Customer Experience

Updated On: Apr 1, 2024

First Response Time and How to Improve It

Reading-Time 10 Min

First Response Time

Imagine this: a client calls a call center needing assistance and waits amiably for a response. Their satisfaction is at risk, and time is running out. This situation emphasizes how important First Response Time (FRT) is to the call center industry. 

A recent survey found that 82% of consumers want their questions answered immediately.

There is no denying the link between prompt responses and increased customer satisfaction.

In addition to establishing a great customer experience, a prompt and efficient first reaction significantly fosters loyalty and trust.  

Call center managers and professionals must comprehend and maximize FRT to provide excellent service in today’s fast-paced, customer-focused corporate environment. 

This blog aims to discuss the importance of first response time and how it affects customer happiness and overall service quality.

We’ll explore the nuances of FRT and explain why it’s a significant factor in determining client loyalty rather than merely a number. 

What is First Response Time (FRT)?

First Response Time (FRT) quantifies the time between a client’s initial query and the support agent’s initial answer.

It is a crucial customer service metric that impacts how satisfied customers are and shows how effective a support team is. The time it takes for an agent to respond to a customer’s request is included in the FRT clock, which begins when the request is entered into the support system.

This acknowledgment marks the beginning of the support process but is not always a resolution. FRT is frequently channel-specific, acknowledging that response times might range between various communication channels, including phone assistance, live chat, and email.


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How to Measure First Response Time?

Let’s look at some of the ways to measure FRT. 

1. Application of the Standard Formula

Measuring customer support teams’ responsiveness begins with applying the standard FRT formula. 

First Response Time (FRT) is typically calculated using the following formula:  

FRT= (Time of First Response) – (Time of Request Initiation). 

2. Implement Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs provide accountability within the support team by outlining the precise time frames in which customer inquiries must be answered.  

By using SLAs as quantifiable benchmarks, businesses may assess how well their accurate response times compare to predefined guidelines. This will ultimately improve the consistency and customer-focused nature of support services.

3. Channel-Specific Consideration

Response times for various platforms, like phone assistance, live chat, and email, may vary. Understanding how different response times are expected for different communication channels is critical.  

Adapting FRT measurements to consider these variances guarantees a more precise performance evaluation, assisting companies in modifying their approaches to satisfy channel-specific client expectations.

4. Real-Time Monitoring Systems

Real-time monitoring solutions enable tracking FRT continuously, allowing organizations to spot any delays or inefficiencies quickly.

By utilizing real-time information, support teams may promptly address issues and guarantee that response times meet predetermined standards, improving customer satisfaction.

5. Periodic Analysis and Reporting

Trend analysis and support process optimization depend on regular examination of FRT data and thorough reporting.

Organizations can determine peak service times, improvement areas, and workflow optimizations’ effects by conducting periodic evaluations of response time measurements.

This data-driven strategy makes it easier to make well-informed decisions and continuously improve the effectiveness of support teams. 

6. Automation and Integration

Integrating ticketing systems and FRT measurement tools makes the monitoring process more efficient. This connection expedites data collecting while guaranteeing the accuracy of response time tracking for specific cases.

By reducing manual labor, automation frees organizations to concentrate on data interpretation, well-informed decision-making, and change implementation to maximize response times and the overall efficacy of customer care.

7 Ways to Improve First Response Time

1. Train Your Agents

Make a substantial investment in your customer service representatives’ training courses. Give them the abilities and information needed to address consumer concerns effectively.

In addition to the specifics of the product or service, communication and problem-solving techniques should be covered in training. A crew with proper training will be more equipped to handle client concerns, reducing response times quickly.

2. Build a Robust Knowledge Base

Develop and maintain a centralized knowledge base easily accessible to your support team.

Include detailed information about your products or services, common customer queries, and step-by-step troubleshooting guides.

A robust knowledge base empowers agents to find answers quickly, eliminating the need for time-consuming research during customer interactions.

3. Provide Omnichannel Support

Customers today expect seamless experiences across multiple channels. When an omnichannel support system is implemented, customers can contact you through email, chat, phone, or social media.

Agents can reply more quickly and reliably by combining many channels into a single support platform, which lowers the first response time. 

4. Embrace Strategic AI

Strategically integrate artificial intelligence (AI) tools to improve your customer service capabilities.

Chatbots with AI capabilities can answer common questions, give prompt answers, and even help with problem-solving.

Your support team may respond quickly and efficiently by focusing on more complicated issues and automating repetitive procedures.

5. Provide Multilingual Support

Offering support in multiple languages can help you reach a broader customer base and improve response time for customers who do not speak your primary language.

6. Implement Intelligent Routing

Optimize your support workflow by implementing intelligent routing systems. These systems can automatically route inquiries to the most available and appropriate agents by assessing the type of questions that customers ask.

This improves overall response efficiency by reducing time spent on internal transfers and guaranteeing that each inquiry is handled by the agent with the necessary competence.

7. Monitor and Analyze Metrics

Regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) related to customer support, including first response time.

Analyze these metrics to identify bottlenecks, areas for improvement, and successful strategies. Use the insights gained to refine processes continually and adapt your approach to changing customer needs and expectations.


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In essence, the significance of first response time in call centers cannot be overstated. Positive customer encounters are based on prompt and efficient responses.

Answering questions quickly makes customers happier and builds loyalty and trust. In contact centers, first response time is essential to delivering exceptional client experiences.

Businesses may significantly increase customer satisfaction and response times by putting tactics like agent training, omnichannel support, and AI technologies into practice.

Additionally, businesses may consistently optimize their support procedures for optimal efficiency by obtaining customer input and remaining up-to-date with industry trends.

Yatharth Jain


Yatharth has over 8 years of experience in CX, KM, and BPM. He founded Knowmax to make knowledge a genuine superpower for CX teams. He blends his experience working with CX and KM leaders across industries with the latest technology trends to build products people love.

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