QATC Survey Results

This article details the results of the most recent QATC quarterly survey on critical quality assurance and training topics.  Contact center professionals representing a wide variety of operations provided insight regarding the utilization of first contact resolution as a performance metric in their centers.

Participant Profile

The largest number of participants is from call center operations with less than 50 agents.  However, the balance is widely dispersed across all ranges. This mix of respondents provides a broad spectrum of contact center sizes.  Financial, utility, retail, and healthcare have the largest representation but there are participants from a wide variety of industries.

Measure First Contact Resolution

Respondents were asked if they are using first contact resolution as a performance metric in their centers.   Sixty percent of respondents indicated that they do use this metric and another 23% are planning to implement it soon.  Only 17% indicated that they do not use this metric.

survey graph 1

Where FCR Metrics are Applied

Respondents were asked to identify the types of contacts that are measured with FCR.  Over half indicated that it is applied only to calls.  Ten percent apply it to calls and emails, while 35% also include chats.  These differences may be more a function of the types of contacts handled in that center than differences in which contact types are selected for measuring FCR.

survey results graph 2

Elements Evaluated

Respondents were asked which elements they evaluate to measure FCR.  Customer feedback and quality assurance reviews were most often cited.  Additionally, some do follow-ups for additional contacts from the same customer or review call notes provided by the agents.  This is often the most challenging part of FCR metric evaluation. The lack of a standard metric provided by automated systems requires a more in-depth review than most of the other statistics that many centers use to evaluate performance.  However, it is clearly important to the customers as well as the efficiency of the center, and worth the extra effort.

Follow-Up Interval

Survey participants were asked what interval they use to look for activities in measuring FCR.  Almost three-quarters (72%) use a one-week interval while 7% use the same day.  However, 21% indicated that they use some other interval for their analysis.  Although some customers may be frequent callers about different issues, most centers find that repeat contacts within a short time interval are generally about the same issue.survey chart 4

Use of FCR Goal

Respondents were asked if they have a goal for achievement of FCR.  Just over half of the respondents indicated that they have one goal that applies to all contacts within their center.  Twenty-one percent indicated that they have separate goals for each contact type.  However, 26% indicated that there is no specific goal for FCR.  These responses are likely from those centers that do not measure FCR currently.

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FCR Goal Metric

Respondents were asked what their highest goal is for FCR in their center.  The most common answer is 80-85% with goals both above and below stated by some of the respondents. For many centers, starting this measurement at the current performance level and adding a small percentage to the goal for the next measurement period is a reasonable way to begin.  There is no “industry standard” that would apply to all situations.

In some cases, an FCR goal can be an important metric for outsource situations.  For example, an IT support operation may be compensated for the number of contacts handled.  This can lead to behaviors such as “try this and call me back” which generates more calls but lower customer satisfaction and higher costs.  Adding an FCR metric to the contract can help to focus on the best outcomes for both customers and the company.

FCR Goal Achievement

Respondents were asked what their achievement level is for the team with the highest goal.  Less than 75% was the most common answer with some achieving or even exceeding the goals.  This is a tough goal to reach for many centers.  With pressure on AHT, FCR becomes even harder to achieve.  Even when the agent ends the contact with “is there anything else I can help you with,” it is not uncommon for the customer to think of some other question after the contact ends, resulting in a second contact.  It is important to be realistic in terms of what FCR goal is truly optimal in your center and for each contact type.

FCR Results Improvement

Respondents were asked if their results have changed since they began measuring FCR.  While more than half (53%) indicated that they have seen some improvement, 12% cited significant improvement.  However, the remaining 35% indicate they have seen no significant change. It is important to correlate the FCR achievement with other goals to ensure that one is not improving at the unexpected expense of another.

Biggest Benefit

Respondents were asked what they saw as the biggest benefit of measuring FCR.  The following are some of the most common responses:

  • Helps to uncover inefficient processes.
  • Reduces call backs and improves answer rates for new contacts.
  • Gives insights into training needs.
  • Decreases contact volume and achieves greater customer satisfaction.
  • It helps tie a dollar amount to the benefit of being thorough vs. just the extra cost involved for spending an extra 20 secs with the caller.


This survey provides some insight into the utilization of First Contact Resolution as a performance metric.  While many centers are using this metric, the ways it is measured and the goals vary significantly.  This is a situation where there are typically unique challenges not only between centers, but between contact types within the same center.  Most report some improvement in results after beginning to measure FCR and that makes it worth the extra effort involved in the gathering and analysis of relevant data.

We hope you will complete the next survey, which will be available online soon.