Earlier, I introduced the eight KPIs that are critical to every IT help desk. These KPIs help meet basic IT help desk objectives such as business continuity, organizational productivity, and delivery of services on time and within budget. The previous blog post discussed about the KPI ticket volume trends. This post discusses the fifth KPI – first call resolution rate (FCRR). 

Definition: Percentage of incidents resolved by the first level of support (first call or contact with the IT help desk).

Goal: Have a higher FCRR.

High first call resolution rate is usually associated with higher customer satisfaction as confirmed by a study that Customer Relationship Metrics conducted. 

Furthermore, a study conducted by Service Quality Measurement Group also revealed that for every one percent improvement in FCRR, you get a one percent improvement in customer or end user satisfaction.

First call resolution rate is also related to cost per ticket. The following graph represents the cost per ticket for every level.

Sometimes IT help desk technicians rush to close tickets during the first call, without accurate resolutions. Such cases can lead to first call resolution rates rising, while end user satisfaction rates drop drastically, as depicted in the following graph.

Another possible trend is a constantly degrading FCRR, as shown in the following graph.

There are a few reasons this could occur, but the primary reasons are as follows:

  • Lack of requester and system information.

  • Poor technician capabilities.

  • Poor knowledge transfer and sharing.

According to MetricNet’s benchmarking levels, the average net FCRR for service desks globally is 74 percent, with a range of 41 to 74 percent. The most common factors among all the services on the higher end of the spectrum were the presence of highly trained agents, the availability of knowledge management tools, and the presence of tools such as remote desktop management.

FCRR can be improved with the following tips:

  • Communicate the importance of FCRR to the technicians.

  • Design training programs for the first level technicians on specific subjects to help resolve tickets faster

  • Maintain a knowledge base of advanced technical solutions and articles exclusively for, and limited to, technicians.

  • Create custom forms to collect all relevant information at the time of ticket creation to avoid turnaround delays.

  • Automatically route tickets to the right technician or group based on ticket parameters.

FCRR excellence tip

Here is a simple three-phase technique to get your IT help desk team resolving tickets in the first call.

Phase 1: Learn the environment

1. Gather environment-specific knowledge.

2. Populate the knowledge base with the information collected, creating relevant artifacts.

3. Generate regular status reports on the IT help desk performance with sections on lessons learned, achievements, and obstacles overcome.

4. Invite experts to evaluate performance.

5. Create an operations manual that clearly outlines support processes, centralizes key environmental information, and explicitly defines complex procedures for ticket resolution.

Phase 2: Fine tune

Generate reports to ascertain that the efforts of phase I panned out, and identify areas of improvement. Below are some sample reports to help you get started.

• Percentage of calls taken by each technician.

• Number of calls taken per agent, per hour.

• Average talk time, by agent.

• Of the tickets we did not close, where were they transferred?

• Of those transfer destinations, who received the most tickets?

Phase 3: Optimize

Establish a well-defined process for continual improvement of first call resolution rate.

This technique not only helps you improve the FCRR levels, but also helps ensure that tickets are properly resolved, not just closed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below. In the next blog, we will discuss about the next KPI, SLA compliance rate. In the meanwhile, if you are looking for an end to end IT service management solution, we encourage you to check out ServiceDesk Plus, the IT help desk software trusted by over 100,000 help desks worldwide.