Most businesses rely on some form of customer support, whether it's a phone line, virtual cobrowsing calls, an email address, or a live chat service. And one of the most critical metrics for any customer support team is the average time to resolution (ATTR).
We've already covered several of the most important CX metrics before. In this blog post, we want to focus on one in particular: average time to resolution. So what exactly is average time to resolution, and how should you measure and improve it?
What is average time to resolution?
The average time to resolution is the average amount of time it takes to resolve a customer support issue from start to finish.
This metric is important because it can give you insights into how efficiently your team is working and how satisfied your customers are.
How to calculate average time to resolution
The formula to calculate average time to resolution is:
Average Time To Resolution = Total Resolution Time/ Total number of Resolved Requests
For example, if it takes your team 60 minutes to resolve 15 support requests, your average time to resolution would be 4 minutes.
Why is average resolution time important to measure and improve?
Customers are more likely to judge a customer support experience as positive if they receive a timely response to their query. In fact, this is the most crucial factor at play according to Zendesk.
By measuring and improving your average time to resolution, you can ensure that your customers are happy with the support they receive. And a satisfied customer is more likely to become a loyal customer.
Additionally, consistently measuring your average resolution time means you can keep track of your performance over time and benchmark it against industry standards and your past scores.
11 ways to improve average time to resolution
We've compiled a list of 11 tips to help you decrease your average time to resolution and keep your customers happy.
Invest in the right technology
One of the best ways to improve your average time to resolution is to invest in the right customer support technology, such as software for ticketing, cobrowsing, and session replays. We've already covered all the different kinds of customer support software and the best examples in each category before, so check those articles out.
When it comes to reducing average resolution time, the best way to do so is to engage in hands-on, proactive support. Using technology like cobrowsing and session replays can help you do just that.
For example, with session replay technology, agents can review a user's latest sessions in their product when a user reaches out with an issue to quickly identify bugs and errors and understand the issue without asking the user to explain, which can sometimes make them even more frustrated. They can even use console log software to discover what went wrong technically on the end-user's side.
Then, once they have an overview of the problem, they can quickly initiate a call with the user right within their app without having to leave and start a Zoom call, for example. They can gain control of a user's screen to show them how to do something or do it themselves to solve the issue lightning-fast. This truly is one of the most effective ways to reduce average resolution time because it avoids the back-and-forth typically present in customer support interactions.
Minimize response time
Another key to reducing the average time to resolution is to minimize response time. In other words, you should answer customer queries as quickly as possible. By ensuring you have enough staff to answer customer queries in a timely manner, you can avoid long wait times and keep average time to resolution low.
Create self-service options
A great way to reduce average time to resolution is to allow customers to resolve their own issues without having to contact support. This can be done by providing a robust knowledge base, FAQ section, or community forum on your website or within your product. That way, customers can quickly find answers to their questions without waiting for a support agent to get back to them. Or your support agents can send them help articles immediately after they reach out to help resolve the issue quicker.
Prioritize your tickets
When trying to reduce the average time to resolution, it's crucial to prioritize your tickets.
By prioritizing your tickets and addressing the most critical ones first, you can avoid long wait times for customers with more pressing issues.
It's also important here to have an effective and sensible ticket escalation strategy in place.
Efficiently train agents
If you want your agents to be able to resolve issues quickly, it's important to train them efficiently. That way, they'll be knowledgeable about your product and the most common issues customers experience.
Keep customers engaged
Ensuring customers are engaged during the customer support process is key to reducing the average time to resolution. After all, if customers are disengaged, they're less likely to cooperate and provide the information needed to resolve their issues quickly.
Encourage soft skills
In addition to product training, it's also important to encourage agents to develop soft skills, such as active listening and empathy. These skills can go a long way in making customers feel heard and understood, which can make them more cooperative and willing to provide the information needed to resolve their issues quickly.
Regularly monitor calls
It's important to regularly monitor calls to ensure agents are following best practices and resolving issues in a timely manner. This can help you identify any areas where agents may need additional training or coaching.
Review agent performance
Individual agent performance should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting targets and resolving issues in a timely manner. This will help isolate any agents who may be struggling and need additional support.
Use automation to speed up processes
By using automation, you can speed up processes and free up time for agents to focus on more important tasks. This can help reduce the average time to resolution by making it easier for agents to resolve issues quickly.
However, remember to only use automation sparingly, as customers prefer speaking to humans.
Utilize data to find weak spots
Data can be beneficial in identifying weak spots in your customer support process. By analyzing data, you can identify areas where customers are getting stuck and find ways to improve the process. This can help reduce the average time to resolution by making it easier for customers to get the help they need.
Wrapping things up
The average time to resolution is an important metric to track as it can give you insights into the effectiveness of your customer support process. By taking steps to reduce the average time to resolution, you can improve the overall customer experience.