Blog // Bonnes Pratiques

Self-Service and Case Deflection: A Game-Changer
in Customer Experience

Mai 3, 2023  |  Reading Time: 5 minutes

“If you want something done, do it yourself.” This adage has never been truer for customers. According to the Harvard Business Review, it was reported that 81% of customers prefer to take care of the issues or questions they have by themselves before contacting a live representative of a company.

In today’s digital age, customers expect quick and efficient answers. They want their issues to be resolved as soon as possible without having to wait on hold or for a support agent to become available. Gartner reported that 96% of consumers that had high-effort experiences were more disloyal as compared to 9% of customers with a low-effort experience.

As consumer preferences evolve, there is a growing desire for value-added experiences, prompting companies to enhance their capabilities and deliver better and more effective services. This is where self-service and case deflection come in.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of self-service and case deflection and what capabilities businesses need to implement a successful strategy and improve the customer experience.

What is Self-Service? What Are The Advantages?

Self-service refers to the tools and resources that businesses provide to customers so that they can solve their problems themselves. An obvious example is an FAQ on a website or a chatbot.

The concept aims to provide customers with a swift, effective, and intelligent means of obtaining assistance, without the need to engage with the company’s human customer service representatives. The primary goal is to simplify the customer’s experience and guarantee prompt handling of simple requests.

Self-service offers many benefits for businesses such as:

  • Reducing customer service costs
  • Improving CSAT scores and loyalty
  • Getting better insights into the customer journey
  • Scaling support operation to handle larger volume of inquiries
  • Freeing up support agents for more complex issues that require their expertise
  • Lowering support agent attrition

As for customers, self-service allows them to solve simple problems quickly – without having to involve a support agent – and go on about their day, limiting their frustration. When you know that 77% of customers say that time is the most critical factor in a good customer experience, you realize that self-service is essential.

Are Case Deflection and Self-Service The Same Thing?

Not exactly! Self-service and case deflection actually work together. While self-service enables customers to find answers on their own by accessing relevant product content on-demand, case deflection involves guiding customers towards self-service – with recommendations for example – before they open a ticket or contact your support agents directly. One of our clients, swissQprint actually reported a 34% reduction in support tickets following the launch of their documentation portal – a great self-service tool.

According to an IBM study, businesses spend $1.3 trillion on 265 billion customer service calls each year. For that reason, it’s no wonder that companies want to invest in the right technology, such as chatbots and knowledge bases, to provide customers with self-service and case deflection options.

An example of a case deflection solution is the use of proactive content suggestions. With the Fluid Topics case deflection module, users can enter a question into a case form on a support page, and a personalized and relevant suggestion is offered to solve their issues on their own. The user can click on the recommendation and confirm whether the documentation was useful or not. If the recommendation is useful then a ticket is avoided.

Another and quite popular use case is the use of chatbots. Customers can use chatbots to find an answer to common questions. Nowadays, bots are able to handle more complex customer needs which helps reduce the volume of support inquiries. But in recent months, chatbots have been challenged by the arrival of Generative AI. This progress has reignited debates on AI’s potential impact on customer support and above all on technical documentation.

3 Building Blocks of Effective Self-Service and Case Deflection

Unified Content Experience

66% of C-level executives say that customers expect a unified, consistent content experience across channels but 53% of content professionals say they work in content silos. As Fabrice Lacroix, CEO of Fluid Topics recently said: “A CCMS is a great tool for creating tech docs, but I don’t see, for example, the marketing people writing all their content in a CCMS. Silos are here to stay.” Additionally, customers have different preferences for how they want to receive support, so businesses should provide multiple channels, such as documentation portals, knowledge bases, chatbots, FAQs and more to meet their needs.

Fluid Topics helps companies get more value from these silos rather than trying to get rid of them. Our technology gathers your content from all sources, systems and contributors into a single source of truth. This central knowledge hub enables you to seamlessly publish consistent information to all channels at once. It also makes it easy for customers to find answers to their questions, without having to search multiple sources or contact customer support.

Must-Have Features Integration

Relevant, Personalized and Contextualized Search:

Web search engines like Google have set high standards for search performance. Modern information search has accustomed us to intuitive access to relevant, up-to-date, and contextual information directly from our most convenient digital channel, app, or tool in use. However, the average enterprise search engine is not enough to provide fast answers to users’ complex product questions. Fluid Topics’ proprietary search engine provides the greatest search and find experience to your users, no matter the volume, complexity and diversity of your technical documentation.

It leverages powerful linguistic models with proven performance on large documentation corpus, learns from the user to improve the relevance over time and contextualizes and personalizes results depending on the situation (i.e. in-product help contextual search). This helps reduce frustration and makes it more likely that customers will find what they need without having to contact customer support.

self-service case deflection

Analytics and Reporting:

Businesses must analyze customer inquiries to identify content gaps or even patterns and trends. This information can then be used to create self-service content that addresses common issues. As a result, companies should not only rely on Google-like analytics but also on dedicated content analytics that will provide data such as “self-service rate”, “case deflection rate”, “estimated cost savings”, “search with no results”, “most and least read topics”, “topics ratings”, and “time spent reading a section” and more.

It will ensure that the suggested content is up-to-date and accurate and remove any outdated or incorrect information that can annoy customers and lead to support inquiries.

The Bottom Line

Customers have higher expectations than ever before, and customer experience has taken over price and product as a key brand differentiator. Gartner predicts that “by 2025, 40% of customer service organizations will become profit centers by becoming de facto leaders in digital customer engagement.”

Therefore, self-service and case deflection are clearly game changers in customer experience. By creating a better experience for your customers and enabling them to find what they need, on their own terms, you’ll reduce the workload of support agents, lower your support costs and increase your CSAT score.

The Fluid Topics Content Delivery Platform can help you deliver intelligent, personalized, and consistent content experiences to your customers and stakeholders and power up your self-service.

About The Author

Anne-Sophie Lardet

Anne-Sophie Lardet