You don't need us to tell you that improving lead response time is crucial for qualifying and converting leads. You've probably read that famous Harvard Business Review study saying so.
But how can you improve your lead response time if you don't know how quickly you respond?
4 simple ways to measure your lead response times
Here are a few ways to calculate your response time per lead, rep, and even your whole team. (Plus a few thoughts on lead response time benchmarks.)
Identify which platforms you use most often
Managing lead response times can be tricky. You're probably using at least a dozen platforms to respond to inbound leads. Email. Phone. SMS. Forms. Live chat. Social media messaging.
You probably already have a general idea of which platforms generate the most leads. And about how long your customer service reps take to respond to each type of request.
Keeping track of everything can get overwhelming without a solid plan. Take a few minutes to figure out which platforms are worth analyzing.
Set aside time to dig through the logs
Now you've got a clear idea of which platforms leads use to contact you most often. But don't dig in quite yet. Set a time frame first. For example, you might want to review logs from the past 30 days.
This review process will look different depending on your bandwidth, industry, and team size. Small customer service teams might block time each week, month, or quarter to review logs.
Calculate your lead response time with these easy formulas
Lead response time for a single lead: (Time of customer request) - (time of first response)
For example, if a lead submits a request at 12 noon and you reply at 3:30 PM, your lead response time is 3 and a half hours.
Average lead response time of a single customer service rep: (Sum of first response times for each lead) / (number of leads responded to)
Let's say your customer service rep replied to 5 leads in one day. First, you'd calculate the response time for each lead using the first formula. To make things easier, you might convert this to minutes instead of hours.
Then, add those times together and divide them by the number of leads responded to. In this case, 5.
Here's an example:
Lead 1: 15 minutes
Lead 2: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Lead 3: 25 minutes
Lead 4: 5 minutes
Lead 5: 1 hour
Total response time: 4 hours and 5 minutes or 245 minutes / 5 = 49 minute average response time
Average lead response time for your whole team: (Sum of average response times per rep) / (number of reps)
Let's say you manage a team of 5 customer service reps with the following average lead response times:
Rep 1: 55 minutes
Rep 2: 30 minutes
Rep 3: 25 minutes
Rep 4: 65 minutes
Rep 5: 45 minutes
Sum of average response times (in minutes): 220 minutes / 5 reps = 44 minute average team response time
Knowing average response times for each rep and your team as a whole helps you maximize efficiency.
Let your CRM do the work for you
Some customer relationship management software options, like Salesforce and Hubspot, have a built-in lead response time calculator.
This simplifies things for your team. But be aware it might require some initial setup time.
What is an optimal lead response time?
That depends on several factors.
According to the Harvard Business Review study, businesses that respond within 5 minutes are 100x more likely to qualify a lead.
Businesses that respond within 5 hours are 3000x less likely to make contact.
20% of customers stop using a product or service due to slow responses.
27% of leads never even receive a reply.
Are those statistics helpful, though? Not without context. Because they don't account for platform, industry, or intent.
For example, a lead that downloads an ebook probably isn't expecting anything other than a download confirmation email within the first 24 hours.
Compare that to a lead that submits a live chat message to a local home service business to schedule an emergency appointment. That lead needs an instant reply. And if you don't provide it, they'll find a competitor who will.
How to measure lead response times: wrapping up
It takes small businesses 48 minutes on average to respond to a web form submission. The ideal time is 5 minutes.
Bridging that gap should be high on the priority list for your customer service team.
We know it seems impossible. Your CSRs are managing multiple platforms, and some leads are higher priority than others.
That's where automation comes in.
Slash your lead response time. Capture and qualify more leads. Build a more efficient lead management system. All with less time and effort.
Whether it's email, SMS, or chat, ZyraTalk's growth suite ensures no lead is left on read. Our software even captures a lead's intent, helping your CSRs know which leads to prioritize. All that data is stored in your CRM, making work easier for your marketing, sales, and customer service teams.
Let ZyraTalk join your team and reap the rewards of instant lead response times. Book your demo today to discover how 3,000+ local businesses like yours are capturing more leads with instant responses, retaining more customers, and generating a high percentage of repeat business.