9 Easy Ways to Improving your SaaS Customer Support

SaaS Customer Support: An Introduction

Successful SaaS (Software as a service) companies do not work on great products only; they have built-in a strong SaaS customer support culture based on best practices in customer service as part of their core process. This is important since research shows:

  • Around 66% of B2B customers won’t buy from the company they have had a bad service experience with.
  • 4 out of 10 customers would not go to a company for two or more years following a bad customer service experience.
  • 67% of customers report bad service experience as a reason to not return.
  • Esteban Kolsky reports 72% of happy customers tell 6 or more people about their good experience, whereas 13% of unhappy customers tell 15 or more people about their bad experience. Moreover, 78% of customers would not prefer to purchase a product simply because of poor customer service experience.
  • According to Walker, customer support would be the top key brand differentiator by 2020 followed by price and product.

While having an effective SaaS customer support is very important for the success of a company, thankfully it is not rocket science to build one. Here are some of the easiest and yet effective SaaS support building ways:

1. Active Customer Support

Most companies adopt a reactive approach when it comes to customer support. They wait for the customers to approach them if they find it difficult to use their product. However, successful companies start their customer support process right after a successful sign-up.

Let’s take the example of Mailchimp which start their customer support right after someone creates an account. It sends them a welcome email with a link of tutorial on how to use their drag and drop editor.

However, introducing on-screen interactive guides can help users in real-time. Userlane helps to create interactive guides helping users understand the features and processes in real-time.

Userlane Interactive Guides Helper
Image Credit: Userlane.com

2. Create an Effective Self-Service Portal

A majority of customers prefer using the company’s website to search for queries instead of calling or emailing them. Creating an effective self-service portal, therefore, is an important part of the SaaS customer service strategy.

Slack simplifies the self-service portal by providing auto-suggested questions making it easy for users to browse answers. However, there is still an option to contact the company if you don’t find relevant answers on their portal.

Slack Self-Service Portal
Image Credit: Slack

Moreover, creating a detailed FAQs page would help those users who love finding answers to their queries on their own rather than talking to company representatives. Create an in-depth content addressing FAQs page, which could be searched through a search engine or within the website. Make sure you keep updating your FAQs page periodically. Otherwise content would become outdated with every software update. Moreover, gather information about what your customers are searching for and incorporate it in your FAQs page.

3. Making Video Tutorials

Some customers prefer watching video tutorials instead of reading. Therefore, design and create video tutorials as a part of your customer support strategy. Following are some essentials of effective video tutorials.

  • Clarity

    Before creating your video, you should have clear objectives of creating your tutorials. This would help create crisp and clear tutorial content. This would lead to customers searching for a solution to their problems to get clear and precise answers.

  • Content Flow

    Your video content should flow naturally. Otherwise, your customers would lose interest.

  • Pacing

    Audio and video pacing is important to let your customers understand the content. Your video voice-over should match the pace of the video and the subtitles in it.

  • Cognitive Load

    Everyone has a certain capacity to memorize and understand the content they watch or listen to. It means that after a certain level it becomes difficult or nearly impossible for a person to learn and grasp new concepts or ideas. This capacity is termed as cognitive load.

    It is therefore important to identify your target audience’s cognitive load. If your target audience is a novice then you need to start your tutorial from a very basic level. On the other hand, if your target audience is more advanced, it could take a higher cognitive load.

  • Appeal

    It is important that the tutorial you are making is what others are willing to watch. So, make sure you provide valuable content in your tutorial.

  • Tone

    Your content should have a neutral and friendly tone. The overexcited or monotonous tone makes it difficult to learn and understand. Moreover, the right choice of words is important to set the tone for your content. Words would define how you want your target audience to feel.

  • Presentation

    The presentation consists of how your videos look, sound and how their content is being presented. Otherwise, customers could get bored and may never want to search for your tutorials.

4. Collect Feedback on Support Resources

Providing support material only is not enough for effective customer support. You have to make sure that your support material is helpful for your customers. Ask your customers to give feedback on the support material.

You can use close-ended format to collect instant feedback on the support material. Evernote uses this format to collect customer feedback.

