· 20 min read

10 Tips to Reduce Customer Service Response Time

Reducing customer service response time is not as difficult as you think because there are life-changing tips to follow.

That's why we explained how to reduce customer service response time with 10 tips that can help you.

Let's explore why customer service response time is important and how to reduce it to revolutionize your support process!

What is Customer Service Response Time?

The customer service response time is the amount of time a business uses to respond to a customer's question, demand, or concern.

It is directly related to customer experience and customer satisfaction.

Therefore, it is crucial that a business aim for a better and shorter customer service response time.

Additionally, Gladly's Customer Service Expectations Survey claims that 68% of customers are ready to pay more if the service is good enough.

a woman talking to a customer as a customer service representative

What is the Ideal Customer Service Response Time?

Ideal customer service response time varies by communication channel and customer expectations, but hitting the right response time can significantly boost customer satisfaction.

Channel-specific ideal times:

  • Social Media: 5 hours or less is good, 2 hours or less is better, and 1 hour or less is the best.
  • Email: 12 hours or less is good; 4 hours or less is better. One hour or less is the best.
  • Live Chat: 1 minute or less is good; 40 seconds or less is better. The instant reply is the best.

(Source: Zendesk's first reply time article.)

As you can see, the ideal time to respond to customer queries varies depending on channels. As live chat is for faster response times, an instant reply is the best for this channel.

While swift responses are crucial, they shouldn't sacrifice the quality of service. Providing accurate, helpful answers should be your goal.

Using AI and automation tools and understanding customer needs are key to achieving this balance.

In essence, the ideal customer service response time blends speed with quality, adapting to both the medium of communication and evolving customer expectations. Strive for prompt, quality responses to ensure customer service excellence.

Why is Customer Service Response Time Important?

According to Freshworks' customer service statistics, 66% of consumers in the US concur that the most crucial aspect a company can offer for excellent online customer service is respecting their time.

As Podium states in its article, meeting the expectations of the majority (88%) of consumers is achieved by responding within the first hour.

Customer service time can change from time to time, depending on your business, industry, and workload.

To put the importance of response time in customer service, we should pay attention to some other points as well:

  • Aiming Customer Satisfaction: Customers stick to the brands when they are more valued with an optimized customer service response time.
  • Becoming Prominent in the Market: Many alternatives are competing with you in the market so that you can differentiate yourself with customer service.
  • Finding Solution: If you find swift solutions to problems, you can prevent some following and other customer messages.
  • Increased Brand Identity: When you create an organized customer service system, you are able to enhance your brand image since you provide good performance.
  • Free Social Proof: Positive experiences are always shared, so when you optimize your response time, it is inevitable to be mentioned and advised to others.
  • Reduces Customer Frustration: A quick response is key to preventing customer frustration. The faster you address issues, the less time customer dissatisfaction takes to grow. This is crucial in maintaining a positive customer relationship.
  • Encourages Repeat Business: Customers are more likely to return to a business that resolves their queries promptly. A reputation for rapid response times can become a compelling reason for customers to choose your brand over others.
  • Strengthens Trust in Your Brand: Timely responses demonstrate reliability and commitment to customer care. This builds trust, which is the foundation of long-lasting customer relationships.

10 Tips to Reduce Customer Service Response Time

There are effective ways to apply to reduce customer service time.

Before going further into details, you should know that these tips can be applied separately.

You don't have to perform them all at once because every business has its own dynamic.

Choose the ones or the ones that fit you most.

1. Determine Exact Goals

Reducing customer service response time is not rocket science as long as you directly know where you are going.

You need to make your own decisions based on your business, needs, and expectations. Therefore, determining exact goals is a must.

While deciding on these goals, you need to keep some terms in mind to evaluate the current version of your business.

  • First Response Time (FRT): The amount of time when the initial response is given to the questioner.
  • Average Handling Time (AHT): The amount of time from the start of a conversation to the completion of the conversation. It is generally related to phone conversations.
  • Ticket Resolution Time: The amount of time when the customer service classifies the ticket and finds the solution to the question on the ticket.

You can lead your focus based on your industry and the conversation platform you use.

Also, you are advised to calculate the time accordingly.

