Use topic suggestions to increase ticket deflection

In last week’s tip of the week, we highlighted several of the smaller features we’ve released lately. In this week's tip we'll look at some of the options you have for improving ticket deflection by leveraging your Help Center or Web portal.

Deflecting tickets as they're created

If you checked out last week's tip, you saw how relevant knowledge base article suggestions can be displayed to your customers as they create a support request with the request form.




These article suggestions make it easier for your customers to find the answer to their question so that they don’t need to submit a support request at all. That’s called ticket deflection and it’s an important aspect of managing your customer support. Help your customers help themselves by leveraging your knowledge base and your user community to reduce your overall number of tickets.

Deflecting tickets with search (Web portal)

If you have the Web portal, you can also improve ticket deflection by adding search to your home page. The search deflection feature is available in the Web portal but not in Help Center. If you're not sure which one you have, see About the different versions of Zendesk.

Example of ticket deflection with search:




When your customers search your knowledge base, the three most relevant topics are displayed. By clicking the More button, all the other topics that contain the search terms are displayed.

In addition to the relevant search results, your customers are also prompted to take additional steps if they weren’t able to locate the answer to their question by searching.

As you can see above, they have three follow-up options. They can post a question in a Questions forum, post an idea or suggestion in an Ideas forum, or open a new support request. Directing your customers into a community-based Questions forum, for example, makes it easy for your customers to interact with and support each other. 

The first two options add links to forums in your knowledge base that have been set to either the Questions or Ideas forum content type.




The third option (get in touch) is a link to the Submit a Request page in your Web portal.

So how you do set this all up for your own account? There are only a couple of steps involved but you need to be an administrator to do them.

First, enable forum search on your Web portal home page by selecting Settings > Channels > Web Portal > Edit. On that page, the first setting you need to enable is Forum search on portal home page.




Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and enable Topic Suggestions. This adds topic suggestions to your support request form. 



Save your new settings by clicking the Save button.

The final step is go to your forums page and either create new or edit existing forums and set their content types as Ideas or Questions. If you've already got forums set to these content types, you're already done. Remember that all forums that are set to either of these content types will be displayed by the topic suggestion tool. 

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Frankie Jarrett

    Is there any way to enable Knowledge Base topic suggestions as users are typing their ticket subject?

  • Avatar
    Kevin

    Anton,

    Is there a way to see how many tickets have successfully been deflected?  Since I turned this feature on, our ticket volume has dropped (as expected), but this could be related to other factors as well.  

    How can I measure the number of people that started to create a ticket, saw the suggestions, and were successfully deflected away prior to actually submitting the ticket?  

    I am looking to place a number on this so that I can prioritize the creation of knowledge base articles.  For example, if the numbers show a huge success in deflections, I will push the agents to create more KB articles.  If the numbers show that ticket deflection is not successful for our customer base, I will try to determine why, perhaps it is the quality of the suggestions, etc., but ultimately I may choose to reduce the time spent on creating KB articles.

    Thanks,

    Kevin

  • Avatar
    Samantha M. Ramirez

    Is there any way to enable topic sharing to work for drop down fields?

  • Avatar
    Scott Chester

    Is it possible for the topic suggestions to be included in the triggered email response to customers? I don't see a placeholder for it.

  • Avatar
    Eli Blankers

     

    100% agree with Scott.

  • Avatar
    Adam Steinberg

    +1 from me. Before I can commit to switching to Zendesk, I need to know the answer to Kevin's question:

    "How can I measure the number of people that started to create a ticket, saw the suggestions, and were successfully deflected away prior to actually submitting the ticket? "

    Thanks,

    Adam

  • Avatar
    Justin

    Kevin; Adam: Unfortunately, we don't have any methods in place to collect that ticket deflection data. 

  • Avatar
    Jason Berryman

    Is it possible to enable agents to see the topic suggestions, as well as customers?  It would be beneficial for agents to be able to flag that an issue is already in the knowledge base.

  • Avatar
    Brandon K.

