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Deflecting tickets is every customer service operation’s top priority. After all, the repercussions of ticket overload spread from department operational costs all the way to customer satisfaction, retention and revenue. Using self-service methodologies to effectively deflect tickets is nothing radical or new, but the numbers behind this are rarely discussed.

What’s truly astonishing is the potential for savings that comes with ticket deflection.

self-service-quizSo how can you measure the phenomenon of ticket deflection? It’s not exactly straightforward, since the subject of measurement is something that doesn’t happen. In order to combat this paradox, the subject of measurement can become what is assumed to deflect tickets – like visits to a self-service portal. Granted, some of those visits do end up resulting in a ticket nevertheless – but with modern web analytics technology, making the distinction is trivially easy.

So, the beginning is to measure the number of visits to your self-service portal that didn’t result in a ticket.

A logical next step would be to see what your average operational costs per ticket. This part is a lot simpler – it takes the total monthly operating expense and divides it by the volume of tickets. (A more sophisticated way to measure here is to isolate the volume and cost of “first line” tickets.)

Multiply the deflection estimates by the cost-per-ticket and you will find out the total amount you save each month thanks to ticket deflection.

Now that some basic calculations are done, the incentive to deflect tickets becomes even clearer. And if you’re already successfully preventing unnecessary tickets, it’s important to mention some ways to improve the effectiveness of your self-service. Begin by looking at number of interactions with self-service portal before a ticket gets raised. Knowing the “pick up the phone” threshold of your users tells you how much space your self-service has to make a difference. If users average at 3 self-help articles before submitting a ticket, you should aim to deflect tickets within the first 2 pages viewed.

How to curate your self-service successfully to accomplish this goal, in our next article…