How to Reduce Customer Support Response Time
Customer Retention

How to Reduce Customer Support Response Time

Find out the importance of serving a timely response and reducing your customer support response time. Here are five tips to get you through.

Sanjoli Jain

19-08-2021

8 Min

Businesses must acknowledge that customers drive the change. Their demands create trends. Your customers are the root of your revenue, and without them, you pretty much have nothing to do. So it is important to keep them happy. And if companies fail to upgrade themselves accordingly, they fail at customer retention.

The biggest hindrance in customer retention is the lack of serving a timely response to the customers. Surveys show that 33% of customers are most frustrated by having to wait on hold. All they want is a quick solution to their problems. Despite these demands, many customer support teams fail to deliver a timely solution. Much worse, they can’t even deliver a timely response to their customers, consequently becoming one of the major reasons businesses lose customers. Surveys show that only 12% of companies prioritize responding quickly to their customers.

What Does Customer Support Response Time Mean?

The amount of time elapsed from when a customer submits a query until the support team gives the first response is known as customer support response time. This excludes the automated responses. The average response time stays static across the industries. It varies only a little bit depending on the industry and the role of customer support in it.

From the trend ten years ago, the average customer service response time was 24 hours. Today customers are exposed to thousands of brands, competing to lead by serving exceptional customer support experience. Hence, it has become necessary or a norm to deliver customers the experience exactly as they want and as fast as possible.

Besides, we live in an era of social media where:

Globally, 48% of customers expect the company to respond on social media within a day.

Statista

Twenty-four hours, that’s the expectation!

Another research including 1,000 companies brings an average response time for the customer support requests at 12 hours and 10 minutes! Guess what? That’s still too long. So how to reduce this time? We bring you the five most effective ways to help you reduce your customer support response time. Let’s begin by answering this simple question:

Do you have an idea about the time it takes for your support team to respond to your customers?

To answer that question, you need to calculate your average first-time response.

Average First Time Response: A Brief Overview

The average first-time response (FTR) is a statistic used to understand how you are performing. It is an average of the response time for all customers handled by all your departments and agents. Reducing the average first-time response will lead you to reduce the overall customer response time. And that indeed is the key to customer service success!

So, how can you calculate this average FTR?

You need to collect two pieces of data to understand and calculate your average FTR:

1. The total time taken to respond to all customer queries during a selected time period.

2. The total number of responses sent in the selected time period.

Ensure that the time period selected for both these metrics is exactly the same to avoid discrepancies and get a clear picture. And then simply divide the two.

Average Time Response

This will give you your average FTR. Further, you can calculate the average customer support response time as well.

Average Customer Support Response Time

This can be a long, tedious process for companies who conduct this manually. Luckily, for DeskXpand customers, FTR and average customer support response time can be calculated automatically.

DeskXpand customers

Helpdesk Analytics

Using DeskXpand customer support analytics, admins or teams can generate the first-time response report with a single click. All you need to do is, select the period and generate reports. This means less work for you and your team! Try DeskXpand now!

Start Your Free Trial

Why Should You Work on Reducing Response Time?

In a survey, 77% of respondents in the US expressed their expectations to receive instant responses while communicating through online chat.

Customer Expectations for Instant Responses

Customer Expectations for Instant Responses

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Some more benefits include:

  • Saving customer’s time and efforts during the support process, hence resulting in customer retention.
  • Getting ahead in the competition as compared to other companies.
  • Catering better solutions while having conversations with the customers instantly.
  • Improving agent productivity.
  • Increasing profitability and receiving more opportunities.

All the more reasons you need to learn how to reduce customer support response time! Keeping that in mind, let’s explore some of the best tips below.

Tips to Reduce Customer Support Response Time

Until now, it is clear that reducing the average customer support response time serves as a direct benefit. To help you get started, we’ve collected the five most effective techniques that can help you respond quickly to your customers.

1. Implement a Live Chat Option

Live chat support helps your agents and teams to respond faster to your customer queries. It is easy to use, fast, and reduces your response time effectively. Live chat options make it much easier for customers to get answers on the fly.

In case of complex queries, chatbots help you keep the customers engaged until an agent takes over. Chatbots can also help study visitor behavior, find out what pages were seen, and find out the overall time spent on a website. You can gather this user data and serve a personalized experience to your customer, even before you start a conversation with them.