2. Create Automated Responses

With the evolution of AI and comprehensive marketing tools, automated responses have greatly increased.

With this increase, customer service response time can be optimized easily, and automated responses can be diversified.

a column chart on the tablet of the image with neon colors

You can use automated responses for your business email support.

It will be possible to optimize the First Response Time (FRT) at first, and it will help your customers know that you are seeing them.

Then, according to the problem, you can direct automated responses to your customers, too.

If you use a live chat box to contact your customers, you can shorten your response time by developing your chat.

You can use …

  • Welcome messages to greet
  • Lead generation to know more about your customers
  • Frequently asked questions about the possibility of providing solutions beforehand
  • Organizing messages, like scheduling appointments, order tracking, status updates, and so on

Automated responses add value to your business in the long term.

However, according to the progress of your business, you might have to change them as well.

3. Enable Customer Service Software

Customer service software might scare you, but you need to give it an ear before denying it.

Customer service tools generally piece together your professional area in the customer service part.

Also, if you combine your software with CRM customer relationship management tools, it will be much easier.

Generally, customer service software helps people collaborate based on their working relationship.

Besides, performance metrics can be calculated and managed way better with customer service software.

Organizing your time and benefiting from a self-service knowledge base is equally efficient when it comes to keeping track of customer service response time.

4. Increase Support Volume with Omnichannel Strategy

Omnichannel strategy is the most apparent "secret" weapon of businesses.

Not all businesses are prone or able to adopt an omnichannel strategy, but it precisely increases support volume and helps response time.

hands gathered to represent teamwork

To reduce customer service response time, you need to have contact with customers directly and know their experience with your service.

At this moment, we should pay attention to your channels to reach your customers.

By providing an omnichannel strategy, you serve the chance to choose to contact, and you decentralize the support.

Also, you increase the possibility and ways of interacting with your customers.

Hence, it is the representation of a win-win situation.

5. Organize and Segment Your Priority Tickets

This tip can be specified to the organizations that use the ticket system, but it is also advantageous to know it.

Prioritizing the tickets can change from business to business because the ticket system and its prioritization sometimes depend on the pricing plan.

Segmenting your tickets is important. They can be categorized into different sections according to the complexity, status, given, and expected question time.

This way, you will be more open to arranging and assigning tickets.

Office workers discussing and talking

Additionally, your team members will be able to deal with tickets more collaboratively.

All in all, organizing and segmenting tickets to their priorities can uphold your productivity.

6. Train Your Team

Training your team members and reducing customer service response time are somehow correlated.

Thus, the more trained a team you have, the more reduced customer service response time.

Training a team member is a process in which you first meet them and convey the onboarding process of your business.

Team members chatting in an office

Employee recognition is the key here, and you should take advantage of this process.

Of course, it is not possible to train a team member about your customer service system immediately. However, you make a good step for the future.

Also, you can motivate your team members with a rewards program from time to time.

That's how you can show them that you care about them and help them increase the efficiency of their effort.

7. Collect Customer Feedback from Customers

Customer feedback is the key element of improving a product or service.

No matter what, you should listen to your customers' feedback and show the process from a more objective perspective.

You may think customer feedback is not all about reducing response time, and you are right because it is more than that.

people showing feedback symbols with their thumbs

By collecting feedback, you can both hear your customers' voices and decrease concerns by improving the progress of the product or service.

Though there is a flow that proceeds step by step, you can get an advantage from this feedback for both customer service and other departments of the company.

Yes! Two birds in one stone! ;)

You can also take a look at 16 Best Customer Feedback Tools for Websites to have alternatives in your mind.

8. Utilize Effective Chatbots/ AI Bots

Chatbots or AI bots have drastically improved customer service departments.

It is possible to see that chatbots both help customers and businesses at the same time.

Customers can automatically reach AI bots for questions to ask and communicate without human interruption in the first phase.

Ai chatbot on a hand of a man

Then, since you provide the necessary information about your business to your chatbot, it creates the answers with artificial intelligence.

This way, your team members also collaborate with AI more practically. Also, you can reduce your support ticket volume.

In need of human interruption, there are AI bots that allow you to take part in conversations as well.

To give you an idea about live chat software from which you can benefit, you can check 22 Best Free Live Chat Software for Websites in 2024.

