A few weeks ago, we hosted the first Coveo for Salesforce Customer Exchange in San Francisco. This event was designed for customer support leaders and knowledge managers to share best practices from their use of intelligent search to improve self-service and support.

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Case deflection and self-service success were two of the recurring topics during the day: how to do it, how to measure it, and how to achieve even more success. This is not surprising as TSIA reports show that improving self-service is the top priority among service & support leaders. Several support leaders shared what they are doing, reporting significant and rapid improvements to case deflection, including:

  • From 3% to 11% within 4 months
  • From 0.5% to 30% in 24 months
  • 40% improvement in just 2 months

How did they do it? By following some key principles.

Self-Service: Make it Easy, Relevant & Smart
The goal of self-service is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find the information they need, so they can do more on their own. Customers shared several key principles that allow them to make their support sites easier, more relevant and smart to achieve that goal.

Some of the key principles include:

  1. Identify all self-service content across all of your enterprise sources and channels, and unify search across all of it
  2. Provide prominent access to the intelligent search box in every self-service property, and offer intuitive facets and filtering options
  3. Use the clues of your visitors’ interactions to proactively recommend contextually relevant content which might help solve issues… as they type in the search box, as they attempt to create a support case, and more
  4. Take advantage of machine learning capabilities to continually improve your search results and case deflection rate based upon your visitors’ activity
  5. Leverage unified usage analytics to empower self-service & support managers to monitor your customers’ support journeys, identify content gaps and calculate case deflection using every available signal derived from unified search activity

Struggling to measure? You’re not alone.
Support leaders are faced with the same challenge when attempting to improve case deflection and self-service: measuring success. With many disparate systems and data sources, getting one consolidated view of customers’ self-service experiences is nearly impossible. And, aligning on the best and most definitive metrics to use can be a challenge.

This is a topic that warrants more attention than we have time for today, but we heard a recurring theme from our customers: metrics from Coveo usage analytics are one of the most reliable sources of user behavior they have, because it collects data in real-time from all users. It recognizes when customers begin their visit and tracks their behavior until they leave the site. Since Coveo provides intelligent insights along the way, the usage analytics captures what makes each of them successful or not, giving you confidence in your case deflection measures.

Remember that a self-service program is a continuous process
Over the course of the day, the words journey and marathon were referred to – because even with the best tools in place, it takes commitment to implement change. As I often say, change relies on people, process, technology and metrics all working together. In that regard, many of our customers shared the importance of continuously leveraging analytics from Coveo to identify areas for refinement and create a virtuous cycle of improvement within their self-service delivery. Making intelligent investments and changes in their support organization not only lead to scalability and cost savings, but it has also increased their customer satisfaction, loyalty and share of wallet.

Continuing on our own self-service journey
Coveo, like your organization is on a self-service journey. We are rolling out the first phase of our our new Customer Community. Using Salesforce Lightning Community as our platform, and self-learning search powered by Coveo for Salesforce, the Community brings together all the knowledge created by Coveo experts and customers in one easy-to-access hub. On the Community, you will have one-stop access to read online help articles, access product documentation, watch videos, and log a case with our support team.

Here’s a video recap of our Coveo for Salesforce Customer Exchange. Looking forward to the next one in 2017!