The Difference Between Support Case Deflection and Support Case Prevention

Posted by Alyssa Verzino on Apr 8, 2019 11:55:00 AM


Support case deflection is the art of empowering your customers to troubleshoot their own support issues without having to actually engage with your customer support teams. While case deflection is inarguably a cost-saving practice, it isn't an optimal experience for your customers. The real goal should be case prevention -- solving your customers' problems before they even need to contact you.

Modern customer support automation can help you achieve true support case prevention.

The most important support cases to prevent are the ones you can't solve, which is to say support cases arising from product outages or service slowdowns where the remedy is to simply "please stand by" until the service is restored. Support automation solutions can proactively contact customers when an outage occurs to inform them of the current status of the restoration effort, so they don't ever need to initiate a support case.

Outage cases, however, are the easiest and most obvious support cases to prevent. To provide real value, support automation solutions must prevent support cases when your product or service is still online and available.

A holistic support automation solution should be integrated into your knowledge base, ticket management system, communications tools, and your product dashboards or monitoring systems. With access to this full range of data, support automation can recognize patterns that lead to future support cases and flag specific customer accounts for proactive, automated outreach.

For example, a sudden drop in the number of outbound emails your customers send through your email marketing product may correlate with near-term support cases. If your automation tool notes the tell-tale signs of email volume drop, it can automatically send out self-service content to appropriate customers that addresses the most common causes of this product issue, preventing support cases before they happen.

Using that same broad-range integration, support automation can note when your customer support teams must correct or elaborate upon the information found in your onboarding or usage guides. By employing the same pattern-recognition, automation can flag deficiencies in your onboarding content or implementation practices that lead to future support cases. Armed with this data, your implementation and customer success teams can improve their own performance and prevent future support issues.

Case deflection merely means that customers find it easier to solve their own problems than to ask your support teams for help. Case prevention means your customers never encounter those problems in the first place. While 100% case prevention isn't possible, it should still be the goal -- and true support automation can help your approach it.

Talla is building the next-generation customer support automation suite for modern enterprises. If you'd like to learn how you can get closer to 100% customer support case prevention, contact Talla today.

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Topics: AI, Customer Support, automation