As an employee of a company that has customer service among its activities, your job is to help your team effectively resolve problems, that is, make customers feel that they are addressed quickly and honestly.

To do this, a key element is to take into account the response time of the service you offer. 

What is response time in customer service?

Response time refers to how long customers have to wait with a problem or query before being assisted by a support representative. 

Does your company know how long it takes to respond? How long do customers typically wait after contacting customer service? Minutes? Hours? Days?

Response time is one of the customer service KPIs that you should monitor.

What is considered a good response time?

A good response time varies depending on the channel the customer chooses to contact you with. Here are some estimated percentages: 

  • 42% of customers who complain on social media expect a response time of 60 minutes or less.
  • 50% of respondents mention that they expect a response by email in at least 24 hours.
  • 53% of customers think three minutes is a reasonable time to wait for a support agent on a call. 
  • The benchmark average for live chat across industries is one minute and 36 seconds, resulting in 92% customer satisfaction.

We recommend that you read: Net Promoter Score, one of the indicators to measure customer satisfaction.

4 Metrics to Measure Customer Service Response Time

Here are four metrics you can use to track and understand your response time data.

1. Service level metrics

This is a typical metric for a call center team related to customer service. This shows how well the team is performing to achieve its service level each day of the week, compared to each day of the previous week.

In this metric, service levels are shown as a percentage of the team members’ performance level. Ideally, your percentage should be around 98-100% each day. Being above 100% means you were responding to calls, emails, and chats so quickly that it was probably overworked. Being below 98% means customers expect more. What you undoubtedly have to achieve is to be in the range of 98-100% so that you meet customer expectations and do not exceed the work level either.

A bar chart is a good way to visualize this data because you can easily compare last week’s performance with a new week’s performance.

Viewing your data in real time through a dashboard will help you achieve better results, as you will have a better visualization of what you need to improve.

2. Average response time

This metric shows the average time it takes for each customer service representative to respond via email, chat, or phone every day during the month.

The amount of time it takes to respond on each of the three channels each day adds up, and should be about 25 minutes. Representatives must respond to each channel throughout the day and must prioritize their time to ensure they meet appropriate service levels.

This metric provides a quick way to see if there is a good balance between all service channels and if they are close to or below the target service level.  

3. Average response time vs contact volume metric

This metric shows the same data as the previous metric without segmenting the average first response time information by channel. Instead, it shows the total number of the three channels.

Viewing this information as a column and line chart is an easy way to make a comparison of response time on each rep with the number of service requests received. 

These kinds of customer service metrics will help you better understand each rep’s ability to handle their workload.  

4. Average chat response time. Vs Chat Volume Metric 

The difference with this metric is that it shows data for a specific contact channel, in this case, chat. 

You can create graphs that allow you to see data from other support channels to see if representatives are meeting the appropriate levels and avoid making errors in customer service.

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