Skip to content

First-Contact Resolution: The Key to Customer Experience?

3 minute read

Steve Morrell, Managing Director of ContactBabel explores whether first-contact resolution is the key to quality customer experience. 

The ability to understand a query and deal with it in a reasonable timeframe at the first time of asking is the key to a contact centre’s success, reducing the overall number of contacts while providing the customer with a good experience which will impact on the company’s overall performance. 

It also has a positive effect on the agent’s morale (and thus, staff attrition and absence rates) and increases the chances of a successful cross-sell and up-sell being made. 

Little wonder that the first-contact resolution (FCR) metric has grown hugely in importance: unlike many other metrics, it works for both customer and business – a true ‘miracle metric’.  

ContactBabel carried out a survey of 1,000 UK consumers who were asked to state which were the top three most important factors to them when contacting an organisation.

Figure 2: What are the top 3 most important factors to you when contacting an organisation by phone or digital channel? (by age range)


The chart shows the importance of various customer experience factors as an aggregated bar chart, segmented by age so as to show the factors that were of most importance to customers in each age range. 

Aggregating the results allows an understanding of which factors were placed in the top three overall, while also providing insight on age-related opinion. 

49% of the youngest age group (16 to 24 years old) stated that first-contact resolution was one of their top three most important factors, whereas 64% of the oldest age group (over 65 years old) placed this in their top three. 

This is not a one-off finding: our annual surveys for the past six years have all emphasised the importance of FCR to customer experience. 

Contact centre managers and directors understand the importance of first-contact resolution, with 81% of them ranking FCR as one of the top three most important factors impacting CX. 

However, at a senior management level, the story is somewhat different.

Our survey of 200 business respondents were asked to pick a single customer experience metric upon which their board / senior management team most judged the success or otherwise of the customer experience programme.

Figure 3: CX metric upon which the Board / senior management most judge the success of the CX programme

There was a wide mix of responses, with NPS and customer satisfaction score accounting for around 60% of responses.

Of particular note is the fact that first-contact resolution rate was identified as being the key CX metric for senior management by only 5% of respondents, despite both the customer and contact centre survey results showing clearly that first-contact resolution was the most important factor in influencing customer experience. 

This suggests that senior management are focusing on the end-product of the CX programme (i.e. customer satisfaction) rather than one of the key drivers of this customer satisfaction (i.e. first-contact resolution). 

The challenge remains to emphasise the importance of FCR to the customer experience, and persuade senior leaders to take it seriously with their strategy and investment priorities. 

Keep up to date with the latest events, resources and articles.

Sign-up for the Engage Customer Newsletter.