First Time Fix Rate(FTFR): What is it & Why is Important for Your Business

keyKey Takeaways:
  • FTFR is a metric that calculates the percentage of service calls resolved on the first visit, reflecting efficiency in issue resolution.
  • Improving FTFR involves organizing training, optimizing inventory management, and leveraging technology for enhanced service performance.
  • Prioritize customer support and sustainability for competitive advantage.

The first impression is the last impression!

The above quote is quite true for field service businesses to stay in the market and give tough competition to their rivals. That is truly said because around 75% of customers are more inclined to buy from businesses that provide a satisfactory customer experience. On the flip side, a negative experience can lead to customers avoiding a business completely. So, it is important to keep all your service parameters under proper observation. 

Ensuring that a customer’s first experience goes beyond their expectations helps build trust from the start. Therefore, you must understand and maintain a high first time fix rate (FTFR) to enhance your first impressions and meet customer demands. Well, if you are coming up with a new business and really concerned about providing customer service, then you must focus on FTFR.

Worry not, if you do not have an idea about FTFR, this blog will help you understand it in detail and also explain ways to improve it. Later, we will also go through the major benefits of increased FTFR.

What is First Time Fix Rate?

A first time fix rate is a process to measure how often your technician completes the service and resolves customer issues on the first attempt. For example, if your technician responds quickly to a customer’s call and helps them get rid of the issue in the first attempt without any second visit, then the first time fix rate is good and likely to increase.

In simple terms, it is a business metric that helps you figure out how quickly your supporting staff is resolving customers’ queries. Based on the FTFR, you can find out customer satisfaction, which ultimately helps you check the customer retention rate. 

How to calculate first time fixed rate

Calculating the FTFR of your business requires the total number of tasks carried out by technicians on the first attempt and then dividing it by the total jobs completed. By doing so, you will know how quickly your technicians are resolving customers’ issues and if they need multiple visits to customers’ houses. Below is the basic formula to derive FTFR. 

FTFR = Number of successful jobs in first visit / Total completed jobs

This calculation will help you gauge the successful task completion of your service professionals. The individual data will help you understand where the technicians are lacking in performance so that you can improve them by giving additional training.

To help you understand this easily, let us take an example that one of your employees is performing 100 service visits to fix the customer’s issues, and out of that, only 60 are successful fixes on the first attempt. Then, you can calculate it as: 

(60 / 100) * 100 = 60%

This 60% is derived from the calculation of your actual First Time Fix Rate. It states that out of 100 visits, the technician was able to resolve problems in only 60% of the cases the first time. These stats suggest what improvements you need to imply in the service process in order to increase the first time fix rate.

Why is First Time Fix Rate Important for Your Service Business?

Focusing on the first time fixed rate should be the priority of your business as it holds importance in establishing customer loyalty and business profits. The high FTFR  can help you get a competitive edge, which is why it is important to consider in your business. Below are a few reasons why FTFR is important: 

Customer satisfaction

When booking a service with your business, customers expect a properly skilled and trained technician to address their issues quickly. A higher fix rate for any first time service increases your customer feedback and improves your bottom line.

If their issues are resolved on the first attempt, they may not get frustrated but give positive word of mouth. Also, once they are satisfied with your service, they are likely to stay glued to your business in the future.

Multiple client visits 

Visiting your client’s house multiple times means you require skilled professionals to fix the issue without a secondary visit. This is why you need to consider FTFR and increase it to maintain customer satisfaction and reduced visits.  

However, if your company can not provide a first time fix, you may have to allot additional visits to provide a proper resolution. In that case, you must give importance to the company’s FTFR. 

Competitive advantage

Nobody wants to lose its position in the current competitive market, and that’s where FTFR plays a crucial role. It gives you a competitive edge if you have a higher FTFR, and therefore, you must keep a check on it regularly. Higher FTFR means you are likely to outperform your rivals, attracting more potential clients to your business. 

Brand reputation

Since having a positive brand reputation fosters trust among customers, you should prioritize FTFR to improve your brand reputation. If your team is capable of fixing the issues on the first attempt, your customers are more likely to rely on your business and share positive experiences with others. Such things help other people to choose your business, ultimately strengthening your brand reputation. 

Brand reputation

Moreover, brand reputation also attracts many investors following exceptional performance and stable growth. Therefore, it may have a strong chance of your company’s expansion in the near future.

How to Improve First Time Fix Rate?

The first step to improving your first time fix rate is by evaluating it right from the start. It’s crucial to analyze the key metrics – the total number of service calls your technicians resolved in the first attempt. You can track the repeat visits and the total time it took to resolve those issues. Here is how you can fix it:

1. Conduct employee training programs using advanced software

Advanced tools and technology can help your employee get skilled and knowledgeable in a short time to perform service easily. You can use software like Upper to schedule efficient routes for your team to arrive at the destination on time. The best part of adopting this software is you don’t need extra employee training sessions. Upper, a route optimization software, not only creates an efficient route plan but also takes on your assigned job as you can dispatch routes with just a single click.

