Today’s savviest businesses are embracing the importance of a self-service strategy. It makes sense, when you consider the data: 71% of customers want the ability to resolve issues on their own. That, and the crucial ways self-service can impact customer support KPIs. A bad (or absent) self-service strategy can create support ticket backlogs, overtaxed support teams, and frustrated customers, eventually impacting the bottom line. A rock solid self-service strategy, on the other hand, can empower support agents, lower customer effort, and improve ticket deflection.

Still, a self-service strategy is only as good as the content that feeds it. If the content isn’t there when your customers go to self-serve online, those customers will likely move on to another channel, all but crushing any hope you had of deflecting that case.

This makes the visibility and quality of your help content incredibly important.

Assessing the ROI of KM for Ticket Deflection

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

What is ticket deflection?

Simply put, ticket deflection is the magic that happens when one of your customers decides to help themselves instead of contacting your support team. It’s the person whose washing machine goes down and immediately heads for a search engine instead of the telephone. Ticket deflection has a potential for cost savings and improved agent efficiency that makes it one of the key outcomes of any self-service strategy.

That’s why so many companies place such a premium on this metric.

There are many ways to go about preventing cases. You could implement a comprehensive knowledge base and community forum. You could also set up an automated chatbot to supplement your social media support channel. Regardless of which self-service methods you implement, content will the remain the lifeblood that drives any self-service strategy.

How does content fuel ticket deflection?

If you want customers to help themselves, you need to take out the guesswork—both in terms of where to go to find the help content and how to make sense of it.

First and foremost, good help content surfaces where and when the customers are looking for it. Think about where most people go first when they have a question—about anything, really. Google, right? Google processes over 40,000 search queries a second. If the first thing your customer finds is branded help content that answers their question—bingo.

Self-service magic achieved, potential ticket deflected.

There are other places where good content comes into play. Based on the user, issue type, or even content a user has already seen in a given session, you can serve up suggested content at the point of ticket submission that could prevent that user from clicking submit.

Your support team will love it too. With fewer tickets coming in thanks to your stellar self-service content, support agents will be freed up to deal with other tickets, potentially leading to an overall reduction. When those cases do come in, good self-service content will enable agents to easily find the right content and be more productive.

How to improve your help content

There a number of ways to improve help content, many of which I detail in a recent blog post entitled 5 Self-service Pitfalls That Increase Customer Effort. Briefly, here a few content improvement strategies to consider that will contribute to your ticket deflection numbers:

Simple as these strategies might be, they are often overlooked. And while there are a lot of ways to make support content better (and many ways to measure ticket deflection, for that matter), the data doesn’t lie: today’s customer expects good self-service content.

Additional categories: Customer Experience, Customer Support