Case Deflection

Understanding Case Deflection: Essentials of the Customer Support Metrics

Rita Khait

Table of Content

Customers prefer immediate solutions. If they can find answers quickly through documentation, their satisfaction typically increases, boosting customer retention. Moreover, there's a notable direct correlation between quick resolution of customer inquiries and higher customer satisfaction scores (CSAT).

Technical documentation is a valuable resource as it drastically reduces the time to resolve a customer question. It has a strong impact on important measures such as self-service and case deflection. These measures are crucial for keeping users satisfied and ensuring that support services operate efficiently.

In this article, we will cover the core support metrics that documentation has a direct impact on. But let’s first address the fundamentals.

What is case deflection?

Case deflection is the rate at which customers open a case submission form, but then find the solutions they need on their own, without having to file a support ticket. Companies can save money and reduce the workload on customer support teams by deflecting cases effectively.

Types of case deflection

Case deflection can make the customer support journey smoother and more efficient. It comes in two forms: implicit and explicit. Let's examine each type and see how they help solve problems quickly, making customers happy without needing direct help.

Below is a diagram illustrating a typical user flow for both explicit and implicit deflection strategies.

Explicit case deflection

Explicit case deflection usually means that customers are presented with a deflection component or a chatbot, which proactively searches and suggests relevant articles and discussions as the customer types their query into the support form. If, after viewing suggested content, the user chooses not to click "submit". This means that they’ve resolved their issue without needing to contact customer service.

Here's an example of explicit deflection of inquiries: 

A customer unable to log into your system clicks a “contact support” button, landing on a case form page. As they type "resetting a password," the system immediately suggests relevant articles or FAQs that address the issue directly. The customer reads the suggested material, follows the instructions, and closes the case form without submitting it.

Below is a picture of a special Zoomin Case Deflection feature for Salesforce that helps deflect cases. As the user enters information into any standard or custom Salesforce Create Case Form. Then, the Zoomin Case Deflection component automatically displays recommended solutions related to their issue.


Zoomin for salesforce case deflection widget example

Implicit case deflection

Implicit case deflection happens when a customer independently searches for and finds information on a company's self-help platforms, and does not contact customer service within 24 hours. This occurs without explicit prompts from the system to avoid creating a support case. Here are key points indicating efficient implicit deflection has occurred.

In a typical scenario of a case deflected implicitly:

1. A user wants to install the latest version of the software and goes to the documentation portal on their own.

2. The user searches for installation instructions in the documentation. They find a detailed guide that answers their question and follows the steps provided.

3. The user leaves the community forum after finding the information they need. They do not contact customer support or submit a support ticket within 24 hours.

Below is an illustration of implicit deflection of a case, showing search results in response to a customer's query. In addition to regular search results, users get a quick answer from Zoomin GPT without having to look through many results.

implicit case deflection example

Case deflection vs. self-service

Case deflection is often mistaken for self-service, but it's essential to distinguish between the two. Let's clarify the differences.

Ticket deflection is an integral component of customer self-service strategies within customer support. Avoid using the terms interchangeably, as they refer to different aspects of customer interaction.

The goal of case deflection is to reduce the number of customer inquiries that escalate to direct human contact. Specifically, it involves creating well-crafted content that addresses common questions found in customer support tickets.

What is Self-Service?

In contrast, self-service is a customer support strategy that enables customers to access a broader range of content independently, not just when they have specific questions. It includes resources like FAQs, how-to videos, release notes, and product updates, encouraging customers to explore and learn about products or services on their own, thereby enhancing their understanding and proficiency.

For instance, when a customer receives an email about the latest product releases, they might proactively access the documentation to learn more about these updates. As they become familiar with the new features, they can preemptively address potential questions and issues, improving their efficiency.

Key Differences between self-service and case deflection

To build an efficient and customer-friendly support environment, integrate both case deflection and self-service content strategies. Self-service allows customers to explore solutions on their own. Ticket deflection helps prevent issues from escalating, reducing the need for customer support. This means that we address problems before they become more serious.

Key Differences between self-service and case deflection

In conclusion, case deflection is a strategic component of a sophisticated customer support system. To make this strategy work well, provide simple self-service options such as FAQs, knowledge bases, and easy search tools. Implement dynamic case deflection widgets that suggest relevant articles and solutions in real-time. Ticket deflection reduces repetitive questions to live support, saving time and resources and improving customer satisfaction.

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