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What Does First Call Resolution (FCR) Have to Do With Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT)?

Blog Post
In this post, we’ll take a look at how first call resolutions affect your customer satisfaction scores and why you should start tracking your FCR rate.
man in call center with headset on

The thought of getting on the phone with customer service evokes negative emotions and memories for most of us. Not just because the experience includes long wait times or confusing call transfers, though. Since it typically requires multiple conversations with customer service to actually resolve issues, most people believe that these phone calls are doomed to be a waste of time.  

But how exactly do these experiences and perspectives influence customer satisfaction? Are the effects short-lived or long-lasting? And how far does the impact reach? 

In this post, we’ll take a look at how first call resolutions (and the lack thereof) affect your customer satisfaction scores and explain why you should start tracking your FCR rate immediately.  

First, let’s unpack the specifics of FCR and CSAT scores.  

What Does First Call Resolution (FCR) Mean? 

First call resolution occurs when support agents are able to resolve customer issues during the initial phone call. This might mean answering questions completely, remedying issues on the customers’ behalf, or walking shoppers through the solution while on the phone call.  

But in any case, first call resolutions ensure that customers don’t have to take any follow-up steps – either when they hang up the phone or days later – to deal with the same problem. Nor do they have to wait around for your team to resolve the problem on your end.  

What is a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)? 

Customer satisfaction scores determine how happy your customers are with your business. Often, it’s measured by asking shoppers that question outright. It can be posed as an online survey during an eCommerce shopping experience or land in customers’ inboxes a few days after a delivery is made. When customers visit a brick-and-mortar store in person, it can even be asked on the POS terminal or incentivized by a discount on the receipt.  

Regardless, the point of a CSAT score is to see how likely your customers are to stay loyal to your brand, share positive word-of-mouth referrals, and submit glowing online reviews. The higher the CSAT score, the greater the chance they’ll take those actions. 

How Does FCR Impact Customer Satisfaction Scores? 

First call resolution and customer satisfaction are connected via the customer experience. By reducing friction in customer support interactions, FCR naturally causes customer satisfaction levels to rise.  

Why? Because customers crave convenience. The easier it is to make purchases, get orders delivered, and get issues resolved, the happier customers are. On the flip side, when customers are unable to get problems resolved the first time, their frustration levels increase – as they not only have to deal with their original problem but also with a customer support team that can’t help them effectively.  

As a result, tracking your FCR rate is critical. Besides giving you insight into how well your support agents are resolving customer issues, it also enables you to pinpoint areas where your customer service team may need more support and resources. 

Armed with this knowledge, you can improve your first call resolution strategies – thus minimizing friction, improving customer sentiment, and boosting your CSAT scores.  

There are dozens of ways retailers and eCommerce businesses can improve their customer satisfaction scores. But not all strategies are created equal. By turning your multi-step customer support experience into first call resolutions, customer satisfaction is almost guaranteed to rise. And this means greater customer loyalty and brand advocacy.