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Call Deflection: The Quick Way to Reduce Call Volume, CX Costs and Wait Times

By Chatdesk Team
August 12, 2022
Strategies for reducing costs by up to 80% through increasing call deflection rate and managing high call volume by deflecting to self service, chat, chatbots

Most fast-growing ecommerce companies have experienced the stress of receiving a sudden surge of calls from customers, but did you know most calls can be resolved faster and much more cost effectively through self-service customer interaction or chat based customer support? That's where call deflection comes in.

(And best of all - you don't sacrifice the quality of customer service since these channels typically have 90+ NPS scores.)

What is Call Deflection and how can it help me save money?

Call deflection or IVR deflection is a type of strategy and/or solution to do any of the following: stop call center calls, manage high call volume, and reduce wait times by giving customers the option to switch to a faster channel, like self-help or chat.  

The reason you can save a lot of money through call deflection is because phone is expensive - especially compared to self-service channels and chat:

- The average cost per call is 3 to 5 dollars because agents can only talk to one customer at a time. 

- The cost of self-service or a virtual assistant is almost zero. Self service could also be a mobile app, real-time chatbot or virtual assistant or even basic FAQs from your knowledge management tools that explain your policies and processes.

- The average cost to resolve a ticket with web chat is around 1 dollar because agents can talk to multiple customers at the same time.

When customers call in for quick questions like “where is my order?”, your agents can help multiple customers at the same time on channels like chat or messenger and the conversations are fast. As a result, customers get quicker service and are happier.

How does Call Deflection work?

Old School Call Deflection

Have you ever called a customer service line and while you were waiting on hold, they played a pre-recorded message like this:

Thanks for calling! Did you know you can also email us or chat with us on our website? Please hold for the next available operator...

That's how call deflection used to work. Once a customer dials in, a company would try to deflect their call by advising them to hang up and either e-mail them or chat with a live rep online. But how often was it that customers actually did that?

Turns out - not too often. The transition from phone to other channels was not seamless and too inconvenient for customers.

Modern Call Deflection Solution

Thankfully, the customer experience has gotten a lot smoother since then. Here are three ways leading e-commerce companies are using call deflection today.

To reduce calls related to Order and Delivery Status

E-commerce brands typically receive a large number of inbound calls about delivery and order status so they have a self-service tool customers can easily go to on their own to check order status.

Take Living Spaces for example; they're a furniture retailer using our call deflection solution to shift delivery and order-related incoming calls to the self-help tool. So when a customer calls the Living Spaces’s support number, their IVR phone system offers to send a link where their customers can check their order status.  Living Spaces also offers callers the option to shift to their virtual agent or chatbot.

For Returns and Exchanges

Other brands offer items where customers call a lot about returns.  This tends to occur among fashion and clothing brands, where customers order multiple items in various sizes so they can see how they fit.

As a result, returns and exchanges are one of their top call drivers.  Jaanuu, which offers medical scrubs, uses a self-service returns tool called Happy Returns.  It allows customers to set up their own returns and print their own return label.   Jaanuu uses Chatdesk Shift to send customers a text with a link to the webpage where customers can handle their returns by themselves.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaanuu was flooded with inbound call volume because they were selling masks which were in high demand. Jaanuu effectively used Call Deflection to manage their call volume and enhance their customer experience.

Deflect calls to self-service channels: Chat, SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Mobile App or Chatbots

Finally, some brands prefer to talk to their customers directly by chat, SMS, or social media.  These brands take a concierge or clienteling approach at scale. A good example of this is Thinx, which sells underwear for women for when they have their periods. As part of their customer engagement strategy around talking about periods, they want more interaction when their customers have problems. They use Chatdesk Shift to deflect inbound calls to SMS or chat, where they can talk to their customers quickly.

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7 Advantages of Increasing Call Deflection Rate

Example of Review Which Mentions Customer Service
Online review from a customer who used the Call Deflection flow from Chatdesk Shift

  1. Increased customer satisfaction with 90%+ Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter (NPS) scores
  2. Increases automated self service adoption and usage of your knowledge base
  3. Increases First Call Resolution or First Contact Resolution (FCR)
  4. ‍Reduces costs by up to 80% because messaging and self service channels are lower cost
  5. Reduces wait times and Average Handling Time (AHT)
  6. Reduces call backs and repeat calls
  7. Reduces call center attrition, absenteeism and turnover because customer service agents are happier when they handle less repetitive calls

Call Deflection by Chatdesk: Save money and improve customer satisfaction.

Our call deflection solution delivers e-commerce brands a 10% Call Deflection Rate while lowering costs by up to 80% and increasing customer satisfaction.

Call Deflection ROI and Savings

How it Works

Chatdesk call deflection can quickly detect if a call is coming from a cell phone and then automatically offer to send your callers a link to a faster digital channel via text message or self service. These messages are:

We can integrate with 40+ customer service and omnichannel IVR systems on the market such as Zendesk, Gorgias, Kustomer, Talkdesk, Five9, InContact, and more. Our solution also gives CX leaders advanced analytics like what happens after the phone calls are deflected to messaging and alternative service channels. This helps you identify which SMS conversations are taking a long time to resolve.

Call deflection is an essential part of any customer experience and our solution enables brands of all types to deflect customer service calls to faster channels while improving their customer satisfaction.

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