FTR is a direct indicator of your contact centre’s efficiency, how good agents are at their job, and if customers leave feeling satisfied. A high FTR is something every contact centre aims for, as it has a clear correlation with your costs and profitability.
Let’s look at the precise meaning of this metric and how to calculate it.
First Time Resolution (FTR) Definition:
First Time Resolution can be defined as the portion of customer queries that are resolved at the first point of contact (email, live chat, social media, or phone calls) as a percentage of the total number of queries processed across these channels.
The higher your FTR rate, the less time you’re spending on duplicating efforts, trying to satisfy the same customer using multiple channels, resources, and interactions. If your FTR is too low, it means that customers are having to invest an outsized effort in getting their queries resolved. In drastic scenarios, this could even cause customers to get frustrated and drop off – adding to your churn rate.
As always, the first step to rectifying a metric is to measure it.
Here is the formula for measuring FTR:
(The total number of customers who’s query or problem was resolved at the very interaction across the entire measurement period ÷ the total number of queries or problems processed by the contact centre across the entire measurement period) x 100.
Let’s say you are operating an omnichannel contact centre serving customers across email, chat, and telephone. In a single day, your agents respond to 100 emails, conduct 200 live chat conversations, and attend to 200 phone calls. Of this, 150 queries are resolved right at the first interaction.
Your FTR would look something like this:
((150 ÷ (100 + 200 + 200)) x 100 = 30% FTR for the day
FTR replaces a more traditional metric termed First Call Resolution (FCR), a staple for phone call-based – i.e., non-omnichannel – contact centres. As organisations expand to offer support on a variety of mediums, FCR had to be revisited.
Today, companies prioritise First Time Resolution or First Contact Resolution on any channel as a more accurate indicator of agent efficiency. Research suggests that 69.8% of organisations view this to be a “very important” metric, and only 4.2% choose to ignore it.
FTR Tips to Remember
The first step to measuring FTR is to accurately map if a customer query has been resolved during one interaction. Make sure that every interaction end with the question “were we able to successfully resolve your problem?” or “Is there anything else we can help you with?” This will clearly map closed conversation threads and help to compare against the total number of interactions handled.
Another tip for FTR optimisation is equipping agents with excellent communication skills. You could also leverage agent assist technology (e.g., displaying contextual insights on a customer’s purchase history) so that they have a better chance of quickly resolving the problem.