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Time to Resolution Header Image for Blog Post on Customer Service Metrics.

 

Nobody ever wants to talk to customer service. They only do because they have to. It’s a last resort when something goes wrong.

When a customer reaches out to customer service, they want to receive a resolution to their problem ASAP — the sooner, the better.

That’s why it’s critical for customer service teams to analyze the trend of their average time to resolution. This customer service metric tracks how long customers have to wait for you to resolve their problems, and it’s a key indicator of success on your team.

What is time to resolution?

Time to resolution (also called mean time to resolution (MTTR) and resolution time) is the average amount of time that it takes a customer service team to resolve a case after it has been opened. It’s usually measured in days or business hours, so it doesn’t factor in time when your team is off the clock.

How is it calculated?

In general, customer service managers want to analyze their team’s overall average time to resolution. While it can be useful to know which individual cases took especially long to resolve, time to resolution is usually measured as an average of a group of cases. This can be done using the following formula:

Time to Resolution customer service formula

Why does it matter?

Time to resolution directly correlates to customer satisfaction (see the chart below). The quicker your team is able to resolve problems for customers, the happier they will be. If you take too long to resolve their issues, customers will become upset, understandably. According to customer service statistics, they may even take their business elsewhere.

Chart showing the correlation between time to resolution and customer satisfaction.

Source: MetricNet

Time to resolution also reflects your team’s efficiency. Analyzing time to resolution will show how effective your team’s process is. You should also keep an eye on any trends you notice within this metric. If your time to resolution is increasing over time, you know something is wrong. Similarly, if you see a sharp decrease in time to resolution without any strategic changes to the team, you may have a quality control issue.

Tracking your time to resolution will help measure your team’s overall performance. If your time to resolution is longer than you’d like it to be, you should find out why that is. By breaking down this metric, you’ll be able to pinpoint weaknesses, strive to improve them, and, ultimately, make more customers happier.

How should time to resolution be analyzed?

To really dig into the analysis and get a more granular look at the data, you should look at time to resolution by employee. This will allow you to see which reps are more efficient than others, and which reps need more coaching and training.

Chart showing Time to Resolution by Employee.

In this example, it’s easy to see that there’s one rep, who has a significantly higher time to resolution than all of the other reps. This is a sign that this person could be holding back your team. In this case, you would want to find out why this rep is taking a relatively long time to resolve cases. What are they struggling with? Maybe they need some coaching to help them get up to speed.

On the flip side, you can see that two reps are able to resolve cases faster than everyone else on the team. Chances are, the other reps could learn a thing or two from them. In this case, you would want to ask the top-performing reps about how they are able to resolve cases so quickly. Pick their brains, find out what’s working well for them, and share their insights with the rest of your team.

Breaking down your time to resolution by stage will help you gain a better understanding your team’s service process. This will allow you to determine procedural bottlenecks that are slowing you down. You should also look at how long cases spend in the pending stage, to see how your time to resolution is affected by time spent waiting for customers. This will give you a clearer view of what time to resolution truly represents.

 

As the saying goes, timing is everything. This really applies to the world of customer service. If you want to run a top-tier customer service team, you need to know how long it takes your team to resolve cases. More importantly, you need to find ways that you can resolve cases in a shorter amount of time, while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. Analyzing your time to resolution will help you run your team more effectively and efficiently than ever before.

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