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First response time (FRT)

First response time (FRT) is the number of minutes or hours passed from the time a customer first submits their case and a contact center agent responds to it. This metric is best measured in business hours there’s no penalty for time off the clock.
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What is first response time (FRT)?

First response time (FRT) is the duration of time from when a customer first submits their case to when a contact center agent responds to it.

How do you calculate first response time?

First response time is reported as a measure of time— minutes, hours, or days. It’s calculated by taking the total of first response times and dividing it by the number of cases resolved, to find the average. For instance, the formula for calculating FRT during a particular hour of the day can be:

FRT = Total FRTs during that particular hour/Total number of resolved tickets.

How do you reduce first response time?

The question “why does customer service first response time matter” can be answered in two words — customer satisfaction. 

So, here are the steps taken by contact centers to reduce their FRT.

  1. Automate support: While there is nothing better than human interaction, several tasks that barely require actual conversations can be automated to direct valuable resources for more important activities. This prioritization can be achieved by using contact center AI, where workflows are automated, focusing the team efforts in the right places.

  2. Provide effective training: Proper training can ensure an agent on the job isn’t clueless, and is up-to-date on the processes needed to be followed during and after the call. This saves time and results in reduced FRT.

  3. Being omnipresent: Instead of just voice interaction, a contact center can diversify and embrace omnichannel to reduce FRT. By providing customer support across social media, email, chat, and SMS, an organization can take advantage of the speed of direct response and reduce FRT.