A chatbot studies an issue and automatically routes it to an appropriate team. These chatbots can analyze conversations between customer support agents and clients as well. Mainly it does two things for you:

1. Helps you provide support to customers 24X7.

2. Helps you manage multiple customers at the same time.

Live chat makes sure that every inquiry is registered and no query goes unnoticed. You can simply integrate it with your ticketing software and avoid lengthy email responses. This way even if you miss the chat due to the absence of an agent, the ticket is still registered and can be looked at later on.

2. Initiate an Omnichannel Response

Customers want to contact the customer support teams using different channels. They want and expect to be able to communicate with businesses in more than one way. Omnichannel support helps you take the customer experience to the next level.

Initiate an Omnichannel Response

Omnichannel Support Unifies Everything

It focuses on the seamless integration of available channels. Not only does it allow customers to choose their preferred method of communication, but they can transition between multiple methods in the same interaction. Including all possible mediums of communication (such a live chat, self-service, social media, email, etc.) can help you bring down your average customer response time. Therefore, keep all channels open.

Read More: Omnichannel Communication: A Key To Ace Customer Support

3. Autoresponders, Email Templates, and Canned Responses

These are some automation features that can be used to reduce your customer support response time. Canned responses refer to the pre-saved or pre-formatted text. It usually includes common greeting messages or common responses that are saved for future use.

Such messages serve as a quick reply and save much more time for your agents. It saves the support reps from typing repetitive answers time and again. Besides, they reduce typos and help the customer support agents disperse stress. Below mentioned are some of the situations where canned responses make sense:

  • Greeting email and notification
  • While ending the customer chat
  • When agents want to ask for further details
  • When the agents want to clarify your understanding of a question
  • While transferring to another live chat agent
  • While talking about features in-detail

Sometimes, all a customer needs to know is that their query has been successfully registered and that their solution is on its way. However, when their complaints go ignored, a negative sentiment begins to appear. It affects your long-term relationship with the customer. This is where auto-responders come into the picture.

A study says, less than 10% of companies use autoresponders, but this simple technology can be used to let your customers know that you have received their query. Through autoresponders, you can keep your customers involved through every step of the resolution journey.

Email templates can also help you save time while writing back to your customers. Using pre-designed email templates, your agents can send personalized responses to your customers.

4. Track the Performance of Your Customer Service Reps

Your agents are an important part of your customer support. Consistently analyzing their performance will give you an idea about their average first-time response. Once you know the individual first-time responses of each agent, you can collectively work on improving them by reducing the roadblocks they are facing in their job.

Keeping the analytics in reference, you can check if you’re performing well or not. For example, let’s say your agents are taking an average of 12 hours to respond. And your goal is to bring down your average customer support response time to 8 hours. Then, you can implement various strategies and find a solution to reduce the response time.

5. Implement a Helpdesk Software

Perhaps the best solution to reduce your customer support response time is to start using helpdesk ticketing software. Customer support software stores every single conversation and interaction you’ve had with the customer. This means you can look back and understand their pain points, identify their problems and use this information to be more helpful while responding to their queries.

Using the right tool means you can achieve a faster response. Pick a ticketing solution that helps you track response time and data trends over a specific period. It is important to keep a note of your response time and whether it has reduces collectively or not.

You can carry forward your analysis on a weekly, monthly, or even a daily basis. In addition, you can filter the reports section based on a specific period. With DeskXpand, you can filter reports by selecting a specific period.

Following are the things you can do with DeskXpand Analytics:

  1. Filter Your Helpdesk Report Sections

    This will allow you to see the average response time trends to figure out whether your average response time has reduced or not.

  2. First Response Time

    You can check the average first response time and find out how long the customers wait to get the first response. You can get daily data trends and constantly monitor them from a single interface.

  3. Track What Causes Delay

    Do you ever wonder what impacts the first-time response in the first place? You surely would have had questions like what stops your agents from providing an answer to your customers on time. There could be various reasons.

    Only a helpdesk system can help you list down all the possible reasons for the same. Once you start using the helpdesk analytics, you’ll be able to frame strategies to overcome them accordingly.

  4. Agent Analysis

    You can generate and check out the agent reports and see what keeps them from providing an instant answer to your customers. Once you identify the areas that impact your response time, you can develop strategies to reduce it further.

Reduce Your Customer Support Response Time With DeskXpand

DeskXpand is an exceptional helpdesk ticketing software that helps businesses simplify their support and serve a timely response. It has ticket automation and omnichannel features that cater to all types of businesses (ideally small to large businesses).

DeskXpand is built by functional experts and developers with certifications in their respective fields. We are an ISO27001 certified development company with 14+ years of development experience. We build products that you can customize according to your present and future needs. We can help you gain a competitive advantage by lowering your customer support response time. Contact our experts for more.

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