FAQ: How Do You Calculate First Call Resolution (FCR)?

HDI and HDAA members are a group of community-minded problem solvers. They take their jobs of managing people, process, and technology quite seriously, but they also love to help each other excel in their careers. Today, they are sharing a recent discussion about first call resolution (FCR).Q: How are you calculating first call resolution (FCR) on your service desk?  Currently we are doing opened by service desk and resolved within the same day; status is NOT reopened, pending, or cancelled. – Donna D.

A: For live calls or web chats, FCR would include contacts where the customer’s issue is resolved before they hang up the phone or end the chat session. Calls or chats that require a customer callback or are escalated to another source of support do not qualify for first contact resolution. For emails and web submitted tickets, which now account for a significant percentage of all service desk contacts, the de facto standard emerging in the industry is that resolution within one business hour of receiving a customer email or web ticket counts as FCR. (Jeff Rumburg covered this topic in a recent Metric of the Month.)Angela I.

A: Anything closed by the call taker right away for sure. It can be same day, if you have to do research, again by the same tech. I’m still debating on what happens if the tech gets the answer from someone else and quotes them in the closure of the ticket. Currently, I am marking these as closed but not FCR. If it’s closed by the same tech, but not in the same day, no FCR.Josh S.

A: I manage an internal help desk and we have calls that come in that our analysts are unable to resolve due to coding issues etc. Interested to know if others include those types of calls when factoring FCR. Another question I have is how do folks deal with outage situations? Are those calls eliminated or included?Sheryl W.

A: Any call I or the team takes, counts towards the overall numbers. So a coding issue would be logged over to second level, and we wouldn’t count that as FCRnature of the beast. However, during an outage, or something like that, those can go against FCR depending on the resolution. If we’re giving the caller a workaround or quick answer, that’s FCR for us during the issuejust had that happen last week as a matter of fact.Josh S.


Life was easier when the primary or only channel for contacting the support center was telephone, and first call resolution meant just that: before the customer/user hung up the phone, they had a resolution. We also said that if there was a “warm transfer” (i.e., the phone call was still in progress and someone else provided the resolution), that was FCR, too, because it was still the same phone call. If you’re talking about actual first call resolution, resolving it in the same day is not FCR. It’s “same day resolution” or (if applicable) first level resolution.

When we start looking at other channels and talking about first contact resolution, what constitutes “first contact” gets a bit more difficult to define, and Angela (above) has it right.

Here’s the real question: Why are you defining FCR the way you’re defining it? If your purpose is to inflate the number of resolutions you can mark as FCR, that’s a problem. The purpose of tracking FCR is to show how effective (or not) your support center is at providing resolutions that are both accurate and fast. If your senior management is judging you based solely or primarily on your FCR rate, you’re incentivized to maximize that rate.

We don’t want our agents, reps, or analysts gaming metrics; we shouldn’t be doing it either.

Look at it from the customer’s point of view: If they can get the resolution on the first try, it’s FCR; if it takes research and a callback, it’s not.

Roy Atkinson, Senior Writer/Analyst, HDI