9. Implement Knowledge Bases and FAQs

magnifying glass and frequently asked questions written on a paper

A well-developed knowledge base and FAQ section on your website can significantly reduce direct customer inquiries by allowing customers to find quick answers to common questions.

Structure your content into clear categories, like troubleshooting or account management, and include a search function for fast access.

Offer step-by-step guides and screenshots for complex processes, such as resetting passwords, to enhance understanding.

Keep the content current with new information and responses to frequent customer queries.

Add options for customers to provide feedback on the helpfulness of articles, allowing you to continuously improve the resources.

With these elements, your knowledge base and FAQs will empower customers to resolve their issues swiftly and independently, improving overall customer service efficiency.

Explore: "16 Eye-Catching FAQ Page Examples That Can Inspire You" for inspiration.

10. Monitor and Analyze Performance Regularly

a team of customer service representatives actively monitoring performance metrics on computer screen.jpg

Regular monitoring and analysis of your team's performance are crucial in improving customer service response times.

Focus on average response time, resolution time, and customer satisfaction scores. For instance, if response times increase, investigate and address the causes.

Use customer feedback to gain insights into satisfaction levels. Adjust strategies based on recurring themes in the feedback.

Hold regular meetings to discuss performance metrics and share best practices.

Regularly set and review performance targets, adjusting them as necessary to meet changing demands and improve efficiency. When problems arise, perform a root cause analysis to identify and address underlying issues.

10 Tips for Reducing Customer Service Response Time in Infographic

10 tips on how to reduce customer service response time infographic

We prepared an infographic that includes tips for how to reduce customer service response time! You can use our infographic on your website to display statistical data.

Bonus: AI Solution for Reducing Customer Service Response Time: LiveChatAI

Let's now discover the bonus solution we have prepared for you!

LiveChatAI is an AI bot that reduces human support volumes and increases customer interaction only by training with necessary sources.

the homepage of LiveChatAI, which is an AI bot that simplifies customer service

When wanting to reduce customer service response time, you simply activate your right hand by providing your documents to your AI bot.

There are many key features of LiveChatAI in terms of backing up your support system.

  • 24/7 convenience: Outside of working hours, you are able to arrange your AI bot without any distrust instead of being all-time active.
  • Bulk data sources: It is possible to manage data sources with different methods, like websites, URLs, PDFs, content areas, or Q&A parts, so that you can add your sources anytime.
  • Advanced customization: To be honest, customization is challenging for most AI tools, but LiveChatAI presents the most advanced customization options that will catch your brand's identity.
  • Long-term memory: You can easily reach all your conversations and chat history from your Chat Inbox.
  • Improving your AI bot: Though AI bots sometimes don't arrange the settings, you can freely adjust your base prompt, temperature, and details of your AI bot.
  • Live chat feature: Most of the AI bots don't allow a human agent to interact with customers directly. However, you can manage any conversation with LiveChatAI.

These are only key features of LiveChatAI, and there are more features to be explored.

Also, LiveChatAI offers a free trial option with a few limitations.

Therefore, you can try it before deciding on your customer service response time strategy.


Now, you can transform your customer service with swift response times!

Embrace these strategies for reducing customer service response time and witness a remarkable boost in efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Either you start now with all of them or choose among them to initiate; you are all free to apply what fits for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have touched upon the vital parts of reducing customer service response time, yet a few must be answered.

Here are the practical questions and answers for you!

How to Calculate Average Response Time?

Since you are calculating the average response time, you need to have all the messages and their period to solve on the customer service team side. If you want to track all response times, you need to save them first. Then, you need to divide the total response time by the number of responses in the given time.

Can Social Media Be Used to Reduce Customer Service Response Times?

Yes, because social media platforms can be used for real-time customer interactions. To minimize response times, there are options like monitoring social media channels, responding promptly to inquiries, and providing helpful information to customers. You can create content, on the one hand, to create the first stop before the customer support team.

What is the Relationship between Response Time and Customer Retention?

Response time helps develop customer experiences. If you can provide a better and shorter response time in case of urgency, you can easily foster loyalty. Then, customer loyalty leads you to customer retention. Therefore, in this equation, the better the response time, the more customer retention.

Check out our recommended blog posts: