From an employee perspective, this study benchmarks your contact center’s FCR business practices effectiveness, provides insights on reducing repeat calls and awards contact centers that have demonstrated Esat excellence

For the average contact center SQM benchmarks, only 48% of total calls are ‘one and done’ call resolution. This means for the average contact center, 52% of total calls handled by CSRs are for customers who are calling 2 or more times to resolve their call. The opportunity to improve the contact center’s ‘one and done’ call resolution performance is enormous and, in most cases, is the greatest opportunity for the contact center to improve its FCR, Esat, Csat, operating cost and its ability to help retain customers for the organization. Also, SQM’s research shows that for each additional call, customer satisfaction drops by 15%. In addition, employee satisfaction is negatively impacted when CSRs handle too many calls from customers who have called in 2 or more times to resolve their call.

It has been SQM’s experience that CSRs who handle the customer’s call are one of the best sources for feedback about improving your FCR performance. This study benchmarks your contact center’s FCR business practices’ effectiveness and provides insights on reducing repeat calls. This is achieved by CSRs and supervisors completing an online survey that takes approximately 30 minutes and consists of up to 50 questions.

Why Participate in SQM’s Esat FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study

Do you know…

  • how satisfied your employees are with your contact center’s ability to deliver first call resolution in a consistent manner?
  • what repeat call reasons your employees want you to improve on?
  • how your contact center compares to your industry and world class contact centers for key FCR employee satisfaction indicators?
  • how satisfied your employees are working in your contact center?
  • if your FCR employee satisfaction changes by contact center or by employment status?
  • how to prioritize opportunities for FCR employee satisfaction improvement?
  • how your first call resolution performance is impacting your employee satisfaction performance?
  • your targeted opportunities for employee satisfaction improvement?
  • if you are using the right measures to effectively evaluate your employee satisfaction with your FCR business practices?
  • the best practices for incorporating FCR as an operating philosophy and improving FCR performance?

If you don’t have quality answers to these questions, let the experts at SQM Group assist you in benchmarking your employee satisfaction for your contact center’s FCR effectiveness and to provide insights on reducing repeat calls.

employee satisfaction

Top 5 Reasons to Improve Your First Call Resolution Performance

Reduce operating cost – for every 1% improvement in FCR, a contact center reduces its operating costs by 1%. If a contact center is performing at the FCR contact center industry average of 70%, it is important to understand that, potentially, 30% of customers will have to call back because their issue was not resolved on the first call. It is also important to note that for the contact center industry average, it takes 1.5 calls to resolve a customer’s inquiry or problem yet for customers who do not achieve FCR, it takes on average, 2.5 calls to resolve their call. This is an enormous opportunity to reduce a contact center’s operating costs as repeat calls represent 23% of the average contact center’s operating budget.

Improve Csat – for every 1% improvement in FCR, there is a 1% improvement in Csat (top box response). Clearly, FCR is highly correlated to Csat. In fact, of all the contact center internal or external metrics, FCR is the metric with the highest correlation to Csat. The absence of FCR is the strongest driver of customer dissatisfaction. In fact, as previously mentioned, Csat (top box response) drops, on average, 15% every time a customer has to call back to get their initial call resolved. In other words, if a customer had to call in three times to get their call resolved their Csat (top box response) would be 30% lower than a customer who had their call resolved on the first call.

Improve Esat – for every 1% improvement in FCR there can be a 1% to 5% improvement in Esat. Contact centers with high FCR tend to have high Esat. Conversely, contact centers with low FCR tend to have low Esat. The level of stress is very high for the CSR who handles the second or third call from a customer whose issue was not resolved on the first call. Increasing FCR improves both Esat and Csat. The bottom line is that when customer calls are consistently resolved on the first call, Esat can increase substantially, especially for low FCR performing contact centers. Most contact center managers connect to the concept that high Esat can provide high Csat/FCR, but it also goes the other way in that high Csat/FCR can provide high Esat.

Increase opportunities to sell – when a customer’s call is resolved, it increases the customer cross-selling acceptance rate by up to 20%. SQM’s research shows that the customer’s needs must be resolved before the CSR has earned the right to move on to any type of sales activity. If the CSR cross-sells before the inquiry or problem is resolved, the customer typically becomes irritated and feels that the organization is pushing its needs, rather than serving the customer’s needs. As a result, the fundamental customer relationship is undermined.

