How to Define and Measure Deflection


Using an accurate measure of deflection is imperative. If not measured correctly it is easy to overstate the impact of self-help and service automation on assisted support demand.

By Tom Sweeny, CEO, ServiceXRG and Member of the ASP Executive Advisory Board

Deflection Defined

Deflection is the rate that automated and self-help resources satisfy service demand that would otherwise be handled by assisted service staff.  The average rate of case deflection within the technology industry is 23%.  For some companies deflecting 23% of the assisted support demand is extraordinary, while for other companies there is considerable room for improvement.  The attainable rate of deflection is highly dependent upon factors such as the maturity and complexity of a product, the skills of the users, and the quality of tools and content provided by the service provider.

It is easy to overstate the impact of self-help, community and service automation by equating its overall effectiveness with a direct impact on assisted support.  Many issues may be resolved through self-help and automated means yet not all are destined for or entitled to resolution through assisted support channels.  For a case to be deflected it must meet the following criteria:

  • The customer submitting the case must be entitled to assisted support.
  • An issue must be successfully resolved.
  • The customer submitting the case requires no further action from assisted support resources to validate or clarify the answer provided through self-help or automated means.

Implementing a Deflection Metric

Using an accurate measure of deflection is imperative for establishing the true impact self-help and service automation resources have on assisted support demand.  The inputs describe above are stringent, yet necessary.  If you require any assistance in defining and implementing a proper deflection metric please contact ServiceXRG for assistance.

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