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Friday, June 24, 2011

How to Define and Measure the Cost of Repeat Calls - Part 2 | THE RETENTION FACTOR

Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D.
The Retention Factor with Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D.

  • Top 5 Ways to Achieve FCR (First Call Resolution)
  • Human Errors
  • Measurement Frequency T
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).

An Ascent Group Study in 2009 and 2010 reported the Top 5 Ways to Achieve FCR. You can see how the numbers have escalated in one year.

Top 5 Ways to Achieve FCR

1. Focused FCR Training28%41%
2. Incorporating FCR into Monitory/
3. Root Cause Analysis3361
4. Improving FCR Communication/Agent Awareness4965
5. Process Improvement5271

If we add Focused FCR Training and Improving FCR Communication and Agent Awareness (which I believe fall into the training arena) there was a 44% increase from the 2009 to 2010 study.

In a study by ICMI (International Customer Management Institute) it was reported that 65% of all repeat calls are the result of agent errors. An example is if the employee:

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

Again, we believe this is a training issue.

Here’s what improving FCR can do:

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

Best practices for measuring FCR are:

1) Ask your customer – ultimately he/she is the determining factor
2) If the customer completes a survey, include questions that ask, “Was your call resolved?” and “How many calls did you made to resolve your call?”
3) If the customer said the call was resolved in one call, then that customer experienced FCR
4) If the call is transferred and the next person resolves the issue--without the customer having to call back--it is still FCR. The customer only made the one call.

Further, a 2010 Ascent Group Study found that 77% of their respondents measure customer satisfaction. How often?

Customer Satisfaction Measurement Frequency

Monthly 26%
Recent Interaction 26%
Quarterly 13%
Post Call 10%
Annual 10%
Weekly 10%
Semi Annual 6%

As you can see, there is no one answer. What's important is to measure it, learn from it, and take appropriate action.

And finally, I believe that first call resolution is a training issue. If your personnel have the communication skills, the knowledge base, and true empowerment, you can eliminate those second and third calls, as well as any misinformation.

Don’t be one of the 50% or 60% of organizations not measuring FCR. Remember what gets measured gets managed, and what get managed gets better.

Look forward to your questions, comments, feedback, and suggestions for future topics.

ROSANNE D'AUSILIO, Ph.D., industrial psychologist, consultant, master trainer, best selling author, executive coach, customer service expert, President of Human Technologies Global, specializes in human performance management providing needs analyses, instructional design, and customized, live customer service skills trainings. Also offered is agent/facilitator university certification through Purdue’s Center for Customer Driven Quality.

Known as 'the champion of the human,' she authors 7 best sellers: Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanize Your Interaction Hub, 4th ed, Customer Service and the Human Experience, Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack Your Personal Deck (includes 32-card deck of cards), How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: 101 Insider Tips, How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: ANOTHER 101 Insider Tips, The Expert’s Guide to Customer Service, The Expert’s Guide to Customer Service, Volume II, and her popular ‘tips’ newsletter on How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch! at

Rosanne is also a Certified Call Center Benchmarking Auditor through Purdue University's Center for Customer Driven Quality. This certification training focuses on the access and use of key performance data to help better understand benchmarking results so as to advise on practical solutions for improvement.

For 10 years prior to starting her own organization, Rosanne had responsibility for marketing, budgeting, promoting and ultimately producing domestic and international computerized trade shows in the US, London, Belgium, and Frankfurt. She inaugurated, created, trained and directed a telemarketing on-site staff and was one of the first 150 people to attain CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certification in 1987.

She is a columnist for, Ask the Expert at, and The National Networker. She represents the human element on the Advisory Board of an Italian software company, authors numerous articles for industry newsletters, and is a much sought after dynamic, vibrant, internationally prominent keynote speaker.

For more information, please visit Rosanne's TNNWC Bio.

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