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KPI of the Day – Customer Service: # Time to resolve complaints



Measures how long it takes to satisfactorily resolve a customer’s complaint after receiving it.


To indicate how long a customer has to wait for a satisfactory resolution of their complaint, as this impacts their overall satisfaction with the company. If it takes too long, the customer may be lost.


When customers complain, they are primarily looking for a speedy resolution. Customers nowadays expect a company to provide 24/7 service and resolve issues in a maximum of 24 hours. The longer it takes to solve a customer’s complaint, the more likely it is that the customer will be unsatisfied. However, from the organizational point of view, it is not often possible to solve a complaint within 24 hours without any issues or complications of any sort.

Depending on the industry, # Time to solve customer complaints will vary from a couple of hours, maybe even minutes, to days, even weeks. In a hotel, an accommodated guest might expect to have his complaint solved in a couple of hours, whereas a complaint regarding an electronic product would involve sending it back to the factory, which can take days, even weeks.

In this respect, handling the customer’s demand for a speedy resolution may entail the need for the following:

  • Clearly informing the customer about a complaint’s resolution time frame;
  • Setting benchmarks for the resolution of investigations;
  • Keeping customers informed about the progress of their complaint resolution;
  • Offering service-level agreements and rigorous time frames for resolutions;
  • Effective management systems for customer complaint data.

In terms of limitations, on average, this KPI excludes situations that might be greatly below or above the mean. Another limitation is analysis against customer perceptions: some might consider the average an acceptable time to wait, while others might not.

If you are interested in more Customer Service-related KPIs, subscriptions provide access to +500 KPI examples.

Our dedicated Library contains relevant resources to improve your KPI practices, and if you want to further improve your knowledge, feel free to explore our latest publications – The Sales and Customer Service KPI Dictionary and The Top 25 Customer Service KPIs – 2016 Extended Edition, or enroll in our Certified Customer Service Performance Professional course.

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