What is Average Response Time?
Average Response Time is the number of seconds or minutes it takes for a reply to be made to a customer after they voice an issue or request. Basically, the time between when a customer requests a piece of information and when a customer support representative provides an opening response.
It stipulates how long a customer has to wait before they are answered or helped by a representative. This form of measuring of time is also called “First Reply Time”. Average response time has a huge impact on customer satisfaction and customer expectation as they are often quite high.
Why is Average Response Time important?
Average Response Time is important as a fast response can make your customer feel a sense of importance and also cared for. Not only that, but speed matters a lot when it comes to customer service or customer care because in a way customers command for it. Hence, responding swiftly indicates you are meeting their demands and expectations. Another reason for it being important is that if you do not reply as soon as possible, the customer will raise the same complaint or request through other mediums, which in the end would imply less productive work done by your organization as two representatives would have to deal with the same customer. Responding quickly means less work for you and your team, so overall more time spent on writing quality responses.
Pros and Cons of Average Response Time:
First, let us start with the pros of Average Response Time. The first response is the customer’s first impression of your organization’s support team. It is extremely important to show the customer that the organization believes in giving importance to their requests and that they are there for them.
Tracking the Average Response Time helps the organization see if they have made a good impression on their customers. If customers don’t receive a response soon, they often take the help of social media in order to get a reaction, which leads to damaging the brand’s name.
One of the cons of Average Response Time is that it only shows when a response has been sent to the customer but does not calculate the customer satisfaction. Hence, it is important to see customer satisfaction as well along with the response time.
How to calculate Average Response Time?
It is fairly easy to calculate the response time by subtracting the time of the customer request from the time of the first reply made. The formula being: Time of first response - time of customer request = First Response Time.
To calculate the Average Response Time, simply divide the sum of all first response times by the number of responses made. Example: x, y, and z are your First Response Times then the way you would calculate the average is: x + y + z divided by 3 (number of responses made)
Response time calculating website or tools?
There are many websites that can help you in calculating the response time of your organization:
- JMeter: JMeter can be used for load and performance testing on your website.
- Load Runner: Microfocus has developed this product, it is a testing tool that works on the theory of simulating virtual user on your website.
- Adobe Experience Manager (AEM): AEM is another helpful software for testing response time. It allows checking queries that have a hard time being answered, request, and error message.
What is the Average Response Time in terms of using today's technology?
With respect to today’s day and age, there are many forms of technology development that have been made. For instance, chatbots are a very important discovery made in regards to customer satisfaction and customer service. Which simply just means going on a website and getting the help you are looking for immediately. If this is not available on many websites there is always an option for contact now, which has the helplines number, but people nowadays have a very short span of attention and do not like being on a platform for more than a set amount of time.
- 0.1 Second: It is the most favourable response time. If the response time is as low as this, customers tend to feel that the application or system is responding instantly and providing them with solutions instantly.
- 20 Second: It is known as the upper limit of acceptable response time. A response time of more than 20 seconds would interrupt the customer’s day, meaning they would have to wait a certain amount before receiving their solution.
- 1 minute: It is the maximum limit after which response time goes beyond the threshold and becomes unacceptable. The customer would probably not even be on the platform after this set time and would mostly make a negative image of your brand.
How to reduce Average Response Time?
There are many ways in which you can reduce response time, some of them are as given below:
- Implement customer service software - There are many types of software that can be used in order to take the load off the representative. With technology growing it is easy to store every interaction that is made in between a customer and a representative. Meaning you can understand recurring issues that a number of customers face and make sections in websites where answers to these questions can be found. If not a frequently asked section, in today's time there are also chatbots that a lot of websites use, in order to help the customer, receive basic information about their issues or questions they are looking for immediately.
- Use email autoresponders - Often when a customer gets a reply from an organization, they will know that their complaint or request has been received, which reassures them to a certain extent. They only get paranoid and reach out constantly if their complaints have been getting ignored and can cause the organization to lose its customers. A great way to avoid making a customer feel neglected is by using email autoresponders.
You could also highlight different aspects in this form of emails to show your gratitude to them or to make them feel special by writing things such as: “Thank you for reaching out to us”. Another way of assuring the customer is by letting them know in advance that due to certain factors like the time or public holiday may cause a delay in responding to their complaints. Also mentioning the duration in which they would receive the message, hence the customer would wait patiently for the duration mentioned.
- As mentioned in the first point FAQ sections are often enough to help the customer with their issue. So, if your organization has this section send such links or URL’s in emails, so the customers could review it.
- Another way in which response time can be improved is by using Time-Based Email Alerts, when a large amount of emails is received daily it can lead to some emails getting lost in the ruckus and getting forgotten for a long time. An excellent way of avoiding this is by setting time alerts on emails, which would ensure to remind you to reply to them in a set time span.
- Representatives who have worked for a long period of time know the type of questions that are often asked by customers. Using this information, “Templates” can be created with an appropriate answer to the frequently asked question and handed to other representatives, which in turn would save them time in responding to the same and be able to help more customers in a short period of time.
This would also make the customers glad as it would help them receive the information rapidly without having to answer multiple unnecessary questions just to make the representative understand the exact problem
- Prioritizing and categorizing emails received by customers is also an effective way in which one could ensure that emails are being sent to customers at a fast pace. Just to save some time a representative can see the subject line directly and figure out the severity of the matter based, and on that analysis, the representative could give emails different coloured tags. Example: RED for URGENT, GREEN for MODERATE, BLUE for CAN WAIT. This form categorizing would guarantee the customers with a bigger problem would receive an answer first.