Reports: Email

Our Email report measures efficiency working with email conversations. You'll be able to keep track of how your team is performing in terms of time spent addressing and responding to conversations.

In this article

Report Overview

How long are customers waiting for a reply?

This is where the Response Time metric comes in. It is an average, based on your filters, and is a good indicator of how active your team has been in the queue. If you take a gander at the response time graph, you might find this comparison useful to get a quick overview of different time periods.

How long are customers waiting for our very first reply?

Nobody likes to be kept waiting, and a simple first reply goes a long way. Month over month, you might use this metric to quantify higher or lower first reply times. Were you short-staffed, or did a huge issue pop up that took more time to address?

For example, you might find that 77% of your conversations received a first response in under 15 minutes or less. But what about those straggling conversations that took forever to address? You can drill down to quickly see which conversations got left behind.

How many times are we going back and forth with customers?

Lengthy exchanges could mean that not enough information is being given with each reply, or perhaps you're receiving a handful of complex questions which require multiple messages. On the flip side, a low number of replies could be a sign that your team is providing really thorough answers on the first try. In our example below, 56% of our conversations needed only one reply to resolve.

How long is it taking to address conversations?

Handle time measures the time from when the conversation is opened, to when a reply is sent to the customer. You'll find that higher handle times correspond to really long replies, or a lack of resources or knowledge on the User side. What does that really mean?

For one, you could drive handle time down with more saved replies, or even an internal knowledge base. Both of these little tools keep the User on the same page, focused on the reply, and not bouncing between tabs to find additional information. Based on our example below, our average handle time for the filtered period was 3 minutes and 48 seconds. In other words, it took us close to 4 minutes to open the editor, whip up a reply, and send it off.

Metric Definitions

There are a few buckets of conversations that are analyzed within the Email report. If you run a report looking at January 1st through January 15th, you’ll find conversations that:

  • Were created in the selected time frame are included in Email Conversations and Emails Created metrics
  • A customer replied to in the selected time frame in the Messages Received metric
  • A User replied to in the selected time frame in the Replies Sent, Response Time and First Response Time metrics
  • Were resolved in the selected time frame (at least one User reply and a closed status) for Resolution metrics

Office Hours

The Email Report offers the Office Hours toggle switch, located just below the graph block on the right side of the screen. 

Turning the Office Hours filter on will re-calculate your resolution and response time metrics to account for the Company settings, and you'll see the report change in real time. (See Set Company Office Hours for more on that setting.) This does not exclude any conversations from the report and does not affect metrics without time based elements.

Pro-tip: Hold your mouse over the title of most metrics in reports to see a tool tip that explains that metric right in the report!

Email Conversations
Conversations created with an email thread, either incoming from the customer our outgoing from a User.

Emails Created
Email conversations created by a Help Scout User via the new conversation screen (see Create a New Conversation) or API.

Messages Received
Number of emails received from customers. Each customer thread in a conversation counts towards this total.

Replies Sent
Number of replies sent from Users to customers, including new conversation email threads.

Response Time
The average amount of time a customer is waiting for a response from your team.

  • Response time is only counted if/when you reply to the customer. If the conversation has no replies, no response times are calculated.
  • Assigning, status changes, updating tags or adding notes do not impact response time at all.
  • If you reply, then send additional replies to the customer before they respond, only the first response is counted towards average response time.
  • If the customer replies twice before you reply, response time is calculated from the first customer reply to the time a User replies.
  • Response time is not calculated for a new conversation created by a User. If/when the customer responds, response time will be counted for your next User reply.

First Response Time
The average amount of time a customer is waiting for the first reply from your team; subsequent response times are not included.

Resolved
A conversations is only resolved when it has at least one User reply and a Closed status; a conversation can only be resolved once and the last time the conversation is closed is the resolution. 

  • If a conversation is resolved and the customer replies, it is not resolved again until the status is set back to Closed. 
  • If User A replies and closes a conversation, then the customer replies, then User B replies and closes the conversation, User B has resolved it.
  • If a User creates a conversation, the customer replies and the User closes it without a reply, the conversation is not included in resolution metrics. A conversation cannot be Resolved by being created, nor by closing without a Reply from a User.

Resolution Time
The average amount of time it takes from the time a conversation is created to the time it is resolved.

  • If a customer replies to a conversation (often a “Thanks” reply) and it is closed with no User reply, the resolution happens on the previous User reply.

Resolved on First Reply
Percentage of conversations that are resolved after one User reply, as opposed to those requiring multiple replies or no reply at all.

  • If there are two User replies and the customer only has the original thread, it is not resolved on the first reply.

Handle Time
This represents the time from when a User opens the conversation to the time they press Send. If they reload the conversation page, the handle time clock will start over — only the final visit before sending will be captured as the handle time. Handle time is also calculated for new conversations started by Users.

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