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Customer Support for SaaS Companies: A Practical Guide

For companies looking to outpace the competition, crafting the perfect product or service is only half the battle. To win—and stay winning—businesses must then strategically earn a steady flow of...

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For companies looking to outpace the competition, crafting the perfect product or service is only half the battle. To win—and stay winning—businesses must then strategically earn a steady flow of customers. Achieving this, of course, is multifaceted. It requires a brand to present itself as both approachable and of top-tier customer service. Unfortunately, however, many businesses tend to fixate on honing their sales department so much that their customer support falls to the wayside. 

While traditional service desks may have been suitable for handling customer service in the past, they simply won’t do so in the modern market. Even worse, relying on them could put your business at a significant disadvantage. Still not convinced? Research has shown that 96% of customers won’t return to a business they had a poor customer service experience with. Yeah, you read that right—96%. This is precisely why you should consider using a SaaS platform for customer support. It offers quick relief to customers while optimizing businesses’ customer service support channels.

What is SaaS Customer Support?

SaaS customer support is the process that involves extending a helping hand to users of a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) product, assisting them in navigating and utilizing the software effectively. Think of it as a friendly guide—always there to answer questions, solve problems, and make sure everyone's having a smooth ride while using the software. It's more than just fixing issues; it's about making sure users enjoy the journey from start to finish, giving a hand whenever needed and always keeping an ear open to customer feedback to make things even better.

In the SaaS world, having top-notch customer service is super important. Why? Because the software is used by people or businesses all over the globe, and they might need a little help here and there to use it to its full potential. Whether it's sorting out tech troubles, showing how to use cool features, or making sure the software is doing its job right, the customer service team is there to make sure users get all the perks and none of the headaches.

Even with a robust knowledge base at their fingertips, customers often find the need for a live, human touch. Especially for those new to the platform or less tech-savvy, having access to a live chat where they can get real-time assistance from an expert is not just a need—it's pivotal. So, striking a balance between self-help resources and a dependable customer support system becomes essential in providing a user-friendly experience to all clients.

 

SaaS Customer Support vs Traditional Customer Support 

Traditional support relies on humans to solve problems and respond to inquiries. Even with the customer service skills needed, this inefficient system too often results in hard-earned customers being driven into the arms of competitors who have already upped their customer experience game with SaaS. 

So, what is a SaaS company, exactly? Essentially, SaaS companies, meaning those that offer Software as a Service, rely on cloud-based technology to host applications and make them available to customers. Everyday SaaS examples include online storage solutions like Dropbox, typing assistants like Grammarly, and entertainment subscriptions like Netflix and Showmax. SaaS can also be used to provide solutions that utilize modern technology to vastly improve the customer experience. It has all the good qualities of good customer service but in a more efficient manner. When weighing traditional customer support against SaaS solutions for aiding customers, consider the following elements:

1. The Ticket System 

Customer service centers typically rely on a ticket system to queue waiting customers. "In traditional customer service, customers usually call the business and are either left on hold until the next available agent can assist them, or they are told they will receive a call back within a specific timeframe. You know it as well as we do. If customers needed help later, they would have called later! The longer a customer waits, the more annoyed they will become, and the worse their view of your business gets. 

In contrast, SaaS customer service aims to enhance the customer experience by allowing users to log queries through web and mobile applications. This approach helps mitigate the communication challenges frequently encountered with phone calls, especially those beyond a business's control, such as customers having poor connections. With SaaS solutions, customers are either swiftly matched with an appropriate customer service agent via an automated ticketing system or efficiently placed in a queue. Faster response times lead to higher customer satisfaction, fostering a base of happier and more loyal customers.

 

2. Efficient Use of Resources 

Maintaining traditional customer service desks can be a time-consuming, cash-siphoning job. A business has to invest in the upkeep of communication networks. As well as data backups and the continual training of customer support agents. Failing to properly maintain the organization can lead to poor customer experiences. 

SaaS customer service is a great way for your business to ensure it efficiently handles customer service. And that it results in a smoother SaaS experience for both customers and your business. By outsourcing your SaaS customer service to a reputable BPO provider, your business no longer has to worry about the ins and outs of technical maintenance. With experts on standby, your business can avoid security and privacy issues before they arise. This, in turn, provides you with the peace of mind you need to grow. 

In addition to getting customers the support they need in the most efficient way possible, support SaaS also enables customers to solve their own problems. Believe it or not, sometimes the best way to help customers is to let them help themselves. Even more surprisingly, they agree! Research suggests that 69% of customers wish to sort out as many of their problems as possible on their own. By implementing features like chatbots, in-app messaging, and SaaS knowledge base software into your customer support worlflow, your customers can resolve their issues independently and on their own time..

