Response Time Metrics 2023: Guide & Explanation
Response time (FRT) is the amount of time it takes for a customer service agent to respond to a customer inquiry. It is an important metric for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of a customer service team. A good FRT can help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and can also help to reduce costs associated with customer churn.
In today’s digital age, customers expect quick and efficient responses to their inquiries. A slow FRT can lead to customer dissatisfaction and lost sales. Therefore, it is important for businesses to monitor their FRT and take steps to improve it.
Let’s see the different response time metrics, how to improve FRT, and the recommended response time benchmarks for different channels and industries.
Table of contest:
- What is the Response Time and Which is the Recommended One?
- Response Time Metrics
- What is a Good Average Response Time?
- 5 Tips to Improve Your First Response Time
What is the Response Time and Which is the Recommended One?
FRT is the amount of time it takes for a customer service representative to respond to an inquiry from a customer. It is measured in seconds or minutes.
The recommended response time depends on the communication channel, the industry, and the customer’s expectations.
- Phone calls: The recommended FRT for phone calls is 1-2 minutes. This is because customers who call expect a quick response, as they are often calling with a pressing issue.
- Live chat: The recommended response time for live chat is 30 seconds – 1 minute. This is because customers who use live chat expect a quick and immediate response.
- Email: The recommended FRT for email is 1-4 hours. This is because email is a less urgent communication channel than phone calls or live chat.
- Social media: The recommended response time for social media is 1-2 hours. This is because social media is a public forum, and customers expect a quick response from businesses that are active on social media.
- Self-service portals and knowledge bases: The recommended FRT for self-service portals and knowledge bases is instant or within a few clicks. This is because customers should be able to find the information they need without having to contact customer service.
It is important to note that these are just general guidelines. The actual recommended response time may vary depending on the specific situation. For example, a business that sells products that are time-sensitive, such as food or flowers, may need to have a shorter FRT than a business that sells products that are not time-sensitive.
Response Time Metrics
There are a number of FRT metrics that can be used to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of a customer service team. These metrics can be used to identify areas where improvements can be made and to track progress over time.
These metrics include:
- Average response time: The average time it takes to respond to an inquiry.
- Median response time: The middle response time when all of the responses are ordered from shortest to longest.
- Maximum response time: The longest FRT.
- Minimum response time: The shortest response time.
- Percentile response time: The FRT that is exceeded by a certain percentage of the responses.
What is a Good Average Response Time?
The definition of a “good” average FRT depends on the industry, the communication channel, and the customer’s expectations. However, as a general rule of thumb, an average FRT of 1-2 minutes is considered to be good for phone calls, 30 seconds to 1 minute is considered to be good for live chat, and 1-4 hours is considered to be good for email.
Recommended FRT Benchmarks by Channel
Recommended FRT Benchmarks by Geo
The following table shows recommended response time benchmarks for different geographic regions:
Recommended Response Time Benchmarks by Industry
The following table shows recommended FRT benchmarks for different industries:
Ecommerce is one of the most sensitive industries, as customers expect a quick and efficient response to their inquiries. A study by Salesforce found that 52% of online shoppers would abandon their cart if they didn’t receive a response to their inquiry within an hour.
Peak Hours/Weekends/After Business Hours
Peak hours are times when companies need to be particularly well prepared to handle a large volume of inquiries. Customers expect a quick and efficient response during these times, and if they don’t receive one, they may be more likely to abandon their purchase or take their business elsewhere.During weekends and after business hours, there are also nuances to consider. Some customers may expect a slower response during these times, but others may still expect a quick response. It is important to be flexible and adjust your response time accordingly.
The following table combines the recommended FRT benchmarks for different times of day and communication channels:
The response time benchmarks in the table are just general guidelines. The best FRT for your business will depend on your industry, customer base, and resources. For example, if you are an ecommerce business that sells high-value products, you may need to have a shorter FRT during peak hours to ensure that customers don’t abandon their carts.
On the other hand, if you are a small business that operates during regular business hours, you may be able to get away with a longer FRT during off-peak hours.
The best way to determine the right response time for your business is to track customer feedback and adjust your FRT as needed.
5 Tips to Improve Your First FRT
- Use a knowledge base to answer simple questions. A knowledge base is a database of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that customers can search for answers. This can help reduce the number of inquiries that come into your customer service team, freeing up your agents to focus on more complex issues. Your knowledge base should be well-organized and easy to navigate, and it should be regularly updated with new FAQs.
- Use a chatbot to answer simple questions. A chatbot is a computer program that can simulate conversation with a human user. Chatbots can be used to answer simple questions 24/7, which can help you provide better customer service around the clock. Your chatbot should be trained on a wide range of FAQs, and it should be able to understand and respond to natural language queries.
- Train your customer service agents on how to prioritize inquiries and respond quickly. This will help ensure that customers are always answered in a timely manner. Customer service agents should be trained on how to prioritize inquiries based on urgency and importance. They should also be trained on how to respond quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries.
- Use a variety of communication channels to reach customers. This will make it easier for customers to get in touch with you and receive a quick response. Customers may prefer to contact you through different channels, such as phone, email, live chat, or social media. By using a variety of channels, you can ensure that you are accessible to customers no matter how they want to contact you.
- Hire outsourcing customer service specialists. Outsourcing customer service can be a great way to improve your first FRT and provide better customer service. Outsourcing providers have the resources and expertise to handle a large volume of inquiries quickly and efficiently. They can also provide 24/7 support, which can be helpful for businesses that operate in multiple time zones.
Response time is an important metric for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of a customer service team. However, it can be difficult and expensive to maintain a high FRT, especially for businesses that are growing rapidly or that operate in multiple time zones. This is why many businesses outsource their customer service.
Outsourcing customer service can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Improved FRT: Outsourcing providers have the resources and expertise to handle a large volume of inquiries quickly and efficiently. This can help businesses to improve their FRT and meet customer expectations.
- Reduced costs: Outsourcing providers can often offer lower costs than in-house customer service teams. This can help businesses to save money on salaries, benefits, and training.
- Access to expertise: Outsourcing providers can offer access to a wider range of expertise than most in-house teams. This can be helpful for businesses that need specialized knowledge or support.
- Improved scalability: Outsourcing providers can scale their services up or down as needed, which can be helpful for businesses that are growing rapidly or that experience seasonal fluctuations in demand.
- Improved focus: Outsourcing customer service can allow businesses to focus on their core competencies. This can help businesses to improve their efficiency and profitability.
If you are looking to improve your customer service and provide a better experience for your customers, then outsourcing customer service is a great option. Pexly can help you to improve your FRT, reduce your costs, and improve your customer satisfaction.