Case deflection is the perfect situation when customers are able to find answers to product-related questions on their own without contacting support. What it usually means for a company is saving money! The fewer cases are opened by the support team the fewer people you need to employ to answer these questions — profit!
Well, that sounds great, everyone would love that, of course. The problem is — for your clients to be able to self-service, answers to their possible inquiries must come to them as effortlessly as possible. Otherwise, case deflection percentage will be just negligible.
Deflection can be delivered via different sources. In fact, for case deflection to make a real difference for your business, a system of case deflection methods needs to be applied. We have a blog article where various case deflection approaches are analyzed. Definitely check it out! We’ve described all major methods there and covered their pros and cons.
Let’s name some popular case deflection techniques:
- User Communities
- Product Forums
- Context Help
- Knowledge Bases
- User Manuals
Ideally, a company should have several of those functioning at the same time. And, as we mentioned earlier, the effortlessness of finding answers is key; this implies that each aspect of your case deflection strategy needs to be well-structured and maintained perfectly.
Today, however, we are going to talk specifically about the ways you can utilize technical documentation as a means of decreasing the load on the support team.
Deflecting Cases with Technical Documentation
As stated above, there are several types of technical documentation that can ensure high levels of case deflection if applied properly. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
This is the most subtle and intuitive way to provide a user with the needed information and point them in the right direction. To create a better product adoption process and to improve overall customer experience, parts of technical documentation get embedded right into a product UI, that’s what Context Help is.
It can come in different shapes and forms — a direct link to a help topic, a pop-up window, an assistant panel.
Context Help might sound complex, but, in reality, it is quite easy to implement. For example, in ClickHelp, you can generate code snippets for Context Help almost instantaneously, turning your help topics into a digital tour of your app.
If done right, Context Help appears just in time to solve a user’s problem, and your clients won’t need to contact support.
Now, let’s talk about a classic user manual with a TOC, help topics, index…User manuals have a crazy case deflecting potential, alas, not everyone understands this. In some companies, support teams are the main readers of user manuals — they pass their knowledge of technical documentation to their clients in the form of links to help topics, quotes, etc. But, if a user manual is well-written, consistent, equipped with a great navigation system, you won’t need a mediator.
Check out this post to quickly evaluate how good your user manual is, and, if the results seem disappointing, you will find there tips on how to fix it.
A knowledge base is a bit different from a user manual. It is more so a very broad and detailed F.A.Q. section than anything else.
What makes a knowledge base so useful in terms of case deflection? It is the fact that knowledge bases are built around real use cases. This also explains why they are often written not by technical writers but by support engineers or as a result of these two teams collaborating. The support team knows better than anyone else what users struggle the most with, so, knowledge bases give direct answers to the majority of common questions and issues.
Most of the time, when people are talking about case deflection they tend to emphasize how beneficial it is money-wise. We won’t argue with that, in fact, that’s what we also mentioned at the beginning. But, we’d like to point out the positive impact case deflection has on user experience, too. As many people had poor experience with tech support in the past, having answers coming to them in the form of a well-written knowledge base article or a timely Context Help pop-up will surely increase customer satisfaction. And, this is exactly what drives a healthy and prosperous business.
Good luck with your technical writing!
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