Customer support can be broadly classified into two major categories, such as pre-sales customer support and post-sales customer support.
Billion-dollar companies are expected to earn $700 million additionally on an average of 3 years of investing in customer support.
When it comes to SaaS, pre-sales support can be provided in terms of giving a clear understanding of what the product is, the functionalities, features that are available for the customer. Whereas, post-sales support includes customer support such as the platform’s functionality, errors and bugs, integration with other platforms, load speed and other related issues that a client faces.
SaaS companies can be majorly categorized into two as, horizontal (Product-based) and vertical (Service-based) companies. But generally, all SaaS companies are inherently product-based. Customers these days prefer tailored solutions that meet their business expectations, vertical SaaS companies predominantly take the main stage. This created opportunities for the enterprises to build a relationship with the customers. Keeping the customers at the center of the product development helps in providing a good user experience and support to the customers.
Of late, companies are moving towards adopting automated customer responses to reduce the cost of humans support representatives. These automated responses are sometimes referred to as chatbots that are AI-powered. Chatbots can provide 24/7 customer support, which can be very helpful if your company deals with international customers as time zones vary vastly across the globe. The chatbots are built with keeping helpdesk experiences and service agents in mind so that customers can have the feel of talking to a real person.
Reliable customer support
Gaining customers is definitely important to keep the business up and running. But it much more important to maintain the customers for a long time by building a strong relationship with them. This can be done by providing reliable support and assistance to the customers especially during crucial times. Additionally, new clients/customers might seek reviews about your products from the existing customers. Hence it is necessary to provide satisfactory services to the customers.
How can customer support be beneficial to companies?
1) Satisfactory customer services provide data and statistics on how well the product reaches the people. It also helps in understanding the shortcomings of the product so that the development team can work on improvising the product further.
2) According to a study by the Temkin group, it is found that 73% of the companies with just average customer experience perform better than other companies of the same category.
3) Mckinsey’s report states that companies that prioritize customer support do not only gain a lot of customers but also found the employee engagement rate going up by 20%.
Best Practices In Providing Superior Customer Service For Your SaaS Business
Users must easily be able to contact the support team to gain insights on the updates or inform about the bugs that the production team wasn’t aware of.
Provide various methods for the customer to contact the customer support team such as email, phone number or via social media. Most importantly, these platforms should device compatible.
Replying to the same questions over and over again might simply be monotonous for the customer support team and not every customer would want to talk to the support team. Developing FAQs, knowledge base or community forums for your product on your website is a good alternative.
These forums should also enable customers to share their reviews about the product so that it increases customer trust and engagement towards your product. Make sure that these forums stay informative, responsive and are easy to navigate.
3) Instant replies
When it comes to customer support, quality and response time are two key factors. Especially when your client is another business person, they probably cannot wait for hours to receive a response or might be interested in reading elaborate messages and emails. So it is necessary that respond as soon as possible and provide a crisp response for the customer’s query.
Providing live chat could make this job easier for the support team. Most live chats these days are very cost-effective and helps to gain new customers.
4) Skillful support team
The members of the support team must know how the product functions, the features it offers, pricing and other product-related information. These people must be highly professional and be able to convey the information to the customer politely and professionally. This adds additional value to your business works.
Also, the members of the team must be able to converse in a suitable language and also English, depending on the location of your business. Make sure that the other members inside the firm also possess these qualities who are likely to face customers.
Common standards of customer support
It is practically impossible to expect everyone to react the same way towards customers or to implement user-friendly platforms. Hence there are some common standards based on which customer support can be provided.
- Faster response time
- Refund information
- Greeting and welcoming messages for new customers
- Tracking requests
- Aggregating issues and informing the respective teams
- Provide transparency by priorly informing about the change in pricing plans.
- Provide easy exit plans for the customers.
Central platform for the support team
Switching between different platforms to respond to the customers’ query would take a lot of time and eventually hiring different teams for different platforms like email and social media would be needed. This might not be a cost-effective way for many companies. Instead, deploying a central platform where all of the queries get stored would be a better idea and also saves a lot of time and effort.
Best SaaS customer service providers in the market
Along with other crucial roles, customer support plays a major role in a SaaS company’s success. The customer support team is responsible for making a potential customer buy your product or service and ensures that the customer is satisfied and also keeps using the product for a long time. Below are some of the best companies that provide customer support.
Buffer offers an extraordinary user interface and ensures that customers don’t have to shift between applications to find answers to their queries. Buffer also provides in-app support and FAQs.
Pollfish offers live chat options that are considered to be very beneficial for almost all of the SaaS companies these days. This feature reduces the time spent explaining the issue. Instead, the users need to answer few questions and connect with the support agent.
Slack provides a self-service portal that has an auto-suggest feature in the search bar so that the customer can easily find what they are looking for. Even if the user isn’t sure about what he’s looking for, this auto-suggest feature makes it easy to navigate through relevant articles.
Hive makes it easier for customers to contact customer support by providing a user-friendly interface that supports options to connect with the support team on every single page.
Mailchimp sends a welcome email to the customers right when they activate their account along with links for their tutorials on how to use the drag-and-drop editor. This helps customers to gain familiarity with the product.
It is important to keep the community forums updated regularly. Evernote offers features to ensure if the blog was useful for the customer. In case if the customer could not find the answers, Evernote provides contact information to directly contact the support team.
Trello helps in encouraging inactive users to use your product again. It sends automated emails for inactive users. Trello also helps customers to stay updated about the updates on the product and provides tutorial links via email.
Building a proper customer support team takes effort but it does play a major role in deciding how successful your business operations are. Choosing the right strategy and the type of customer support is very crucial. Spend time to create a customer support platform that will be easy to access by both the employees and customers so that it could be beneficial for the business in the long run.