First Response Time (FRT) measures the duration from a customer's initial inquiry to the initial reply from the service team.
This metric reflects the responsiveness of customer support in addressing inbound queries and is critical in managing customer expectations and satisfaction levels – especially where timely support can be a differentiator. Companies leverage FRT data to refine training programmes, optimise resource allocation during peak hours, and ensure quick replies to customer queries.
Sum of All Initial Response Times / Total Support Query Count
To calculate First Response Time, sum up all the initial response times and then divide this total by the count of total support queries.
To decrease FRT, streamline support through automated ticketing systems, use robust training for customer support employees, and make available a comprehensive knowledge base. Regularly review and benchmark FRT against industry standards to maintain a competitive edge and set realistic SLAs.
A common misconception is equating a short FRT with high customer satisfaction. While important, FRT should be balanced with Average Resolution Time and customer feedback. Solely focusing on FRT can lead to rushed responses that fail to fully resolve customer issues.