3. Technological Advantages 

Needless to say, traditional customer support uses telephones to communicate with customers. Though it served its purpose back in the day, the advent of better technology has proven it to bear some notable drawbacks. For example, sometimes a customer’s issue may be too complicated to solve over the phone. A customer that hangs up without a solution is unlikely to return.

Fortunately, SaaS customer support uses cloud-based technology to make problem-solving easier. Using SaaS helpdesk solutions, customers can upload files to the cloud and, if necessary, the agents can even take control of the customer’s screen to swiftly resolve any technical issues. This ability to run diagnostics remotely puts SaaS customer support miles ahead of traditional one. 

4. Cost Efficiency 

For any business that strives to be a leader in its industry, it is important to minimize unnecessary costs without cutting corners. There is plenty that can be done to improve the cost efficiency of traditional customer service desks. But managing one can still end up being quite expensive. This is because it requires regular maintenance of telephony equipment and other hardware. It is also very expensive for new businesses to implement traditional customer service desks for the first time. Mostly because they require physical premises, which adds to the initial implementation fee. 

SaaS support is more cost-efficient, as it relies on cloud computing, which greatly cuts down on the need for your business to purchase the infrastructure and hardware that traditional support demands. Furthermore, by outsourcing your business’s customer service needs to a tried-and-true provider, you can pick a solution that is specially tailored to your business so you only pay for what you need.

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What Makes Great Customer Service? 

Anyone interested in improving their customer service game surely has a million questions running through their head. Let’s start with the simplest, yet also the most important. What does customer service do? 

At its core, customer service refers to the various ways a business works to ensure customer satisfaction remains high even after the goods (or services) exchange hands. 

It is a non-negotiable aspect of any business, as it involves the business interacting directly with the public. Customers who require customer service are often already easily irritable, as they are facing an issue. Though, with exceptional service, the interaction can quickly become a positive one capable of leaving customers with a great perception of your business. Not only are such customers more likely to become loyal to your brand, but they are also likely to recommend your business to others moving forward. To reap its benefits, you must master the attributes of good customer service

Speed and Immediacy 

One of the most important things customers look for in customer service is immediacy. When they contact customer service, they are typically dealing with an issue that needs solving in real time. Make them wait and they will show themselves the door—to a competitor who won’t ask them to. 

As a rule, 2/3 of all customers expect their queries to be responded to within ten minutes. This can be difficult to achieve with traditional customer support, especially when different departments are spread across different contact points. SaaS customer support can help speed up customer service by implementing technological solutions, such as a chatbot that’s capable of answering commonly asked questions. 

Ease and Efficiency

For customers, the speed of customer service is second perhaps only to its efficiency. Customers are likely to be put off if they have to navigate hurdles and go through long processes to find the help they need. Conversely, SaaS customer service that emphasizes ease and anticipates customers’ needs inspires confidence in your business. SaaS customer support does both by ensuring that customers are either connected to the right customer service agents or guided to the right solutions thanks to an intuitive interface.

Ease of Access

Furthermore, good support should also be easily accessible. This can be an issue for traditional customer support desks, which can leave customers on hold for extended periods. Thanks to well-designed interfaces, SaaS customer service makes key information far more accessible. 

When considering accessibility, you should also weigh what communication routes your customers are most comfortable with. It’s worth noting that having multiple communication channels for customer support is best, and implementing SaaS customer service can ensure your business meets your customers where they are. Not to mention, inquiries tend to be resolved faster when customers are spread across different channels. 

Accessibility can be achieved by allowing customers to access help through in-app or web support. Though this provides an obvious advantage over traditional customer service desks when it comes to accessibility, there are still best practices that should be adhered to when implementing it. Most importantly, locating the customer service application or widget on a business’s site or app should be easy and intuitive. This can be done, for instance, by placing the help button somewhere easy to see, such as the site’s header. 

In short, SaaS customer support can help you curate a pleasant customer experience to earn the oh-so-valuable customer loyalty you need to stay on top. 

Best Practices for Building a Successful Customer Support Strategy for SaaS

Constructing a robust SaaS customer service strategy is not merely a beneficial move, but an essential one to ensure your customers feel valued and their issues are addressed promptly. In the rapidly evolving SaaS industry, ensuring client satisfaction and swift problem resolution can set you apart from the competition. Here are seven practices to integrate into your strategy to elevate your SaaS customer service.

Develop a Comprehensive Knowledge Base

When your customers feel puzzled, they’re likely to head straight to your knowledge base, hunting for a quick fix. It's like their 24/7 go-to help center, packed with answers they can access anytime, especially when live support might be off the clock. So, think of your knowledge base not just as a storeroom of info but as a friendly guide, always ready to offer a helpful tip or point users in the right direction. Populate it with heaps of FAQs, guides, and troubleshooting gems to ensure your users can find relief in those moments of "Uh-oh!"

