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Industry Research Research Insight: Average Speed to Answer,
Wait Time and Handle Time

Today, computers and mobile phones enable us to access information immediately, and in almost any location.  It is in this environment that our customer's expectations have also evolved - they want to have their service and support inquiries answered and resolved immediately.

A recent survey  of 50 senior-level service and support professionals asked participants what their Average Speed to Answer was.  The largest majority - 32% - reported it took one minute or more to answer.

The amount of time a customer has to wait is another important metric directly related to customer satisfaction. When asked to report their Average Wait Time, 36% of respondents indicated this number to be 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Perhaps the most important question asked was for respondents to report their Average Handle Time. This includes Talk Time and After Work Time (follow-up, status communication, quality ticket documentation and closure). This metric is important for the obvious reason that if a support operation answers requests quickly and has minimal wait times, yet a customer issue is not resolved in a timely manner, customer satisfaction will decline.

In this survey, 56% of respondents indicated that their Average Handle Time was 10 minutes or more. This seems a bit higher than what research group Gartner reports.  According to a 2009 Gartner survey, 84% of respondents are clocking average handle times about 7 minutes.

To get your full copy of the research brief, including ways to improve
Average Handle Time, click here.

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