KPI’s vs One Call Resolution vs Good Customer Service


Anyone who has worked in a call centre or customer service environment of any sort will have heard of KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators. They measure targets of length of call, cycle time, availability or uptime or rejection rate etc. They are raw sets of data, which are used to identify patterns or a measure to be compared to.

One Call Resolution

Whereas One Call Resolultion or First call resolultion is a CRM or Customer Relations Management term for making sure you take care of everything on that call to ensure the customer doesn’t have to call back.


Can you do away with KPI’s in order to improve customer service and switch to a First Call Resolution system.

Orange PLC

A few years ago, Orange call centre’s were full of KPI’s and customer service was lacking. So to deal with this situation, Orange adopted the First Call Resolution method to enhance customer service and customer retention.

Well, it worked and customers flocked back to Orange in their droves. I was at Orange during the transition period and I have to say, One Call Resolution in my opinion massively improved the feedback from customers; who finally felt their issues were dealt with efficiently and successfully.

So on the face of it, the switch to KPI-less targets worked and customers welcomed the change. However, before you all clap and say well done. Orange because of business constraints and the terrible idea to offshore ended up moving back to the UK with their call centre’s and reintroduced KPI’s heavily.

Why change?

We could investigate this to the hills and never understand why companies who abandon KPI’s for customer service, eventually go back to KPI’s. However in my small opinion have come to conclude that the people who do away with KPI’s then begin to see a lot of free time between calls, call numbers drop (because problems are dealt with straight away) and equate that to time they could pack into the working day of their advisors. This then gives them the idea that KPI’s were better for business and so reintroduce them.

All companies are looking for the quick fix, the one thing they can introduce that will fix their customers expectations, improve performance and so forth. The truth to some extent is that CEO’s, Board Members aren’t the best judge of what the customer expects or what customers want. These people have never been on the front lines, dealing with customers concerns and frustrations.

I’ve told the story before of the elderly lady while working at Orange, who called in because her phone was “broken”.

The old lady tale

I’m going to cut this to the quick and just give the facts. A lady in her 80’s or 90’s called Orange because the light on the top of her Nokia was broken.

The phone was worth about £25 but the diagnostics test came back that it could receive calls and texts.

On inquiring, the lady was as deaf as two short planks, and used to point the light at her face so when the phone went off, the light alerted her.

With the light not working, she was missing calls and people were getting worried.

However with the tests coming back that the phone worked, that was the end of the process and usually the advisor would tell her there was nothing they could do.

what did you do michael?

Well, you can guess that I didn’t much like this outcome, and when she finally came to someone with the sense to take this in hand (ME obviously) I decided to take action. I bought a said replacement, and sent it to the elderly lady with compliments. £25 is nothing to me, or wasn’t at the time. Yet, a huge company like Orange that would not take time to send a £25 replacement on principle that it was only a stupid light not working on an otherwise healthy phone.

So, as you can see it doesn’t matter whether you introduce KPI’s or One Call Resolution, unless you have the advisors who can use their own judgement and give good customer service.



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