First Call Resolution (FCR) According to ITIL and General Best Practice

A reader recently asked me to comment on what a First Call Resolution (FCR) is according to ITIL and general best practice. When collecting metrics you want to be sure that the reporting brings good business value. From a reporting perspective it might serve well to report incidents and requests separately.    

Each organization will have to have policies for how the metrics are reported based on business value.  One option is to have a policy that will report on “Service Requests” separate from “Incidents”.  If we do not separate the logging and reporting for these very distinct processes the combined metrics and reporting might not be something that is meaningful or that could be acted upon correctly.  You could end up with a very high FCR rate but your Mean Time To Restore Service metric could be breaching the SLA.  Therefore, the question is not whether the call was resolved at first line, but rather was it a FCR for an Incident or Request/Standard Service?  Report upon them separately.

If you do not currently have the option to separate the records and reports for Incidents and Service Requests and you want to capture the FCR for “Incidents ONLY” then you might have a category or classification for incidents and a policy that states FCR reporting includes only those incidents that are IT related, outages, faults, break fix type of situations.
A “Service Request” should have a high if not a 100% first call resolution rate because a “Service Request” is a request from an end user for information, for comments or perhaps to fulfill a “Standard Service”.  A Standard Service has a Standard Operating Procedure/model that is followed to fulfill the request. 

Sometimes we also will run “Standard Changes” through the function of the Service Desk as though it were a simple “Service Request”.  A Standard Change is a pre-authorized, pre-approved, low risk and repeatable type of change.  A “Password Reset” would be an example of a very basic “Standard Change”.  It is very helpful to report upon these “Standard Changes” separate from Incidents.

The real key is to record and report upon Incidents and Requests separately to get the type of metrics that are meaningful to your business.

If you are engaged in these activities there is a lot of information and training available.  ITIL Foundation training is a great place to start and if you have that, there is a class that goes into great detail for the clarification and delineation for all of the “Operational” processes.  That course is called “Operational Support and Analysis”.   Take a look at the resources and training provided here and let me know if you have further questions.


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