First Response Time (FRT)

Date created: Aug 27, 2019  •   Last updated: Mar 15, 2022

What is First Response Time?

First Response Time (FRT) is the average amount of time taken for an agent to provide an initial response to a customer inquiry or support ticket. The speed at which you acknowledge a customer's question is a reflection of your commitment to customer satisfaction and the maturity and efficiency of your call centre.

Alternate names: First Reply Time

First Response Time Formula

ƒ Sum(time taken to send a first response) / Count(customer issues that got a first response)

How to calculate First Response Time

At your call centre, customers raised 50 support tickets in one month. Your support team responded to every ticket, and spent a total of 3000 minutes sending first responses to these tickets. The First Response Time for that month is 3000 minutes / 50 tickets = 60 minutes.

Start tracking your First Response Time data

Use Klipfolio PowerMetrics, our free analytics tool, to monitor your data. Choose one of the following available services to start tracking your First Response Time instantly.

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What is a good First Response Time benchmark?

For a ticketing system, most users expect a response in less than 24hrs. For live chat, less than 1.5mins, and for phone, 3 minutes is considered good (though rare).

How to visualize First Response Time?

Use a summary chart to display your current First Response Time and compare it to a previous time period.

First Response Time visualization example

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First Response Time

9 min

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0.77

vs previous period

Summary Chart

Here's an example of how to visualize your current First Response Time data in comparison to a previous time period or date range.
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First Response Time

8.73 min

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0.76

vs previous period

Summary Chart

Here's an example of how to visualize your current First Response Time data in comparison to a previous time period or date range.

More about First Response Time

Monitoring and analyzing First Response Time (FRT) helps you understand how to handle increases and decreases in ticket volume. The goal is to set expectations for your customers and your agents by maintaining a consistent FRT.

To do this, you need to understand how efficient your agents are, how holidays or busy periods impact ticket volume, and how to scale quickly when there’s an unexpected spike in ticket volume (for example, during a technical outage).

The positive customer relationship that results from a low FRT can be a major differentiator and often results in follow-on purchases and expansion revenue. Mapping your FRT to Net Promoter Score (NPS), or a similar survey, can help you understand how your customers react to wait times.

A slow FRT often inflates the initial incident and, even worse, can cause a frustrated customer to submit multiple tickets. In addition, customers who experience a slow FRT are more likely to tell their friends about it than if they had a quick FRT.

Even if you don’t yet have an answer, you should respond to the customer. A customer who has been acknowledged is a happier customer.