When a customer picks up the phone to call with a problem, are your help desk technicians able to resolve that issue on the first try? First-call resolution is a concept common in call centers, but one that can be extremely helpful to apply to MSPs. As the name suggests, this metric tracks the ability of the support organization to resolve customer problems or answer questions on the first call.
A high first-call resolution means that technicians or other customer support functions are quickly addressing and correcting customer concerns — an important factor in maintaining happy and satisfied customers. Meanwhile, a low metric can mean there is room to improve effectiveness or efficiency in support, or point to bigger challenges with problematic products or services that need to be addressed.
While first-call resolution is not the only way to measure customer satisfaction, it can provide some insight into the MSP’s effectiveness in this area. In a world where 49 percent of consumers switched companies as a result of poor customer service, first-call resolution can be one metric an MSP can use to ensure they stay competitive in this rapidly growing market.
Further reading Mastering Customer Service for MSPs
Measuring first-call resolution
Each organization will measure first-call resolution differently, depending on their specific goals and the available data. However, there are some common places to start. One way to measure it is to take the total number of calls successfully resolved on the first try, divided by total calls. Another way is to divide the number of calls resolved correctly on first try by the total number of first calls.
It is also important to have strong definitions for what is included in that data. For instance, does it only include live calls, or would it also include chat tickets? What will be considered “successfully resolved”? What defines taking a second call? What if someone walking by steps in to help? Having clear definitions set will ensure that the metric is meaningful to your MSP organization.
Best practices for first-call resolution
There are a number of steps MSPs can take to help measure first-call resolution more effectively, as well as improve it over time. First, training staff to ask at the end of the call if all questions have been addressed can indicate whether the customer considers the problem fully resolved. You can also introduce post-call surveys or email follow-ups to ask the customer if they were satisfied with the resolution.
An MSP can also leverage its CRM system to help measure first-call resolution, with the support agent noting in the ticket if the case was resolved on the first attempt. Some CRMs integrate with MSP software, which can help make this process even easier, and additional tools like call monitoring and recording can help add further data, if needed.
Further reading MSP Help Desk Software Overview
Not the be-all and end-all
Measuring first-call resolution can be incredibly helpful to an MSP organization, but it also shouldn’t be the only metric of success. For instance, putting too much emphasis on first-call resolution can push staff to close tickets quickly, even if it means not fully addressing the problem. An MSP should consider carefully how they communicate the importance of the metric or weigh it as part of employee performance standards to ensure it is having the desired effect.
In either case, first-call resolution is a helpful metric for any MSP. The definition of what it means to your organization may evolve over time as the business grows, but the effect of always striving to improve customer satisfaction will remain the same.