First Call Resolution

I was recently asked
"Do you have an average for the service desk of first call resolution?  We are trying to set a target for the team and I cannot find any data which gives me any indication what a good target would be." 
First call resolution (sometimes called "first contact resolution" or FCR) is an industry recognized metric for the performance of the Service Desk.   Analysts are measured on their ability to restore service to a user and close an incident during the first call or contact.    

This is a difficult metric to benchmark across all organizations and all incidents.   Factors such as incident complexity, service desk skills and empowerment,  outsourcing and remote control capabilities can influence the ability (or inability) to restore service during the first contact.

While ITIL acknowledges FCR as an important Service Desk metric, it steers clear of offering a target or benchmark.  Industry experts generally accept a FCR range of 65 to 80 %.   Despite this,  I would recommend avoiding a "one size fits all" approach and instead suggest that you map FCR targets to your high level incident models.  Requests and standard changes might be expected to exceed 90% FCR.   Major incidents would likely have a very low FCR target until a trusted workaround is identified and deployed.  In this way, the message behind the metric is situational and clarifies opportunities for specific improvements.

There is a fine line between creating too many or too few FCR goals.  Too few and you may hold the Service Desk up to an impossible, generic goal.  Too many and the metrics may no longer be measurable, meaningful and manageable.   The "right" target will depend on your available resources (technical, financial, and human) as well as what you will do with the data once it is benchmarked.   


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