Nothing pleases a customer more than getting the service right the first time. To meet ever-evolving customer expectations, field service organizations must equip their technicians with the right skills and tools for a perfect first-visit resolution.
Enter the First Time Fix Rate (FTFR), a crucial metric for CX leaders focused on exceptional customer experiences. By monitoring FTFR, organizations can drive customer satisfaction and retention.
In this blog, we will explore the importance of FTFR for CX leaders and learn how they can improve this customer service metric to build customer trust and loyalty and enhance customer experiences.
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What is First Time Fix Rate?
The First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) refers to the percentage of times a customer service representative successfully resolves customer problems during the first visit, eliminating returns for additional repairs or follow-up visits. It is a key metric for measuring the effectiveness of your field service teams.
High FTFR ensures time and resource savings for both customers and businesses. Achieving a high first time fix rate enhances customer experience, reduces multiple visit expenses, and ensures long-term business success.
How To Calculate First Time Fix Rate?
To calculate your first time fix rate (FTFR) and assess field staff performance, track the number of customer interactions resolved on the first visit. Now, divide the total number of jobs fixed on the first visit by the total field visits.
For example, if your customer service team handled 1000 interactions during the month, and 850 of those interactions were resolved on the first contact, then your FTFR would be:
FTFR = (850 / 1000) x 100 = 85%
4 Benefits of A High First Time Fix Rate
Your first time fix rate has a significant bearing on the success of your organization.
To deliver optimum customer service, companies must maintain a high FTFR. According to a report by Aberdeen Group, companies with best-in-class performance reported an FTFR of 89% or more, while companies who performed poorly had an FTFR of 56% or less.
Let’s discuss some of the key benefits of maintaining a high FTFR.
1. Improved Customer Satisfaction
Higher FTFR scores demonstrate an organization’s commitment to delivering exceptional customer service. When a customer’s issue is resolved on the first contact, it minimizes their effort and enhances their experience. This streamlined approach reduces customer frustration, builds loyalty and trust, and ultimately leads to higher satisfaction levels.
The 2023 ACA research states that 82% of customers will likely trust a brand and remain loyal to a business if they offer first-rate customer service. Negative interactions, on the other hand, cause clients to dismiss your business entirely.
2. Lower Operational Cost
Higher first time fix rates translate to fewer site visits. This means wasting less time and resources on expensive return visits. Furthermore, by elevating customer retention rates, first-time resolutions will lower the money spent on acquiring new customers.
3. Increased Agent Productivity
When agents can resolve issues on the first encounter, their productivity significantly improves. By avoiding the need for multiple follow-ups or escalations, agents can focus their time and efforts on assisting more customers. This will lead to increased efficiency and higher productivity levels.
Moreover, prioritizing focus on first-time resolutions will also improve your response time to future service calls.
4. Improved Brand Reputation
A high FTFR can help to boost the company’s overall brand reputation. Customers are more inclined to recommend a company that delivers efficient and effective customer service, leading to good word-of-mouth marketing and brand exposure.
Now that we have discussed the key benefits, let’s explore some tips to help alleviate your first time fix rate and improve your customer experience.
5 Tips to Reduce First Time Fix Rate
Following are some tips and best practices you can implement to improve their first time fix rate.
1. Streamline Agent Scheduling for Task Efficiency
If your field agent schedules are not properly streamlined, the technicians may spend significant time traveling between customer sites or waiting for appointments. This will decrease productivity, fewer client visits, and a lower FTFR.
Optimizing your agent’s schedule will help manage multiple service requests and ensure field agents promptly complete the task on the first visit.
Organizations can optimize their field agent schedules by implementing a scheduling process that considers realistic travel time and customer interactions. This will ensure meeting customer commitments and improve overall task completion efficiency, enhancing customer satisfaction.
CX leaders may also implement smart scheduling with intelligent tools that match schedules to the right jobs, reducing waiting time for customers and agents.
Moreover, having a better tracking system with real-time visibility and allotment of technicians will help to reduce delays in unforeseen issues such as vehicle problems, weather-related disruptions, traffic congestion, or last-minute cancellations.
2. Align Field Technicians as per the Skill Sets
When field technicians are not aligned with their skills, they may face challenges in resolving complex customer issues. This inefficient resource utilization will lead to prolonged troubleshooting and longer resolution times.
