Time to Resolve (TTR)

by Sep 9, 2019

Time to Resolution (TTR) is a metric to measure the elapsed time it takes for support to resolve a case. 

Time to Resolution (TTR)

TTR measures the elapsed time from when “the clock starts” for a new case until the time the “clock stops”.  Note that TTR focuses on the elapsed time and not the level of effort or time invested to close a case.

For insights into how to measure the level of effort expended on case resolution see How Efficient and Productive is Your Support Organization?

How Productive is Your Support Organization?

Here are some factors to take into consideration when measuring Time to Resolve a case.

TTR Inputs

Clock Starts = Time that the case is open.

Clock Stops = Time that a case is closed.

TTR = Clock Starts – Clock Stops

Starting the Clock

When does the clock start?

Determining when the clock starts depends upon what you want to measure.  In most situations the clock starts when a case is accepted, and work begins to resolve the issue.  This means that Support has accepted ownership for the case and has the ability (and responsibility) to actively work it.  Consider:

  • If you want to measure elapsed time from the customer’s perspective, then you want to start the clock when the customer opens the case.
  • If you want to measure the time it takes to resolve cases once put in front of a qualified support rep, then start the clock once the case is assigned (e.g. no front-line or queue time).
  • If you want to measure the total time to “handle” a case (non-technical and technical) start the clock when you acknowledge receipt of the case.
  • If you want to measure adherence to SLAs then start the clock when you are obligated to begin work.

Voice | Phone

For cases reported by phone the clock may start when the call is initially answered, even if it is a non-technical individual.  This implies that entitlement checking, and queue time will be included in the metric.  Alternatively, the clock may not start until the case is assigned to a support rep.

Digital

For case reported digitally the clock may not start for some time after the initial request is posted or e-mail sent.  Many companies allow customers to report cases 24 x 7, however active service hours may only cover local business hours, thus, the clock does not start until the case is “picked up” from the electronic queue during the next business day.

Service Level Agreements

The clock does not start for cases reported outside of entitled service windows. If a customer submits a case at midnight but is only entitled to business hour support the earliest the clock will start is at the beginning of the next business day.

Stopping the Clock

When does the Clock Stop?  As with starting the clock, stopping the clock is all about what you want to measure.  Often “resolution” and “close” are used synonymously.  They may coincide, but they are two different events.

Resolution

Resolution is when a reasonable suggestion is provided to a customer in response to a question/issue.  Unfortunately, delivery of a solution may not result in a closed case.  The difference between resolution and closure is customer acceptance.

Restoration

Another event may come in the form of a “restoration.”  This is typically used to describe a temporary workaround. This means that a customer issues has been addressed and functionality or performance

levels have been fully or partially restored.  It does not imply that a permanent fix or solution has been offered. A restoration is not resolution or closure.

Close

Closure is the final event for a case.  This is when a permeant answer has been provided to the customer and the customer has accepted the answer and no longer expects further effort.

Note that a resolution may be offered, but fail to resolve an issue, thus the case is not closed if further action is offered.

An answer may be provided that does not satisfy the customer, but, no further action will be taken, thus the case is closed.

The Most Practical Approach

Many companies close cases after a resolution is offered (assumes success).  Most allow customers to reopen these cases. 

Pro:  Assumes a solution will permanently resolve a case and does not require that a customer confirm solution.

Con:  Some customers that do not get the answer they want will open a new, separate case.

The Most Accurate Approach

Some companies only close a case when it is confirmed closed by a customer. 

Pro:  Assures that the case closure rate reflects confirmed closed cases.

Con: Cases may be open longer pending customer verification.  Excess burden on all parties.

Next Steps

ServiceXRG offers a wealth of expertise through coaching and research to help you define measures of success and to benchmark your performance.  Please review other reports and articles related to Metrics and contact us if we can help.

More Metrics Articles

Support Metrics, Benchmarks and Reporting

Support performance measurement is challenging. Contact me to learn how ServiceXRG can help you gain better insights into Support performance through the use of enhanced metrics, benchmarking and better support performance reporting.

  • Are you measuring the right support metrics?
  • Do you have access to necessary inputs and insights?
  • How well is your Support organization performing?
  • Can you generate the reports you need?

Contact us now to learn how we can help you gain greater insights and optimize Support performance.

Chat with us (see link on right side of screen), send an e-mail to tsweeny@servicexrg.com, or use our contact form.

Featured: First Contact Resolution

The First Contact Resolution playbook provides a step-by-step guide for defining and implementing a First Contact Resolution (FCR) metric.   The playbook defines a consistent and effective process to measure how efficiently each customer question gets to the person that has the skills, knowledge and tools to provide the right answer the first time the customer engages with Support.  The playbook offers practical guidance about how to measure and optimize FCR performance to improve customer satisfaction, NPS and increase overall support efficiency and effectiveness.

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