Give me any customer support team and I can guarantee that figuring out how to reduce support tickets is a top priority. That’s because high ticket volume puts a strain on support agents, frustrates customers, and can create quite the financial expense. One way companies attempt to reduce call center volume is through online self-service. By giving customers a way to quickly answer questions and resolve issues on their own, we (potentially) remove the need to contact support. How we measure the effect that our self-service experiences are having on our support ticket volume, though, is another matter altogether.

Assessing the ROI of KM for Ticket Deflection

Evaluate the potential ROI for contextual help on the ticket submission form

What is ticket deflection? More than a support metric

This is the crux of a very important support metric called ticket deflection. Ticket deflection is the art of proactive problem solving. It’s what happens when a company can deliver solutions, answers, and information in time to prevent customers from opening support cases. A regularly updated and well-optimized knowledge base is often a centerpiece of these efforts.

A case deflected is one that doesn’t eat up time, money, or manpower. But ticket deflection is more than an important metric. Because it helps lower customer effort and improve both customer and agent experience, ticket deflection has a secure place among best customer service practices.

Here’s why.

It can reduce support costs significantly

Imagine a manufacturing firm receives, say, 20,000 support tickets a month. Without question, there is a dollar amount (in cost) attributed to each of those cases. Rather than speculate, let’s assume the cost per ticket is more than $1 (spoiler alert: it almost definitely is). What if that manufacturing firm could prevent 10, 15, or 20% of those tickets using self-service content? The deflected monthly support costs would be significant.

Your support team will be more productive

With good ticket deflection in place, the mundane, repeat tickets concerning the same simple issues can be handled with minimal to no human interaction. With fewer repeat tickets coming in, the support team can focus its energy on more complex issues and avoid the burnout that comes with addressing the same basic issues over and over again.

It’s an opportunity to learn about your customer

Not only can you deflect common questions to save time and money, but you can gain valuable insights into your customer’s activity. How? Each customer interaction with your knowledge base content, for example, is a source of data. Traffic source, search terms, click paths—customer type, product, country—all of this data can help you better understand what your customers are looking for when they attempt to solve issues on their own.

Your customer experience will improve

Your call is important to us. You’ve probably heard this phrase while waiting to get through to support. And it’s not really true, because like our dear customers, most customer support teams wish those calls never happened. Truth is, customers don’t want to wait for us to help them—they want quick answers so they move on with their day. A comprehensive ticket deflection strategy improves customer experience by making it easier for customers to self-solve.

It will reveal gaps in your self-service experience

A company’s ticket deflection rate is directly related to the state of its self-service experience. Good ticket deflection requires the ability to make relevant content available at every customer touchpoint throughout the customer journey. As you measure ticket deflection, you’ll quickly see what articles help customers or support agents self-solve and which do not. You’ll also see what opportunities for case deflection you might be missing.