Blog First Contact Resolution Metrics — Justify Investment in I.T. Ops

First Contact Resolution Metrics — Justify Investment in I.T. Ops

A screen displaying metrics

Techies! First Contact Resolution Metrics (FCR) are your friend!

So you are a tech support advocate in your organisation. Or maybe you are in product management. Why are First Contact Resolutions metrics a useful set of measurements to help you get the investment in IT monitoring systems you are looking for. To get that investment signed off by your leadership team? Read on — and discuss!

Our recent introduction to FCR

SeeThru came into being around a central passion — that tech support can be improved through better team work. Teaming up with your own colleagues, with your suppliers, with your peer organisations and above all with your customers. The question is how do you create information/process environments to enable this team work?

Working with our early adopter customers — the greatest impact and biggest need we address has been that axis of 1st line support/customer communication. I follow folks in this area who I think we need to listen to. One such chap is Peter Massey from Budd UK. It was on a call with Peter and his peers in the contact centre industry that I originally heard the term “First Contact Resolution’’. It just clicked for me that this was something we could help with. Indeed it was exactly this problem we had been focusing on for the last few years.

What is “First Contact Resolution”? What does it mean for tech support?

To be fair — this summary from Joe Hertvik of BMC was the best bit of research I came up with. For our purposes — I disagree with Joe on one point; it is the equation for “Gross” FCR that I think our customers and ourselves will find most useful. Thus Joe describes;

Net FCR = Support issues resolved on the 1st contact / (All incoming call tickets — all incoming tickets that cannot be resolved at level one)

If we focus on this then I would say that this is something of a cop out. Our customer experience is allowed to be impacted because our systems of work/ of monitoring are not very good at allowing customers calls to be dealt with by our 1st line support team.

The simpler equation for Gross FCR would probably lead to a higher standard of customer satisfaction with our 1st line support.

Gross FCR = Support issues resolved on the 1st contact / All incoming support requests.

How can a focus on Gross FCR help?

Customers want one thing — that the thing you sell them just works. No issues. However — as a bad second best — they don’t want to have to call you when it does go wrong. If they do have to call you — they want it to be a quick and painless experience.

As one of our team said just the other day, often you get better information about your Deliveroo order for a takeaway meal than you get from your ISP when your Internet is down.

With Gross FCR we are measuring our organisation’s ability to handle the call request in one go. That means we don’t have the luxury of ignoring escalations required to 2nd line customer support our metrics.

That means we can measure the value of investment in automation and working practices that;

  1. Allows 2nd line teams to automate diagnostics for 1st line support — because if 1st line handles the complete problem set — then Gross FCR improves.
  2. Allows our 2nd line teams expertise to automate diagnostics and communication to end users. Because — if they don’t call because they don’t need to — then Gross FCR improves.
  3. Empowers our 1st line team to diagnose and flag issues where our automation has failed to meet an end user use case. The more we improve the 1st line diagnostic environment — the better our metrics.

This last point is increasingly important in a world where help desks struggle with recruitment and retainment.Recruitment because there is often no visible career path in the 1st line support itself. Retention because 1st line support in tech organisations is typically seen as a right of passage for a techy wanting to progress on their technical career. Such technical members of staff are encouraged to get qualifications and experience and then move on and “upwards”. The future contact centre — and the role of the people staffing it are worth considering for organisations that need to compete based on their customers’ experience of their service.

In summary, Gross FCR helps organisations target CX outcomes with their IT investment

Monitoring your systems properly. Putting the monitoring data into tools driven by machine learning or A.I. to drive better diagnostics. Taking the time to build automated data sharing interfaces with partners. How is this investment properly justified against the big picture? Perhaps this is not just about making techies lives easier. Which is where too often the conversation on IT monitoring stops.

This investment in looking after and listening to I.T. systems can also drive up customer experience. Such investment can reduce the number of support calls and improve the speed of resolution for received support calls. This effect can be measured and the measurement is called (Gross) First Contact Resolution.

To discuss this with us, to hear about how we are automating customer contact, customer self service and empowering 1st line support teams to resolve customer queries 1st time then get in touch with us!

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