Reduce customers at risk – only 2% of customers who have their call resolved on the first call expressed their intent not to continue to use the organization’s products and services as a result of their contact center experience. However, if the call is unresolved, 19% of customers expressed their intent not to continue to use the organization’s products and services as a result of their contact center experience. The cost of customer defections as a result of their contact center experience tends not to be understood by contact centers because it is not often measured. For many contact centers, retaining customers represents the biggest opportunity to add true value to their organization. Resolving calls is the key to reducing customers at risk. In fact, for every 2% improvement in FCR there is a 1% improvement in call resolution which results in helping the contact center retain customers.

About Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study

The Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study assesses the contact center’s FCR business practices from an employee perspective and provides best business practices for achieving FCR.

It is SQM’s belief that your frontline employees are your best resource for assessing your business practices for achieving FCR.

Benchmarking comparison to your peer industry, contact center industry and best contact center for employee satisfaction ratings. In addition, our study can compare your contact center by position, status and teams.

We benchmark over 250 leading North American contact centers on an annual basis and we have been doing this study since 1996.

Join other major organizations that have participated in our Contact Center Benchmarking Studies such as Avon, Bristol Myers, Capital One, Discover Financial, Exelon Corp, Florida Power, GMAC, Liberty Mutual, Marriott, Safeway, Sears, Staples, US Bank and Wells Fargo.

Based on our Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study data, we work with you to develop meaningful and actionable targeted opportunities for improvement that will protect and optimize one of your company’s greatest assets – your customers!

Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study Methodology

Customizing the Benchmarking Study
Employee surveys are conducted through our website or via email. Our in-depth, 50 questions survey is completed by up to 100 of your employees. SQM’s employee survey focuses on the contact center’s FCR business practices’ effectiveness from CSRs and frontline management’s point of view. SQM has a proven track record for measuring the factors that drive first call resolution and employee satisfaction. The survey can be customized to meet your contact center needs.

In order to get the most from our benchmarking study you will be guided on how to select your employees to be surveyed, survey questions for your employees and the frequency of the surveys. For example:

  • If you are looking to understand full and part time employee satisfaction, you will select a sample of employees that is representative of your contact center employment status mix.
  • If you want to get a deep understanding of specific contact centers, attributes, or positions the survey can be customized to meet your needs.
  • You can determine the frequency of when the benchmarking surveys should be conducted (i.e. quarterly, semiannually, or annually).

Our Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study can be focused on specific areas, such as:

  • Position – Frontline, supervisors, and management
  • Status – Full time and part time positions
  • Center – Contact center locations
  • Teams – Teams or departments
  • Educational Level – High school or college

Our Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study can also be focused on specific call types or skill types, such as:

  • Inquiries
  • Orders
  • Complaints
  • Dispatching
  • Helpdesk
  • Collections

Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Report Deliverables

A straightforward, but in-depth report delivered to you and your management team outlining your contact center’s Esat for FCR Effectiveness performance. This report can be delivered to you within 5 days of completion of your data collection. Typically, the whole project can take as little as 5-10 days from start to finish.

Specifically, the Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study gives you:

  • Benchmarking comparison to over 250 leading North American contact centers
  • Benchmarking comparison to peer group, contact center industry and world class contact center
  • Esat and customer feedback for contact center’s FCR business practices’ effectiveness
  • Targeted opportunities for reducing repeat calls
  • Best practices for reducing repeat calls
  • Entry into SQM’s Service Quality Excellence Awards and Certification Program


*Your front line employees are your best resource for assessing your business practices for achieving FCR.*

What’s Next

  1. Call SQM Group at (800) 446-2095 to talk about your objectives for the project.
  2. We will walk you through a sample report which will show you clearly what you can expect from the Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study.
  3. To get the project started, SQM Group will conduct a pre-survey consultation to walk you through Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study implementation steps.

Your Investment


The total investment for the Esat for FCR Effectiveness Benchmarking Study is typically $4,000 plus applicable taxes.

Additional employee surveys are $15 per survey.