The customer experience (read: customer success) and effective communication is of utmost importance in today’s digital era, especially if your whole business model pivots around it.
The support team can only deliver so much and SaaS providers constantly face the issue of not being able to provide the right assistance to customers.
See, no matter how great the SaaS, if it lacks a great customer support model and an efficient support strategy, expansion of the business becomes very difficult.
Through this article, we will try and cover all the aspects of a SaaS customer support model including some key best practices that will help you reach your business goals faster by reducing customer churn.
Table of Content
Why is SaaS Support so Important?
Before jumping to why Saas support is important, let’s discuss what I mean by effective support processes.
Making sure you follow these customer support best practices will make your company’ growth much easier-
- Provisions of self-service – FAQ pages, content marketing, get in touch via email, support tickets, support link.
- A great support strategy – Leveraging customer feedback, learning and improving through customer conversations, and having a customer-centric approach.
- And great customer support – Dedicated support agents, support staff quickly resolving support tickets, rapid response time, support reps utilizing support metrics to improve.
This elaborate support process is key to customer satisfaction and thereby customer success (and your success, remember?). This claim is backed by numbers.
- Forbes estimates that businesses lose upwards of $75 billion a year as a consequence of an inefficient approach towards solving the needs of the customer.
- A further report by Oracle states that customers are willing to pay up to 25% more just to have an experience of better customer service.
To sum things up, customer service and saas customer support are integral components for the sustenance and growth of SaaS companies.
- It helps your customers to find the information they need, when they need it, and resolve issues.
- Without this support system, no matter how good your product is, it will not succeed.
- The growth of Saas companies depends on how long they can keep their customers around (great customer support) as they work on a recurring revenue model. A 5% increase in retention rate can shoot up profits between 25-95%.
- Great support helps you increase customer retention and decrease customer churn.
- Your software is the heart of your venture. Effective support helps the marketing and development team to improve your product around your customer’s specific needs.
Having said that, creating efficient saas customer support can be laborious and expensive if not approached in the right manner. There isn’t any quick-fix solution to this, which is why addressing it at its very conceptualization will help reap rewards later.
CloudTutorial provides you with just that. It is a platform that allows you to build the foundation blocks for unparalleled customer service and support. With a fully customizable platform, it allows businesses to create help desk, FAQ pages, and standard operating procedures that allow for solution sharing.
Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.
Take your app and help center to the next level with CloudTutorial.
Your Business Model: How it impacts the support you provide?
The organizational setup of the business and its functioning is critical when you are a saas company.
You need to establish a setup that is capable enough to streamline all the queries of the customer and provide them with solutions efficiently. This increases the retention rate of customers and facilitates recurring sales, leading to the growth of your saas company.
There are various benefits of adopting a SaaS business model for you. Some of these include:
Lesser Adoption Costs
On-premise software solutions often provide packages that range in tens of thousands of dollars. For a manager, getting approval to adopt such a software model may take a lot of time. Similarly, for a user, the adoption cost of this software often overweighs its usefulness.
In contrast, a SaaS support model tends to be priced at around 100 dollars per user per month. The lower costs reduce the friction in the adoption of such products.
The most important benefit of a SaaS company is the ability to create recurring revenue streams. Prediction of future sales becomes a whole lot easier as existing customers often have to pay subscription fees regularly. New customers that adopt the SaaS support model create additional sales for the months to follow, thus creating a compound effect.
Such positive cashflow business models are attractive for investors and numerous Venture Capitalists actively seek out startups with SaaS business models.
Scope For Improvement
On-premise software requires the user to manually upgrade the hardware which tends to be a hassle. In the case of SaaS support models, you can push out updates regularly which are easier to adopt for users.
This provides you with an opportunity to constantly improve your product while maintaining competitiveness in the ever-evolving software market niche.
Reduction In Operating Costs
Cloud hosting platforms have drastically reduced the costs of getting started and have created a more competitive market-sphere, allowing innovative SaaS support models to be set up. Low costs also allow SaaS companies to launch versions of their product which helps them to gauge user feedback in the market.
With SaaS support models, developers can now offer free trials to users at the end of which the user can shift to a subscription. This removes the element of risk in the customers’ minds in terms of testing the product and it also significantly improves the marketability of the SaaS companies.
The Elements Of A Successful SaaS Support
Despite the excellence of your SaaS product, your company will fail to expand if you overlook the importance of efficient customer service, excellent customer experience, and customer support systems.
Remember your success is dependent on customer success.
Here are some elements/ best practices that help outline the framework of a successful SaaS customer support –
Easy To Locate ‘Contact Us’ Widgets
Customers will contact you if they know how to get through to you. This fundamental logic is often overlooked by Saas providers. Being a software vendor, you have to cater to all of your customers.
Many of them may not be as tech-savvy as you would expect them to be and despite your easy-to-use application, they cannot navigate their way through it.
A good rule of thumb would be to ensure that even these users can locate customer support on your website.
Trying to place yourself in your customer’s shoes is something you should practice while developing your support model. More often than not, when a customer needs support, they are already frustrated with your product which is why they will be edgy. Not being able to get through to you will only add fuel to the fire.
Thus, make sure that your customer intuitively is led to support within a couple of seconds of landing on your website.
CloudTutorial provides you with just that. It allows you to customize your website while enabling you to create easy-to-locate virtual helpdesks, FAQ pages, and other tools that allow for efficient information sharing between you and your customer.
Responsive Live Chat
Long gone are the days when email and phone support was the only means of customer support. Technology has made it possible to incorporate live-chat systems within websites that allow customer queries to be answered in real-time. This allows customers the flexibility of getting their queries resolved without having to go out of their way.
