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:
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:
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.
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.
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 Otherwise content would become outdated with every software update.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.
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.
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.
Your video content should flow naturally. Otherwise, your customers would lose interest.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.