To overcome these challenges, mapping field technicians based on their skills and expertise is crucial. This can be achieved by implementing a skills matrix that aligns technicians with customer tickets based on equipment type and problem complexity. Additionally, leveraging assessment and performance data can further optimize ticket assignment by matching agents with their strengths.
Consider implementing a skills-based routing system using scheduling software or a workforce management platform to streamline the process. This will automate the assignment of tasks to the most suitable technicians, increasing the likelihood of first-time issue resolution.
Furthermore, CX leaders should prioritize ongoing training and development for technicians. By investing in their skills and keeping them up-to-date with the latest equipment and technologies, organizations can ensure that technicians are well-equipped to handle customer issues effectively.
3. Deliver better experiences with effective Call Triage and diagnosis:
When customer concerns are not properly understood during the initial call, it can lead to issues like technicians being assigned to the wrong tasks and a lack of necessary repair tools. This negatively impacts customer service and profitability.
To prevent such problems, organizations employ a process called triage. Triage involves evaluating and prioritizing customer calls based on urgency and severity, ensuring that the appropriate resources and support levels are allocated.
Investing in better diagnosis and triage during the initial service request is essential for improving first-time resolutions and reducing costly follow-up visits. Study shows that organizations that route all calls through triage experience an 86% level of a first time fix compared to 62% for those with no triage.
Technicians can be scheduled more effectively by accurately identifying and triaging issues at the initial call. This ensures they arrive with the required skills, tools, and parts to resolve the issue on their first visit.
To achieve this, agents should receive proper training to ask the right questions and accurately diagnose customer issues. This may involve the use of scripts, training materials, and remote diagnostic tools for real-time issue diagnosis before on-site visits.
4. Provide Real-Time Access to Actionable Knowledge
Sometimes even qualified technicians fail to understand the root cause of a customer’s issue properly. These unresolved tickets can lead to multiple visits and increased operational costs.
In such situations, where skills alone may not be enough, it is crucial for CX leaders to ensure that agents have access to the correct knowledge. Investing in a Knowledge Management System allows real-time access to essential resources like equipment manuals, repair procedures, troubleshooting guides, and FAQs.
This easy access to the right knowledge empowers technicians to consistently deliver high-quality service and resolve issues promptly without conducting follow-up visits.
CX leaders can utilize a comprehensive Knowledge Management System like Knowmax, which greatly assists technicians in addressing real-time issues. It provides an easily accessible knowledge base with interactive visual guides, recommended next-best actions, and quick FAQs.
The Remote Co-browsing feature also allows technicians to collaborate seamlessly with experts for issue resolution. By utilizing these tools, technicians can improve their ability to resolve issues on the first attempt, leading to an enhanced first time fix rate.
5. Build Completely Equipped Inventory Kits
Revisits are disheartening because the majority of them can actually be prevented!
Based on Aberdeen’s analysis of survey data, it has been found that 51% of revisits are caused by the unavailability of parts, either due to incorrect parts or no parts at all. Organizations should consider implementing fully equipped inventory kits for their field technicians to enhance the first time fix rate and minimize costly return visits.
By analyzing historical service and feedback data, organizations can identify common repair scenarios and create pre-packaged kits with all the necessary tools and parts for troubleshooting and repairs. Build well-organized and labeled tool kits that may contain specialized tools, general-purpose tools, testing equipment, and safety gear.
This proactive approach of readily available kits ensures that technicians are well-prepared to tackle customer issues during their initial visit, improving efficiency and heightening customer satisfaction.
Additionally, these kits should be regularly updated to align with changing technology and customer needs. Keep track of inventory usage, replenish items, and remove obsolete items to identify areas for improvement. This will enhance the preparedness and efficiency of field technicians, leading to improved FTFR and increased customer satisfaction.
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In conclusion, prioritizing the tracking and improving the First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) is essential for delivering exceptional customer satisfaction and streamlining field service operations.
However, while FTFR is a valuable metric, it should complement other performance indicators to understand team efficiency better.
Implementing the right tools, training, and advanced technology can significantly improve the first time fix rate of organizations. Also, companies can foster strong customer loyalty and retention by empowering support teams with relevant information and cultivating a customer-centric culture.
These efforts pave the way for overall success in a competitive marketplace, enabling organizations to deliver exceptional service and achieve their business goals.