    Hey Jason,

    Where would you want agents to see the topic suggestion feature? As it currently is, your end users see it when they are submitting a ticket to your support team. Would you want the related articles that the end user saw shown to the agent? Or are you using a workflow that has your agents submitting tickets themselves? If you could clarify your workflow and ideal functionality, I might be better able to offer you a solution. 

  • Avatar
    Jason Berryman

    Hi Brandon,

    We have many customers who prefer to telephone into the support desk with their issues.  It would be useful for agents to log the ticket on their behalf and see suggestions when they are creating the ticket.

    On a different subject, is it possible for an agent to create a ticket / update a ticket "on behalf of" an end user, so it appears in Zendesk that the update was added by the end user (with a note to say it was created by the agent on their behalf)?

  • Avatar
    Brandon K.

    Hey Jason,

    Thanks for getting back to me with your workflow, that definitely makes sense. I don't think its possible to get your agents to see the suggestions as they are creating the ticket in a different interface than your end users. We do, however, have a sidebar search app that may empower your agents to more easily find forum articles and related tickets. You can find instructions for installing the app here: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/23146176-Installing-and-using-the-Sidebar-Search-app

    As for your second question, your agents can create tickets on behalf of end users by filling out the requester as someone other than themselves, but it looks like you already have experience with this method. Other than that, you could make an update that looked like it can from your requester by assuming their identity and posting a comment or creating a new ticket. There would, however, be no audit trail to let you know that the agent was the one who actually made this post. Additionally, assuming an identity is only available on the Classic interface for now.

  • Avatar
    Maxime

    Hey everyone on this thread, you might want to take a look at this link: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/24164966-Answer-Suggestion-App

  • Avatar
    Kevin Walker

    Is this in a different area in Helpdesk for this function?

    I don't seem to see -  Settings > Channels > Web Portal > Edit. on my system

  • Avatar
    Emily

    Hi Kevin, 

    If you're asking about Help Center: We automatically give you a Search bar and we have not yet rolled out Topic Suggestions there. You can subscribe to our Announcements Forum for updates to Help Center. If you're asking about Web Portal: The wording on the page has changed slightly since these screen shots were taken. In New Zendesk, visit Admin > Channels > Web Portal. Check the 'Show search on home page' and 'Auto-complete search queries' boxes, then check the 'Topic Suggestions' box.

    We do have a ticket deflection option when users submit tickets via the "submit a request" link in Help Center - that is automatic and doesn't even need to be turned on, it just shows shows up after users fill in the subject line of the request form. 

  • Avatar
    Wouter van Gessel

    Hi Emily,

    We LOVE this feature in the new Help Center. This stimulates us as well to setup our FAQ sooner than later.

    I have a question: We have an article called "XML Service Request":

    • When an end-user creates a subject "I want to connect via XML" they DO get the suggestion for this article
    • When an end-user creates a subject "I want to connect RateManager to XML" they DO NOT get the suggestion for this article (even though we only have 2 articles loaded currently in our Help Center

    It looks like when they make the subject field longer than 5 words, that no article is found anymore. However, we do encourage our end-users to use at least 10 words to give a short description in the subject field - so it seems not to work perfectly yet?

  • Avatar
    Jason Dugdale

    @Emily - I can't seem to get these topic suggestions to work in the Help Center's "Submit a Request" page in my sandbox.

    I have populated the community forum in the sandbox with several hundred questions and answers, but no articles seem to be highlighted as potential answers.

  • Avatar
    Emily

    Hi Wouter, 

    I'm creating a ticket on your behalf so we can discuss your account-specific setup in more detail. I'll see you in that ticket shortly!

    Hi Jason, 

    The Topic Suggestions feature is not currently set to search the Community section of your Help Center. Community is where end-users submit content whereas the Knowledge Base (already built in) is where Agents/Admins submit content. Topic Suggestions will only search the Knowledge Base portion of your content.

  • Avatar
    Diego Solimena

    Hi Emily,

    how cai I bind Topic Suggestions to a field different from subject?

     

    Many thanks.

     

    Diego

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