Designing your support desk to maximize ticket deflection

detour sign

Ticket deflection is when a customer service or IT helpdesk ticket is avoided by way of a self-serve help mechanism. This means that an employee will be able to solve their own issue without requiring the intervention of a support professional or a service ticket being created. By allowing your staff to resolve their own issue, a number of benefits should materialize including increased productivity and reduced volume of work for your service desk. For this reason you may be interested in exploring how to effectively deploy a self-service help desk strategy to maximize ticket deflection.

Symptoms of a problem with your service desk

Ticket deflection may be your goal when you are experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Growing ticket backlog
  • Increasing SLA time due to issue volume
  • Workflow interruptions
  • Lost focus due to context switching
  • Unhappy employees or lower team morale

If your helpdesk has encountered some or all of these issues, it may be time to explore remedies. The first logical step is to consider how to integrate a self-serve option.

Starting a self-service helpdesk

come on in, we're open for business

Every great self-serve helpdesk begins with a robust knowledge base software solution. Of course, just buying software isn’t going to solve your problem; you need to invest in the platform. And that means more than just getting buy-in from the Director of IT…

Onboard tools because they solve problems – not just to have them

Anais Farges (Head of IT, Instacart)

At Obie.ai, we’ve seen the most successful implementations and deployments of knowledge-software in situations where companies have planned and executed their roll-out with the following strategies:

  • Assign admin roles to individuals who are invested in success
  • Design the knowledge base to be the single source of truth for your organization
  • Structure and organize knowledge based on frequency of access (FAQs should be stored as snippets, longform articles or videos are for deep learning and onboarding)

Measuring Ticket Deflection

ticket window

Ticket deflection can be somewhat difficult to measure accurately. Because you are measuring the absence of support tickets, its complicated to objectively know when an issue has avoided a helpdesk agent. Obviously, the first symptom of deflection is lower service ticket origination. But beyond that, you might look to the following places for confirmation that your self-service desk is working:

  • Knowledge base analytics showing increased traffic and views
  • For knowledge bases that allow reactions (like Obie Native Knowledge), increased upvotes/downvotes
  • Knowledge base queries showing the types of questions being asked by users
  • Increased creation of knowledge base articles
  • More comments or feedback on articles

Level-up your self-service desk

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To take things to the next level for your service desk, you might consider strategies that employ automation and are forward looking. Consider some of these ideas:

  • Keep knowledge seeker in-app by centralizing access to knowledge
  • Monitor conversations in apps like Slack for signals that your knowledge base is being effectively used (frequently asked questions, informal support requests, knowledge sharing)
  • Set alerts to ensure that your most accessed articles are verified and current
  • Explore how AI can be a benefit your helpdesk architecture

Ticket deflection should be the goal of any helpdesk. By implementing some of these strategies, your support team will enjoy a much more efficient workflow and their clients will be on track to have more success.