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I emailed 52 SaaS companies to test support time. Here's what I found.

Steve Benjamins · Jun 16 2016 · Blog Home

Early this year I spent 20+ hours testing how long it would took 52 SaaS companies to reply to my emails.

Why? Because everyone hates waiting. We all know the agony of calling a call center and getting stuck on hold. And since I’m always looking for ways to test software for Site Builder Report, I thought support reply time would be a useful metric.

The test was simple: I emailed each company twice and tracked how long it took them to reply (ignoring auto-responders). Then I found the average. I only emailed companies on a Monday or Tuesday morning during normal working hours (I don’t think it’s fair to expect customer support at midnight).

Here’s what I found:

1) 12% of companies took longer than a day to reply to emails.

When support reply time is bad, it’s really bad. Some companies (such as 1&1 and WebsiteBuilder.com) took almost 2 days to reply!

Average Support Time (Hours)

Average Reply Time (Hours)

2) 21% of companies replied in less than an hour

A pretty good reply time.

Average Support Time (Minutes) for the Ten Fastest Companies

Average Reply Time (Minutes)

3) 10% of companies replied in less than 10 minutes

At less than 10 minutes, these companies— Jumpseller, Core Commerce, Lemonstand, Resurva and Formsite— had a great reply time.

Average Response Time (Hours)

Average Reply Time (Minutes)

4) Big companies were especially slow to reply

Companies with 50+ employees were almost 3 times slower than companies with less than 50 employees.

4hrs 12mins1-50 employees
12 hrs 2mins50+ employees

I was able to get a rough estimate of company size by using Facebook’s employee targeting (example: Mailchimp has 292 employees according to Facebook). I was only able to do this for 39 of the 52 companies.

5) Website builders were the slowest industry

Average reply time varied based on the industry— with website builders trailing heavily:

4hr 21minsForm
Builders
4hr 25minsEmail
Marketing
6hr 26minsStore
Builders
8hr 25minScheduling
Software
13hr 22minWebsite
Builders

Conclusion & Disclaimer

I would be careful about drawing too many conclusions from this for a couple reasons:

Email is not the only way SaaS companies give support today. There’s also live chat, phone and Twitter. Plus email reply time says nothing about the quality of support (which is why companies will privately measure customer satisfaction).

I was also not a paying customer to any of these companies. Some companies may triage non-paying support requests into a low-priority queue.

Finally I would be hesitant about making conclusions about individual companies here— I think you’d need a wider sample than 2 support requests to have an accurate sense of their reply time.

But with all that being said, I still think the data is interesting and worth sharing. Reply time really is a handy metric that correlates to customer satisfaction. Staring at an empty inbox waiting for an issue to be resolved is simply not fun— especially when support requests go unanswered for days.

Data Table

Name Test #1 Test #2 Avg Response Time
Formsite322.5
Resurva322.5
Core Commerce835.5
Jumpseller3127.5
Lemonstand3127.5
Angelfire261118.5
Active Campaign271521
Appointlet43921.5
Form Assembly123523.5
123 Contact Form512035.5
Acuity Scheduling108748.5
Jotform873661.5
Big Cartel705663
Yola2510665.5
Ninja Forms985878
Wufoo996280.5
Webstarts927282
Strikingly153101127
Sitezulu2883145.5
Vertical Response7289148
Squarespace157161159
Aweber131200165.5
Formstack213213213
Setmore4937250
Webs394142268
CityMax358225291.5
Square Appointments409230319.5
Shopify200509354.5
Zoho Sites79729404
Formdesk9876496.5
Reservio891110500.5
Voog54952503
3dcart480528504
Doodlekit788221504.5
Webnode67977522
Onepager703380541.5
IM Creator300838569
Wix1099101600
Appointy121209610.5
Spark Pay661312689
Get Response41445724.5
Bigcommerce1112372742
Weebly2051500852.5
Supadupa104811651106.5
Moonfruit70819011304.5
Typeform26191141366.5
Jimdo155316711612
iContact20230861644
Mailchimp87132842077.5
MindBody267819002289
1&193143382634.5
WebsiteBuilder.com426754244845.5

Steve Benjamins I founded Site Builder Report in 2012 in order to help people choose the right website builder. I also make music (you should check it out!). You can also follow me on Twitter here.