Reducing Customer Response Times

Do you start to wonder if your email hasn’t been responded to within a few hours?

In today’s world where most communication is done through technology, we have been spoiled by quick response times. The response time refers to the time it takes a customer service representative to make the first point of contact after an inquiry is made. Even if you cannot resolve the issue at the first point of contact, acknowledging them in any way keeps the customer focused with you.

“A survey by Nielsen shows that 33% of customers’ would still recommend a brand that was quick to reply, even if the response was not complete.”

Does your company track response times and monitor? The average first response time can be calculated by taking the total of all response times and dividing it by the number of cases that you resolved. By knowing what your response times you can ensure that your company continues to increase efficiency by decreasing the rate over a period of time. If you have said that you will respond in a certain amount of time it is critical that you hold yourself accountable to those times.

“According to Fonolo, 82% of customers say the number one factor to great customer service is having their issues resolved quickly. “

We know that the lower the response rate the higher the customer satisfaction but how do you get that number as low as possible?


Start scheduling customer service around your customers.  For example, you may find have a large amount of customer service cases being submitted between 5-6pm when people are typically off work but you close at 5 pm.  It may be worth the investment to have someone stay for an extra hour so that they can take care of these cases and reduce response time. Also, study your customers to find out if they are in various time zones and when is typically the best time to reach them and create a response strategy.


How do you communicate with your customers and are you utilizing all channels effectively? As humans, we are only able to communicate with a customer one at a time. If you are using basic channels such as phone and email you may want to look into options like live chat which allow someone to respond almost immediately to requests and from there you may be able to resolve the issue. SMS updates and autoresponders are also great methods of informing customers immediately that their concern has been acknowledged.

Use Customer Support Templates

This is known as the “Quick Response” option. If you have a backlog of customers with the same problem customer service templates allow you to respond quickly to multiple customers quickly. This lets you acknowledge quickly and get that first point of contact out. Start by creating templates to some of your most common questions and monitor to see if it helps reduce your response time.

Talk to your customer service team about implementing these steps and make sure they are trained to handle these changes. Also, remember that by having all possible information at your fingertips you can sometimes resolve issues at the first point of contact and reduce follow-ups. An acknowledged customer is a happy customer and we want to help you retain as many customers as possible.

Do you know what your average response time is? Contact us today if you want to learn more about customer response.

Kent Boehm
Business & Leadership Coach
403.690.8363 or