Customer Service

How Speed and Customer Satisfaction Are Directly Connected

Today's customers have an expectation for immediacy. They want quick responses with clear answers. And they want their issues resolved the first time they reach out.

A big part of your customers' satisfaction is how fast you are. Speed and CSAT are intrinsically related. And to scale your business, you need both components: high CSAT and high speed.

To understand how speed directly impacts your CSAT, it helps to break down a few key components. Keeping an eye on these metrics and working to improve them will give your CSAT a boost.

First-call Resolution: Customers’ Number One Expectation

First-call resolution (FCR) is an efficiency metric that gauges how often customers get their issue resolved in the first interaction. It measures a support team’s processes and procedures. FCR is calculated as a percentage of the resolved inquiries in the first contact vs. the total number of inquiries.

Microsoft's Global Customer Service Report revealed that when asked the most important aspect of customer service, the number one response was getting the issue resolved in the first interaction.

And a study by the Service Quality Measurement Group found that for each 1% bump in FCR, it resulted in an exact 1% improvement in CSAT. Their study also showed that brands that receive “world class” CSAT have an 85% FCR average compared with lower-ranked brands with a 67% FCR average.

So the link between FCR and CSAT is evident. But it’s still important to dig beneath the numbers.

What a low FCR means: Your tickets might not be getting routed or answered properly, so customers have to reach out again. This can occur when a customer reaches out with a tier 2 issue, but a tier 1 agent receives the ticket. When the given answer doesn't fully address the customers’ needs, the customer is left needing to contact your company a second time.

What a high FCR means: A high FCR likely indicates that your team is doing a great job resolving issues for customers the first time. But a high FCR doesn’t always mean that. It might mean that your agents are giving such low-quality responses that customers don’t bother to try to get the issue resolved further. That’s why it’s important to look at your CSAT in relation to your FCR. If they both remain high, you’re on the right track. It is also beneficial to look at your process as a simple process that is easy to follow will result in a high FCR.

Response Time: A Quick Reply Goes a Long Way

Response time refers to how quickly customers hear back from you once they reach out. Is it within seconds, minutes, or hours? Unlike FCR, response time only refers to making initial contact with the customer, not the length of time it takes to resolve the issue.

And the speed at which you respond to customers matters. If you chart your response times alongside your CSAT, you’ll see a correlation between timely responses and customer satisfaction. It’s likely that where your CSAT drops, your response time is highest. Where your response times are low, your CSAT is likely to be high. However, it is always important to look at these metrics together to ensure that you are delivering high quality responses fast.

The faster consumers hear from you, the more patience they tend to have while waiting for the issue to be resolved. With that fast initial response, they feel like a priority. You build trust and confidence that you are there to help them, even if the full resolution takes a bit longer.

Resolution Speed: Balancing Haste with Attention to Detail

Resolution speed is a metric that shows how fast you resolve the customer’s issue. It measures the total time it takes you to provide a sufficient answer that solves their problem or answers their question.

Getting a customer's issue resolved in the first interaction (FCR) is vital, so if you give a rush answer, your resolution speed might look artificially good. When a customer has to reach out again, CSAT lowers and your overall resolution speed plummets because of a second contact. That's why sometimes a slower resolution speed can be OK. For example, if an agent is being thorough and ensures the answer satisfies the customer, then that's vital to them having a good experience.

Overall, look at your resolution speed in relation to CSAT. Chart it to get a better look at how the two are correlating for you. The end goal is to have satisfied customers who aren't waiting too long to get the help they need and still come away happy.

How to Increase Your Speed Safely

Kicking up your speed can boost your CSAT and your bottom line. Here are the best techniques for increasing your speed stats without sacrificing the quality of responses.

Knowledgeable, well-trained agents: Agents who know the ins and outs of your processes and products can help customers get complete answers quickly. Take the time to train and coach your agents until they’ve mastered your material and know how to show empathy.

Smart AI solutions: AI can provide custom responses to many types of tickets, including shipping and return questions, password resets, and more. Integrate an AI system that aligns with your brand language and reduces the workload of your agents. When using the right AI for their business, companies usually see shorter wait times, reduced human errors, and more consistent communication.

Smooth workflows: No matter how savvy your agents are or how high-tech your AI is, you need processes and procedures that allow for optimal flow. Breakdown your processes and cut out pain points and hold-ups. Reduce the number of applications your AI or agents need to look at simultaneously.

Customer-friendly policies: You can resolve issues quickly and in a more pleasing way if your policies are customer-centric. For example, if you always replace a damaged package, an agent doesn’t have to decipher the situation. They can put the replacement order in and inform the customer of the good news.

Well-tuned macros: Macros can handle sorting and prioritizing, saving your team time. Include subject matter experts when you write your macros and consider hiring content writers to make them even crisper.

Balanced staffing levels: Ensure you have the right amount of agents on at the right time based on your volume. Too many staff drains your resources, but not enough can cause lag time. Take a close look at your response times and resolution speed to get a better feel of your staffing levels.

Real-time interactions: Offer proactive solutions like suggesting an AI chat if someone is on self-service for too many minutes. AI-enabled email can also deliver the immediacy of chat with the asynchronous convenience of email.  Provide a product recommendation or an FAQ page if a customer seems unsure where to go next. You can be one step ahead and speed up your customers’ experience.

The goal isn't to focus on speed or satisfaction, but to understand how these two correlate so you can make noticeable improvements. The good news is, you can focus on both using the right tools and processes.

Schedule an AI consultation to help boost your speed and your CSAT.


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