Why Can’t You Close More Cases at First Contact?

by Jul 1, 2019

Understanding why cases cannot be resolved at first contact is critical to formulating a plan to improve First Contact Resolution rates.

First Contact Resolution (FCR) provides insights to indicate how efficiently Support can get each customer question to a person that has the skills, knowledge and tools to provide the right answer the first time the customer engages with Support. 

Not all cases can be resolved at first contact as suggested by the industry average First Contact Resolution rate which is slightly more than half of cases handled (53.7%).   For certain product types and segments within the technology services industry such as high complexity enterprise products, the average FCR performance will be far less than industry average levels.

New to FCR?  Check out First Contact Resolution (FCR) Defined

FCR Inhibitors

The table below highlights some of the primary inhibitors of FCR performance.

FCR Inhibitors

Impact on First Contact Resolution

Product Maturity

New products and releases often have more “unknown” issues which may require more time and effort to research suitable answers. 

Product Quality

Products prone to defects that can only be resolved by product fixes and enhancements require involvement of engineering resources.

Product Capabilities

Robust products that can do many things may increase the complexity of a case requiring more time, expertise and research to figure out how to help the customer.

Staff Skills

Staff that lack the knowledge or experience to diagnose and resolve customer issues may require research and collaboration with experts to develop an answer.

Advanced Customers

Customers with advanced product knowledge can ask challenging questions that cannot be resolved at first contact and require additional research.  Advanced customers are also likely to identify and report product defects.

Novice Customers

Customers with limited knowledge about a product or the environment in which it operates can inhibit in-depth troubleshooting and diagnostics.

Communication Skills

Customers may lack the skills or expertise to use the product or may not be able to express their needs in terms that can be acted upon by Support.

Knowledge / Tool Access

Lack of access to the knowledge and expertise of others within Support may inhibit the ability to resolve a customer issue.


In some situation the process of diagnosing or repairing a customer issue will involve an activity that cannot be performed at the time of the initial customer interaction (e.g. cannot take down or restart a server).

Once you understand the inhibitors to achieving a higher First Contact Resolution Rate you can formulate an action plan to improve performance.  The first step in this process is to determine if FCR optimization is cost effective.  Make certain that the investments necessary to improve FCR performance will yield a sufficient return.  Need help or have questions?  Give me a call.

Support Metrics, Benchmarks and Reporting

Support performance measurement is challenging. Contact me to learn how ServiceXRG can help you gain better insights into Support performance through the use of enhanced metrics, benchmarking and better support performance reporting.

  • Are you measuring the right support metrics?
  • Do you have access to necessary inputs and insights?
  • How well is your Support organization performing?
  • Can you generate the reports you need?

Contact us now to learn how we can help you gain greater insights and optimize Support performance.

Chat with us (see link on right side of screen), send an e-mail to tsweeny@servicexrg.com, or use our contact form.

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