Automate Your Business Operations with Upper

Get Upper as your innovative software and let your team follow the fastest routes to arrive on time for client visit. Reduce manual efforts and boost your FTFR using Upper.

Once your support staff is trained properly, you can expect a successful job done on the first visit. Thereafter, you don’t have to worry about incomplete service or multiple visits. Skilled service professionals would resolve the customer’s problem for the first time. Hence, this is how giving the proper training can positively influence your FTFR. 

2. Work on customer feedback

Work on customer feedback

You get proper clarity about the customer’s expectations when you have customer feedback. Then, you can assign your technicians as per the particular service. You can even ask questions to your customers to figure out their expectations. You can ask your customers the below standard questions:

  • How long has it been since the issue began? 
  • Which is the best time to schedule the service?
  • Will there be someone at the location to address our technicians?
  • What is the procedure to enter if there is no one present?
  • Is there anything important you want to share before our technician arrives?

The above questions can be reiterated as per your business and the customers you cater to. Getting answers to such questions can help you keep your customers happy. Thus, this way, you can increase your FTFR. 

3. Assign the right technician

This is one of the most effective and vital factors that will help you boost your first time fix rate. While you may have all the tools, parts, and field service management software, you must assign the right technician to the right job. 

Companies usually fail to fix a problem by sending the wrong or less-skilled technician to the site. So, you must match the field technicians to their jobs through factors such as experience level, expertise, and specialization.

4. Easy access to information and resource

When your technicians do the client’s visit, make sure they have full access to the information required to perform service. You can allow them direct access to technical manuals or resources remotely so that they can wrap up their work in minutes. This process of handing over the right information can result in accurate problem-solving. 

The technician, present at the spot, should get essential spare parts and necessary materials so that it doesn’t go on for a long time or a potential second visit. 

Real-life Example: Geek Squad Overcame Poor FTFR by Organizing Technician Training Programs

Geek Squad, an American and Canadian repair service provider, helps their customers by fixing their mobile devices and doing installations in residential and commercial areas. Maintaining a higher FTFR was quite a big challenge as there were complex issues on the technical side, which is why technicians were unable to fix the issue on their first visit. The company’s goal was to win customer support and achieve organizational goals. Therefore, it decided to work on its poor first time fix rate.

What are the steps taken by Geek Squad?

Seeing the declining FTFR, Geek Squad prioritizes helping their technicians to reduce the number of visits. Below are steps taken by Geek Squad. 

  • Organized proper training programs for their technicians
  • Invested in diagnostic tools and advanced equipment
  • Collectively worked on customer feedback and implemented quality control
  • Started using mobile inventory management system

These efforts put in by Geek Squad had a positive impact on their business as FTFR was increasing gradually. As a result, there were reduced visits, enhanced customer satisfaction, along with positive word of mouth.

FAQs

Generally, good FTFR ranges from 75% to 80% for major industries like field service and delivery service. Businesses are recommended to achieve high FTFR by continually working to improve it over time. Regularly monitoring and analyzing FTFR data can really help identify areas of improvement.

Assigning wrong tasks to the service professionals or lack of employee training are a few challenges that can badly affect FTFR. Also, inadequate workflow processes and resistance to adopting new technologies are some other obstacles.

Definitely, technology can boost the First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) by providing solutions to resolve known issues, enabling remote diagnostics, and providing support for real-time collaboration with tech experts.

FTFR can benefit businesses across various industries if they are associated with field services or customer support. Any company striving to efficiently resolve customer problems can achieve organizational goals by optimizing FTFR. As a result, you can boost customer satisfaction and operational efficiency for your business.

For sure, since a high First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) means resolving customer issues in the very first attempt, your customers may not churn out and are highly satisfied with your service. Such things can have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.

Yes, it is crucial in achieving a high First Time Fix Rate (FTFR). Well-trained support staff possess better skills and knowledge that can quickly resolve customer issues on the first attempt. Training your employees with the latest software and techniques helps them provide effective solutions.

Customer complaints, pending customer issues, repetitive calls from customers, and unsatisfied customers are some warning signs. These signs indicate many areas of improvement that can help you increase FTFR.

Conclusion

Now, what we know so far is that a higher FTFR is all you need to achieve business success and keep customers satisfied. If you fail to provide customer-friendly service on the first attempt, you may see your customers churn out, resulting in a loss of business revenue. The reason why it is recommended that you must improve your first time fix rate to stand out in this competitive market. 

A good first time fix rate (FTFR) doesn’t just improve customer satisfaction but also elevates revenue by bringing down costs on repeated services. A combination of the right tools, proper training, and the use of advanced technology will help you achieve your business goals. Hence, you should focus on how to improve FTFR and let your business flourish in a short time.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.

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