Ticket Deflection: The Key To Increasing Customer Support Efficiency
Ensuring that customers have a superior experience using a product or service is a top priority for most companies. Customers expect to have access to fast and easy customer support when and where they need it. As a matter of fact, research shows that 40% of customers stopped doing business with a company due to poor service.
However the current economic climate is forcing more companies to make tough decisions regarding where to focus their resources. What’s the best way to balance customer needs with the number of customer support agents available at any given time? Companies want to ensure that customers know that they are their number one priority, while also reducing the workload on their customer support agents.
As companies are figuring out how to do more with less, meaning they're doing their best to maintain efficiency without requesting more resources, it’s best to utilize the tools they likely already have: customer support software. The key is for companies to use it in a way that is most effective. Ticket deflection is one way to get started.
What is ticket deflection?
Ticket deflection, by definition, is the automatic process of redirecting customer inquiries to self-service tools, empowering them to solve their own problems without the assistance of a live agent. A self-service ticket deflection tool means that the support software is able to direct the customer to the most appropriate resource that assists them with finding a solution to low complexity problems.
What does this look like in the real world? A customer interacts with a chatbot to say they are having problems logging into the system because they can’t remember their password. The chatbot then delivers a resource to the customer to help them reset their password. The resource can be a 1-minute video, a link to a FAQ page, or something similar, such as an article within the company knowledge base, that gives step-by-step instructions on resetting the password.
The ticket deflection process can be used for a number of other common customer inquiries like:
- How can I add new users?
- How can I upgrade to a higher plan?
- What are your security policies?
- How can I renew my subscription?
- Does your company have any open positions?
Rather than put additional strain on an already overworked agent to answer the same questions again and again, the company can use automation tools to ensure the customer's question is answered in a timely matter. Ticket deflection and automated self-service tools work because they decrease the number of tickets in the system and relieve some of customer support agents' burden.
How does support ticket deflection benefit the customer?
The success of any company lies in creating customer happiness. Here are a few ways ticket deflection benefits the customer:
Builds customer satisfaction and loyalty. The ticket deflection process ensures that the customer gets an immediate answer to their question, encouraging higher satisfaction and customer loyalty. Most customers want to be able to solve an issue on their own so they can continue to enjoy using the product or service as soon as possible. Knowing there are ready-made resources that cater to their needs offers peace of mind and can help them feel accomplished.
Cuts down on customer wait time. While some customers may find automated responses to be impersonal, the truth is that it saves them lots of time. No longer does a customer have to wait for an available live agent to chat with or sit through a series of back and forth email responses that can go on unnecessarily for hours. An automated response is immediate and efficient, increasing customer satisfaction. This is part of what creates a better customer experience.
Customers still have access to an agent. No matter what kind of automated support your company offers, there will always be customers who will choose to move forward with submitting a ticket. This is especially true if you have a new product or service that customers are not familiar with. They often have more than just one questions and want the questions answered at one time. The same automated responses can be used to reply to a customer, even if a customer support agent has to intervene. Ready made, automated responses ensure that the customer gets the support they need quickly, allowing the agent to close the ticket as quickly as possible.
How does ticket deflection benefit the company?
Most companies are looking for ways to cut down on costs in order to leave more resources to invest in other areas. Here is how ticket deflection benefits the company.
Improves customer retention and acquisition. Customers remain loyal to companies that are consistent and offer quality customer service. Investing in customer support software that delivers a high level customer service experience is part of a solid strategy to retain customers while also keeping the cost of new customer acquisition low.
Reduces cost of customer support. As companies are looking for ways to use their resources more efficiently, they need customer service software that will ease the burden placed on the limited number of agents available at any one time. Check out these statistics that demonstrate how a lot of the support requests taking up space in the system can be solved using automation:
- 24% of support tickets are of low complexity, meaning it’s a problem that can be solved by the customer without further intervention.
- 29% of support tickets are of medium complexity, meaning the customer can solve the problem when directed to appropriate education.
- 66% of ticket requests are about how-to’s or installation set-up and can be resolved with a how-to guide, step-by-step video tutorials, an improved onboarding system, self-paced training, etc.
A majority of customer support tickets tend to be low to medium complexity, simple how-to's, or similar. If companies deflect these support requests to self-service, then customers will be served quicker and agents can focus on more complex matters.
Reduce the number of support tickets. The ticket deflection function ensures that the ticket never has to be created in the first place, reducing the number of tickets in the system. This allows available members of the customer support team who already have a large workload to tend to more pressing requests.
Creates customer data. Customers don’t have to interact with an agent in order for the company to learn about their needs. Every interaction with the customer support system is counted. That means that whenever a customer interacts with a chatbot, or reads an article in the knowledge base, the company learns more about customer needs. Other pieces of data can include common search terms, understanding the click path, products requested, country of residence, etc. This data can all be analyzed to determine how the company can better serve customer needs.
Is ticket deflection the key to customer satisfaction?
Creating a ticket deflection system can be a key component to ensuring customer happiness. It can also be used as part of the company’s overall strategy to increase brand loyalty by ensuring that there are ready made materials that help them to answer their own questions, reducing the amount of time and resources used in daily operations. As companies are looking to “do more with less,” it only makes sense to invest in an automated customer support platform that cuts operating costs and significantly reduces the workload of available customer service agents.