In terms of converting sales, the greater is the responsiveness of your chatbot, the greater are the chances for customers to purchase your services.
Customers prefer to get their queries answered by themselves and FAQs are the perfect resource for the same. It is therefore of utmost importance that you understand your customer and what their needs may be, according to which you can curate out a list of relevant FAQs.
CloudTutorial helps to create in-depth content that addresses common customer queries.
Understanding Customer Requests And Addressing Them
In the software industry, support requests usually fall in one of the following domains:
- Missing features
- Confusing or hidden features
If your service requires you to constantly add new features and update the code, bugs are inevitable despite your best efforts. However, instead of taking this negatively, try and use this to your advantage. Understand your customers’ grievances and try and keep them in light of your software’s developments.
For example, if a query related to a missing feature keeps showing up in the support requests, you can consider adding it. It will make customers feel more part of the process prompting them to stick around longer.
If you decide that a feature should not be included in your services, creating an FAQ stating your reasons. It wouldn’t be an ideal situation to keep your customers in the dark. CloudTutorial helps you create relevant FAQ pages for your website.
It also allows you to organize information in categories and subcategories making it easier for cross-referencing data, thus facilitating an efficient information transfer between you and the customer.
Unification Of All Support Requests
An abundance of technology has made it difficult for companies to keep track on all fronts. Thus the challenge for you as a SaaS provider is to unify all the queries under one roof. Emails from customers via your website, Facebook messages, mentions in tweets, and even direct messages to the chatbot, all need to be catered to.
Most companies try to address customer queries in real-time and this can become overwhelming. It is not a very sustainable method in the long run which is why efforts have to be made in this regard. Directing customer query-related traffic to a centralized source and maintaining clear distinction in response-related responsibilities will help tackle things more efficiently.
CloudTutorial enables businesses to add team members to the platform so that they can manage faqs and other customer-related queries and update them on time. It further allows assigning members with specific responsibilities so that you can efficiently manage customer inquisitions.
Extending Support To Prospective Customers
Customer support has always played a critical role in SaaS and has enabled it to focus primarily on current users of the product. However, this leads to a large portion of people who visit your website uncatered to. These prospective customers’ play a larger role in driving your company than your present customers and thus ignoring them can be detrimental to your growth.
More often than not, your prospects will visit your website and scroll through a couple of blog pages to get a general idea of your product. If you’ve managed to make them pay attention to your product, some questions would have started popping up in their minds. This is what you have to cash in on.
The goal of any website is not to exhaustively go over every minute detail of the product, it is about how the product functions and its value proposition. It is about capturing the interest of potential customers so that they inquire more about your services. Make sure that your FAQ page has certain FAQs related to this aspect in an attempt to convert a sale.
CloudTutorial is one such product that allows for the creation of wholesome knowledge bases that stores information via categories and sub-categories, allowing for access to a wider array of topics.
Build an advanced knowledge base for your customers and give them answers fast – real fast.
Take your app and help center to the next level with CloudTutorial .
The Secrets To Providing The Ultimate SaaS Support
Provide A Service Availability Policy
Setting your SaaS uptime and availability in the form of a publicly available document will indicate a sense of professionalism. This policy should include terms related to the guaranteed service uptime, downtime expectations such as scheduled maintenance, and also to possibilities of unforeseen situations.
It should be ensured that both the service provider and the customer agree to all the conditions that are laid out. The failure of upholding these should be met with due financial compensations.
Provide A Detailed Support Service Description
As a SaaS provider, make sure that you enlist in detail the post-sale services that your company provides. This keeps customer expectations in check and helps install a degree of assurance in the customer. Details like how to access support tools and a response time commitment can be further included.
Establish A Public ‘Trust Site’
To establish a sense of online trust between the SaaS vendor and its customers, an online trust site can be set up that reflects transparency and integrity.
The site can include features like a planned release of information, scheduled downtime notices, real-time information on current and historical system performances, and so forth. It will also serve as a go-to source for users where they can acquire accurate information, eliminating the need to contact you for support status.
Segregate Customer Support And Customer Relations
As a SaaS provider, it is of critical importance to you to maintain a clear distinction between the customer support team and customer relations.
Customer support is usually involved in reacting to disruptions and resolving the queries of a customer. The support team is also involved in catering to customers who may require additional support in regards to the software.
Customer relations on the other hand focuses on trying to establish a relationship with the customer and to identify their evolving requirements. This team guides the user with a holistic plan as to how the particular SaaS solution will help their companies.
CloudTutorial is a platform that allows for the creation of a wholesome knowledge base that stores information via categories and sub-categories, allowing for simultaneous access to data via both teams.
Accessibility Of Customer Support- From Anywhere, Anytime
24×7 accessibility of customer support should be your number one priority. Customers of your SaaS rely solely on the support tools you provide in times of disruptions. Additionally, accessibility should not be confined to time but extend location and console.
- Do not require extensive hardware.
- Are paid with a subscription model.
Invest in customer service keeping in mind that users prefer – self-service support – to solve their queries by themselves rather than having to speak to customer service teams. Thus, make sure that your customer support widget is easy to locate. This is one of the most commonly committed mistakes and is very easy to fix.
Make sure to spend time creating a support structure that aligns with your venture’s model. Do not approach it with a ‘quick-fix’ attitude as customer support is deeply entangled with all other processes of your company.
Keeping these key factors in mind, you can be confident of the fact that you’ll provide the best customer service, in the least time possible. Not only this you can check CloudTutorial features and make a decision that whether adopting this platform will be useful for you or not.
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