Article | 3 min read

Raise your ticket deflection ratio with smart self-service

By Amanda Roosa, @mandyroosa

Last updated September 2, 2021

Ticket deflection is a major buzzword these days (at least in the customer service industry), and not without good reason. A high ticket deflection ratio indicates an excellent customer experience, which helps improve other areas of your business and decreases customer churn. To help improve your company’s overall customer support experience, we’re here to demystify ticket deflection and to explain why it’s important, and how you can improve your deflection ratio.

Ticket deflection, by definition, means a decreased number of tickets are submitted to your support agents. A ticket deflection ratio, or your self-service score, is the total number of customer self-service interactions divided by the total number of users that submit support tickets. The higher the ratio, the better. However, ticket deflection means a lot more than the number of tickets submitted. When ticket deflection ratio is high, it means that customers are finding answers to their questions without having to reach out to a support agent—they’re able to help themselves.

Knowledge is power

When customers are able to answer their own questions, they become more knowledgeable about your company’s products or services. They also experience less friction because they don’t have to make an effort to reach out, or to wait for a response. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does, [and] acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.”

Reducing your customers’ efforts to solve a problem results in a good, or high, ticket deflection ratio. In order to achieve a high ticket deflection ratio, companies should focus on improving self-service capabilities with a knowledge management solution. When used correctly, self-service can decrease the amount of tickets submitted, which frees up agent time, cuts down on superfluous support costs and, most importantly, improves customers’ success with your product.

Turn knowledge into action

Empowering customers to self-serve can boost your business, but proper knowledge management is key to offering self-service. Three ways you can empower customers to self-serve includes offering both online and mobile self-service, cultivating a community, and harnessing the power of AI. For example, frequent, first contact resolution tickets can often be solved through FAQ pages and community forums, or by allowing a “smart” tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to surface relevant content. FAQ pages are an easily accessible source of information for customers, and both community forums or AI-suggested help content are easy ways to help customers without having to involve an agent. Agents, in turn, can spend time on harder questions, where help is truly needed.

With various self-service options to answer simple questions and improve your customers’ success with your product, your ticket deflection ratio increases and agents can focus on more difficult queries. However, in order to offer invaluable self-service, you have to have good information—and that means taking time to know your customers.

To learn how to tell if your self-service efforts improve ticket deflection, read more on ticket deflection, the currency of self-service.

Getting started with Zendesk Guide

Guide is a smart knowledge base for better self-service and empowered agents.

Getting started with Zendesk Guide

Guide is a smart knowledge base for better self-service and empowered agents.

Learn more