Report: Target data breach impacts customer service response times

New York – There were increases in total time to live agent, a metric that measures how long it takes o reach a human customer service representative, including time spent navigating interactive voice response systems (IVRs), during the initial aftermath of the December 2013 Target data breach.

Data from StellaService shows that on Dec. 15, the last day of the breach according to Target, total time to a live agent roughly quadrupled, from four minutes and 29 seconds to 16 minutes and 51 seconds. While the breach was not publicly disclosed until Dec, 18, this spike may have been due to affected customers calling with inquiries.

That figure actually dropped to seven minutes and nine seconds on Dec. 18, the day the story first broke publicly, although the average time to live agent for mass merchandise retailers that day was only two minutes and 41 seconds. StellaService analysts could not get through to a live agent again until Dec. 27, when the average time was six minutes and 18 seconds. There was another large spike to 14 minutes and 27 seconds on Dec. 30, the last day tracked by StellaService analysts, which may have been due to the issue with Target gift cards not working properly.

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