Evernote Customer Feedback Format
Image Credit: Evernote.com

However, close-ended responses do not tell you details about why the user found your support material helpful.

Therefore, Canva does not collect feedback only in close-ended questions and instead uses the open-ended format to get detailed feedback from its users.

Canva Open-Ended Feedback Format
Image Credit: Canva.com

5. Develop a Knowledgeable team

It is not unheard of consumers getting frustrated if customer support staff does not have the required information.

To ensure effective customer support your team should know everything about the product. It doesn’t mean they should know how the product was developed but should have enough knowledge of the product to satisfactorily answer a customer’s query.

If your customer support service team is having trouble answering your customer’s queries, you may want to arrange a training program on the following lines:

  • Arrange product knowledge training for your support team. It should be consistent and engaging. With every software update, there should be training with updated material.
  • Let your support team get hands-on experience of your SaaS product. This would help them understand the product better.

6. Deliver Multiple Touchpoints

Let your customers know that you actually value them. To do that, you should consider leaving multiple touchpoints for them to reach you. These could be:

  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Call
  • Live Chat messages

The email might be an efficient way for customers to submit queries but a perception of late response is associated with it. At times customers get confused whether the intended recipient is even receiving their emails. To avoid this you may want to consider using an automated response to acknowledge customer query.

The use of social media is therefore on the rise.

According to Sprout Social Index, 90% of customers used social media to directly contact the brand. You can provide quick customer support to your customers via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can create a Facebook group(s) solely for the purpose of customer care.

A scheduled telephone call could help a customer directly get in touch with the representative. This could help them better understand the product.

Live chat is a highly effective customer support feature when it comes to saving customer’s time. With the passage of time, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over this feature. Bots access already available content and help the customers in the best possible way. It ultimately saves both customers and company time.

7. Understand The Reasons for Queries and Fix Them

Understanding the reasons behind customers’ queries and resolving the root cause behind them could result in fewer queries in future. Accept the fact that no software is bug-free especially when features are being updated on a continuous basis. It is not being suggested that you should not test your product and rely solely on customers. In fact, you should test your product and identify bugs before your customers do.

However, customers could always give you feedback if there is an issue with your product. Moreover, they could better tell you about the features that could help them increase their productivity and save time. Therefore, take their feedback seriously and try to resolve their issues once and for all.

8. Develop Customer Service Department

What is the difference between customer support and customer service?

Customer support is day-to-day customer dealing where customers reach the company with their issues and queries. However, customer service is a proactive approach where a company works continuously to improve customer experience. Thus, developing the SaaS customer support service department would be a smart move. Make a department that would be responsible for making the customer experience better by using customer feedback and market research.

9. Collect Feedback on SaaS Customer Support Representatives

Ask your customer to give feedback on your customer support representative. Collect their feedback to improve support quality and train your staff accordingly.

Your customer support representatives should have certain qualities to effectively deal with your customers.

  • Patience: Usually customers reach out to support staff when they are confused or frustrated. It is the responsibility of customer support member to have patience while listening to the customer.
  • Attentiveness: Your support staff should be attentive whenever they deal with customers. Being attentive could help resolve customer issues in a better and timely manner.
  • Clear Communication: The support staff should be trained enough to communicate clearly to customers. There should not be any ambiguity in their answers. Customers are typically looking for quick fixes and the representatives should be able to provide them with effective, time-saving solutions.
  • Positive Language: Customers create your brand’s perception based on the language being used with them. The use of positive language assures customers that their problems will be resolved in a professional manner, leading to them creating a positive image of your brand.
  • Time Management: Your customer support team members should be able to manage queries timely. Train them to resolve the customer’s issue in a manner that does not waste their and the customer’s time. If a support team member does not know the exact answer to the customer’s query, they should let other more senior and experienced staff members handle the query.

Conclusion

The business world has evolved and so has the merchant-customer relationship. Today, it’s just not enough to sell quality products to your customers. Customers expect more in terms of after sales service and this is where SaaS customer support comes in.

Its importance could be gauged from the fact that you may lose a customer even after selling them a great product or service simply because you couldn’t provide them with great customer support service. Building an exceptional customer support team therefore is extremely important to your business’s success and there are ways of providing exceptional after sales service to your customers.

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