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What is the average reply time?

Definition: Average reply time is a customer support metric measuring the average time it takes for a support agent to respond to a customer inquiry or issue. 

Average reply time directly impacts customer satisfaction, as timely responses contribute to a positive support experience,  higher customer satisfaction, and reduced frustration.

It is an important metric for understanding the responsiveness and efficiency of a customer support team. 

How to calculate average reply time

Average reply time is calculated separately for each channel used in customer support. This is because each channel can have its own unique target for average reply time, as customer expectations vary depending on the medium.

Besides the channel, other factors that can affect average reply time are:

  1. Team size
  2. Ticket volume
  3. Agent skill level
  4. Ticket complexity
  5. Available resources and tools

Here’s how to calculate the average reply time:

  1. Choose a specific time frame for analysis, such as a day, week, or month.
  2. Identify the total number of customer support inquiries received during the chosen time frame. 
  3. Record the individual reply time for each inquiry. Reply time is the duration between when the customer submitted their inquiry and when the support agent sent their first response.
  4. Calculate the sum of all individual reply times.
  5. Divide the sum of all reply times by the total number of inquiries to find the average reply time.

Average Reply Time = (Sum of Individual Reply Times) / (Total Number of Inquiries)

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Article FAQs

What is the average first response time?
Average first response time is a metric that measures the average time it takes for a support agent to send their first response to a customer inquiry. 
How does the average reply time differ from the first response time?
Average reply time refers to the average time it takes for support agents to respond to customer inquiries across multiple interactions, while first response time specifically measures the time taken to send the initial response to a customer inquiry.‍
What is a reasonable email response time?
This depends on the industry, the nature of the inquiry, and customer expectations. A response time within 24 hours is considered acceptable for most businesses. However, quicker 1-4 hours response times are more appropriate for industries with higher customer service expectations or time-sensitive inquiries.

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