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I'm mocking an app, on mobile, which goal is for the user to open a ticket (can be about anything). For example, the user lost his contacts in his outlook. The stakeholders defined me that they want the user to first search for the issue and only then open a ticket on that issue.

so the user flow, in simple terms 1. search the topic 2. found an answer -> follow its instruction to resolve the issue 3. didn't find an answer or answer is not good enough -> open a ticket 4. while writing the the issue description suggest related issues for

My question is whether step 4 is over exaggerating the search. offcourse the stake holders goal is for users not to open tickets but to search the knowledge base.

What do you think ?

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Stack Exchange works on the same principle (although it doesn't force step 1, it's wholeheartedly recommended). But "What do you think?" is inherently subjective, which is not good. –  Andrew Leach Aug 4 '13 at 9:44
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3 Answers

Asking the user to search explicitly or even auto-suggesting works only if the match between the user's requirement and the results provided is really great.

You could ask the user to do a lot of work, but in the end not find the answer they were looking for and then open the ticket.. however, at the end of it you would have an even more frustrated user.

Taking on the cost of managing all the additional tickets would be lower than the additional user frustration caused.

This is a question of how the company measures success - is it in the cost saving from avoiding unnecessary tickets or increase customer sat.

I would agree with the approach of suggesting possible matches, but really focus on quality of those responses.. otherwise there is no point doing that.

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This is common practice among help desk software, and elegantly implemented in Stackexchange. The user is not forced to search in previous answers, but they are suggested as possible answers when the user types up a new question title and moves to the description field.

This is way better than forcing the user to search first. And doubly so if you're designing for mobile, as navigating four screens on a mobile to open a ticket seems like a tedious thing to do.

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so the user flow, in simple terms 1. search the topic 2. found an answer -> follow its instruction to resolve the issue 3. didn't find an answer or answer is not good enough -> open a ticket 4. while writing the the issue description suggest related issues for

This approach is compromising the user experience considerably. Searching from knowledge base is a different user-story than opening a ticket. When provided, user would want to open the ticket which is simple, one step process. If you hide opening of support ticket behind 3 irrelevant steps, user would find the support ticket feature is unavailable and the next to-do would be to contact support vis EMAIL or by PHONE. In case you don't provide email or phone, they would support is unavailable.

Searching knowledge-base is kind of self-help. Not everybody as the aptitude to dig through forums, posts or knowledge-base and then try to resolve the problem on their own. When you contact support, you also know that the support person would do it for you. So these are two different scenarios and hiding support behind self-help wouldn't yield expected results.

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user can at any point open a ticket through a side bar menu. –  AsafBO Aug 5 '13 at 8:41
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