Beyond Deflection – What to Do with Your “Savings”

by Dec 13, 2018

Self-help and service automation (e.g. chatbots) provide a means to save money and lower the overall costs of service delivery.  Consider however that savings from deflection represents an opportunity to reinvest to improve service outcomes by reallocating staff to high value activities (e.g. onboarding, adoption, retention, expansion, etc.).  This article introduces the top opportunities to reinvest in service.

Potential Savings

Knowledge management, self-help and service automation offer significant opportunities to achieve cost efficiencies by developing and sharing information to help customers resolve cases without the direct assistance of service staff.  Efficiencies from self-help and automation create a potential dilemma for service organizations.  They can bank their savings or invest in customer success focused activities that yield increased satisfaction, retention and revenue growth.

Deflection

Deflection measures the impact that service automation, self-help tools, and content have on assisted demand.  When customer issues are resolved through service automation or self-help resources, thus no longer need assistance from service staff, they are considered deflected (there is more to deflection so check out our article on Defining and Measuring Deflection).

On average companies deflect just over 23% of cases by providing answers to customer questions through self-help or unassisted automated means.  When cases are successfully deflected fewer support staff are needed to handle assisted demand.    The cost efficiencies realized from deflected cases can be significant.

Bank the Savings or Invest in Growth

It is possible to view self-help and service automation as a means to save money and lower the overall costs of service delivery.  Alternatively, consider how savings from self-help, knowledge management and service automation can be reinvested to improve service outcomes by reallocating staff to high value activities (e.g. onboarding, adoption, retention, expansion, etc.).

New Opportunities

Consider opportunities to reallocate staff to the high value activities outlined in the table below.

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Featured: Measuring the Return on Knowledge Management

As knowledge management initiatives take hold and mature, it is essential to conduct a formal cost – benefit analysis to determine the proper level of investment for knowledge management and define the expected return on this investment. Continued success will come from efforts to enhance content creation processes, employ enhanced technologies and deliver tangible business value by leveraging knowledge assets. This research report introduces an approach to measure the return from knowledge management initiatives.

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