Your knowledge base should feel like a cozy, easy-to-navigate library where answers are just a quick search away. Organize the info clearly, keep the language super simple, and refresh the content as your product grows and changes. It’s about creating a space where users, whether they're tech-savvy or not, can find solutions without breaking a sweat. And don’t forget to add options for feedback - after all, your users will help you spot the gaps and keep that library stocked with all the right answers!

Implement a User-Friendly Live Chat

Just imagine them, stuck or puzzled, and then, voila, a friendly chat bubble pops up, ready to lend a hand. Ah, the sweet joy of instant help! That’s what a live chat feature brings to your customers’ fingertips. It’s like having a helpful shop assistant magically appear at just the right moment, offering a solution with a virtual smile. This nifty feature isn’t just about answering questions, though; it's an express lane to superb customer experience and satisfaction, providing answers in real time and keeping frustration at bay. And the best part? Your SaaS customer support team can juggle multiple chats, ensuring that more of your users get the help they need, pronto!

But let’s not just stop at being speedy. A live chat should also be a breeze to use and find. Think about a layout that's so straightforward, your grandma could use it without calling you for help! Big, friendly buttons, clear text, and maybe even a dash of fun with playful emojis or GIFs to keep the vibe light and personable. It's all about making sure that while your customers might have hit a little bump in the road, your friendly, easy-to-navigate customer support live chat is there to get them back on track with a smile. Now, isn't that just a delightful way to keep things moving smoothly?

Regular Training for Support Staff

Keeping our support team on their toes with regular updates about our product's latest features and tricks of the troubleshooting trade is your secret sauce to customer satisfaction. Imagine a customer encountering a hiccup or having a burning question about a new feature. Now, picture their delight when our support team swoops in with just the right solution or a tip that makes their lives a bit easier. 

Training shouldn’t be all about crash courses and fact-stacking. It’s worth adding some lively discussions about common customer issues, brainstorming creative resolution strategies, and maybe even role-playing to walk a mile in our customers' shoes. Ensuring your team is armed with the latest knowledge isn’t just a box-ticking exercise. It's about building a confident squad, ready to tackle our customer’s queries.

Establish a Customer Feedback Loop

Creating a pathway for customers to voice their experiences is like opening the door to a treasure trove of insights! A Customer Feedback Loop isn't just a tool—it’s essentially a conversation with your users. By establishing this, you're not just showing that you care about their input, but you're also grabbing hold of the steer, navigating your SaaS platform towards constant enhancement and user-friendliness.

Provide Multichannel Support

The beauty of providing multichannel support lies in its splendid ability to meet your customers exactly where they are, whether they’re penning down an email, dialing your number, or sliding into your DMs on social media, your presence across these platforms becomes their gentle sigh of relief.

Each channel should be a cozy little helpdesk, where your customers can pull up a chair and chat about their riddles and concerns. Offering a diversified, yet equally stellar, customer support experience across email, phone, and social media isn’t just a strategy; it’s essentially wrapping your users in a warm embrace of reassurance and readiness. 

Implement AI-Powered Assistance

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by how quickly a common question got resolved online? That's often the magic of AI-powered bots at work. These smart helpers are there to instantly tackle those frequently asked questions, making sure customers don't have to wait in a queue just to get a simple answer. These bots are smart enough to know their limits. If a problem is too complex, they'll smoothly hand you over to a real person who can provide detailed assistance. 

Building a stellar SaaS customer support strategy involves the right blend of technology, personnel, and practices. Keeping your users’ convenience at the forefront, these best practices will ensure that your SaaS brand is synonymous with exceptional support and successful client interactions. Always iterate and adapt to ensure your support keeps pace with customer expectations and industry advancements.

Should You Outsource Your SaaS Customer Service? 

The truth of the matter is that the list of benefits of outsourcing SaaS customer support goes on and on. The other truth is that even large businesses struggle to establish 24/7 customer service via the traditional model. Outsourcing agencies can solve this problem by providing around-the-clock customer service for the customers you promise to serve. 

Outsourcing SaaS customer service can provide your business with the tools needed to thrive—including but not limited to omnichannel support and up-to-date security compliance and data backup. Some BPO providers may even provide additional services like multilingual support. 

Although it’s clear that outsourcing your SaaS customer support is the best move for your business, it can be hard to find a provider to cater to your individual needs. Fortunately, Helpware has you covered with the SaaS helpdesk your business deserves. 

With Helpware, you can arm your business with our Digital Customer Experience team to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. Build a custom SaaS team by choosing from a suite of useful tools, including technical support, chat support, email support, and multilingual support, to help you serve customers worldwide. Take the first step to meet your customers on their terms, the way they deserve. Contact Helpware today!

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