Average resolution time (ART)

contact center

customer experience

What Is Average Resolution Time?

Average resolution time (ART) is a metric used to measure contact center performance. It's a KPI that assesses the efficiency of a contact center by calculating the average time contact center agents take to resolve customer issues. A low average resolution time is crucial for a positive contact center experience as it reflects the ability of the center to quickly take care of customer issues, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Average Resolution Time FAQs

How is average resolution time calculated?

Average resolution time is calculated by dividing the total sum of all resolution times by the number of resolved cases. For example, if we have three cases that have been successfully closed out within two hours, four hours, and six hours, the average resolution time would be four hours ((2 + 4 + 6) / 3) = 4 hours.

Why is average resolution time important?

Average resolution time is a critical metric as how long it takes customers to get their issues resolved directly impacts customer satisfaction and retention. A low ART indicates efficient and timely issue resolution, leading to happy customers and increased loyalty. On the other hand, a high average resolution time can result in dissatisfied customers and even lost business.

What is a good average resolution time?

A good average resolution time varies by industry and business, but the general benchmark is around five to seven minutes. However, it's essential to set realistic targets based on both your contact center's capabilities as well as customer expectations to determine what a good average resolution time is for your organization.

How can a contact center improve average resolution time?

To improve average resolution time, a contact center can focus on improving agent training, implementing efficient processes and technology, and collecting and analyzing customer feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Why is average resolution time important for the customer experience?

A quick and effective resolution time significantly impacts the customer experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction levels. It also demonstrates that the contact center values its customers' time and is committed to providing prompt solutions, thus improving overall customer loyalty and retention. Additionally, tracking average resolution time allows contact centers to identify trends in issue resolution and make necessary improvements to enhance the overall customer experience.

What factors influence average resolution time?

Several elements can influence the average resolution time in a contact center. These factors can be internal, such as the competence and training level of the customer service representatives, or external, like the complexity of the customer's issue. Other considerations may include the volume of queries received at any given time and the available technological infrastructure for handling these customer interactions. Understanding these factors can aid in developing strategies to optimize resolution time and enhance customer satisfaction.

Now, let's take a detailed look at some of the key factors that can significantly impact the average resolution time.

  • Complexity of the Issue: This refers to the level of difficulty or intricacy associated with the problem at hand. It takes into account factors such as the nature of the issue, the level of expertise required to resolve it, and the potential challenges that may arise during the troubleshooting process.
  • Volume of Queries: This refers to the number of incoming queries or requests for support that a business or organization receives. It is a measure of the workload and demand placed on the support team, which can impact response times and overall customer satisfaction. Additionally, call volume is an important aspect to consider, as it directly affects the efficiency and capacity of the support team to handle customer inquiries.
  • Staff Training and Expertise: This encompasses the knowledge, skills, and training that the support staff possess. It includes their ability to effectively diagnose and resolve issues, as well as their understanding of the product or service being supported. Well-trained and knowledgeable staff can provide efficient and accurate help to customers.
  • Support Tools and Technologies: This refers to the tools, software, and technologies that are used to facilitate the support process. It includes ticketing systems, knowledge bases, remote access tools, and any other resources that enable support agents to effectively assist customers.
  • Internal Processes and Protocols: This encompasses the established procedures and guidelines that govern the support operations within an organization. It includes processes for ticket management, escalation procedures, communication protocols, and any other internal guidelines that ensure a streamlined and efficient support workflow.

How to improve your average resolution time?

Resolving customer issues in a timely manner is crucial for ensuring customer satisfaction. By following these strategies, you can significantly improve your average resolution time:

  • Streamline your communication channels: Simplify and optimize your communication channels to ensure seamless and efficient interactions with your customers. This includes consolidating the management of various customer communications channels, such as phone, email, and live chat, into one unified platform.
  • Implement self-service options: Empower your customers to find answers and resolve issues on their own through self-service options. This can include establishing a knowledge base, creating FAQs, publishing online tutorials, or using chatbots to provide instant assistance.
  • Provide comprehensive training to your support team: Invest in thorough training programs for your support team to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver exceptional customer service. This includes growing agents’ product knowledge, problem-solving techniques, and communication skills.
  • Utilize automation tools to expedite processes: Leverage automation tools, such as smart callback technology, chatbots, ticketing systems, and workflow automations, to streamline and expedite support processes. This can reduce response times, increase efficiency, and enhance the overall customer experience.