Tip of the Week: Forum Ticket Deflection

September 30, 2011

Sometimes it can feel like you’re answering the same questions over and over. One antidote to this frequent problem is to provide your customers with forum articles. For instance, forums are a great way to help your customers find the answers they seek on their own. But forums can also serve another function: ticket deflection.

Using forum articles to answer common questions can cut down on the number of tickets in your support queue. For that to work, though, we need to direct customers to the right answers.

How do you point them to the answers? It begins with very article in your forum having a unique URL. For example, check out this link and see where it takes you: http://mondocam.zendesk.com/entries/20428222-time-lapse-photography

In this example, MondoCam uses their Zendesk portal to support customers who use their cameras. That article answers a question MondoCam’s support staff hears frequently: “What is time lapse photography?” The article contains everything a MondoCam agent would say if they were to answer this question in a ticket response. You can see why the rep might want to direct customers to that link, rather than typing this answer every day.

Because the article has its own unique URL, a rep can just provide the link.

Let’s break that URL down a little bit:

  • The first part is your Zendesk URL. If you’ve enabled domain mapping, your mapped domain (i.e. support.mondocam.com) will appear rather than the original Zendesk URL.
  • The number is the unique identifier that makes this web address different from other forum articles. This is all you need! You can safely cut off everything after this point, and the link will be valid.
  • Words separated by dashes are the title of the article. If you change the article’s title, this changes as well. Because this is extraneous, old links with previous versions of the title will remain functional.

Making the most of ticket deflection

Because you have these unique URLs for all of your great support articles, you can take advantage of that to point customers to articles when you see questions you’re confronted with over and over. The obvious way to do that is to start using forum links in your macros.

Here’s an example:
Macro Title

This macro can be quickly pulled up from the list of available macros, and it instantly provides a friendly response to the customer, along with their name and the name of the agent.

If they have any further questions, we ask them to follow up, but hopefully the use of these URLs in combination with macros will help you to answer questions more rapidly, making your agents more productive.

Don’t forget that by using Macro search window, agents can find the answer to questions even faster:

Search macros

Using all of this together, you can increase the visibility of your forums, cut down on the number of tickets you receive, and even make responding to the ones you do get faster and more convenient!

As always, if you have more questions about forums, URLs, macros or anything else, please let us know!

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