Optimizing response time is one of the best ways to measure your customer service performance. By definition, average response time is the average time the server takes to respond to all the requests given to it (thanks, Raygun!). More specifically, we like to look at it as how you can measure efficiency among your customer service staff and platform. While the metric seems simple on the surface, it gives valuable insights into areas of future growth and improvement. We'll take you through how to calculate this metric, how to understand it in the context of your industry, and how to apply it to the platforms you're using now.
How to Calculate Average Response Time
You can calculate average response time by multiplying each transaction by its response time, summing the products, and dividing the sum to the total transactions. Average response time can be assessed for various time-periods (i.e. day, week, month, year) and, if your transactions are tied to certain products or campaigns, you can assign a specific average response time for each.
If you’re confused about how to define transaction, response time, and total transactions, we’ve included some nifty definitions and examples below:
- The transaction is the query of users on a website or application. This includes answering messages and completing their requests.
- Response time is the time interval that it takes for the staff or an application to answer the requests of the user. Note that you have to choose the easiest metric (seconds, minutes, hours) depending on all intervals of transactions!
- The total transaction is the sum of all the transactions made in a certain period of time. You can count per day, weeks, or months.
When choosing what to include in your calculations, remember: consistency is key! That means, if you decide to include XYZ in your average response time for the month, you should include it in the next month’s average response time as well. Having consistent metrics will allow you to better identify the causes of good or bad performance. For instance, if you added staff or bots in your system to answer more transactions and the average response time is still high, then you must do something to improve it.
Connecting Average Response Time to Your Business
Again, as you begin (consistently) monitoring average response time, you’ll be able to find insights specific to your strategy. Of course, it’s also important to understand your average response time in relation to your broader industry. To help you know what to expect, we’ve included a list of the common average response time on email per industry:
- Corporate Travel - 36 hrs
- Finance - 14 hrs
- Logistics - 12 hrs
- Real Estate - 15 hrs
- Retail - 16 hrs
Further, while you can find the response time from many channels, Zendesk is a popular platform that is particularly relevant to average response time. As a customer service software that provides the average response time of your website, this may be a good place to begin if you’re getting started with this metric!
Tracking Average Response Time with Lido
While the average response time is easy to calculate, it’s important to keep in mind that the average response time is one of many valuable metrics to track your performance. If you don’t want to spend hours at the end of the month juggling numbers from your Zendesk and other accounts, consider trying Lido. Lido can help you build a dashboard to monitor your data and give a look into how your key metrics (such as average response time) change over time.
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