.