SaaS-Customer-Support

10 Tactics for SaaS Companies to Deliver Awesome Customer Support

Advancements and other developments in cloud technology have opened doors for software as a service (SaaS) companies to grow across different industries. It has increasingly become a common delivery model for ‘on-demand software’ involving various business applications that can be easily accessed online. This kind of convenience is one of the key factors that’s been driving its growth in the global market.

SaaS-Customer-Support

A report by Market Research Future (MRFR) shows that the SaaS market is predicted to grow exponentially in the coming years. In fact, it’s set to hit a 21% compound annual growth rate within the forecast period and reach a value of US$ 117 billion by 2022.

The kind of subscription model offered by software companies has revolutionized the adoption of technology in every business sector. This has presented a growing dependency, which has been fueling the demand for more cost-effective SaaS solutions, further boosting the growth of the SaaS market.

As a SaaS provider, it’s important to recognize the fact that you’re not actually selling software as a product, but a service that’s focused on customer success. This is where SaaS customer support plays a crucial role in the success of your company because software alone isn't enough. You’ll have to be invested in a culture of service that delivers not only top-notch software performance but also the kind of work that ensures the success of your customers.

To keep you up-to-date with the most effective tactics in delivering awesome customer support, here are 10 you’d want to apply to your SaaS business:

 

Proven Customer Support Strategies for SaaS Companies

 

  1. Offering in-app support

It can be frustrating for customers when they aren’t able to effectively use your software due to its complexity or because a bug’s been messing up its functionality. To ease their suffering, it’s a good idea to offer in-app support via a link or a widget that directs them to the help they need.

In-app support also means they won’t have to reach out via an external channel, which makes for a better customer experience.

 

  1. Live chat that’s available 24/7

It’s pretty much standard for SaaS companies to provide support via email and phone, but customers have high expectations from a technical support provider so you’ll need to go the extra mile. One of the best ways to exceed to do this is to provide 24/7 live chat that delivers answers in real time. This kind of on-demand support is what will set you apart from the competition.

 

  1. Building a knowledge base for self-service customer support

A survey by Zendesk showed that a massive 91% of customers said they would use a knowledge base if it could address their needs. This is proof that you need to create an FAQ page that has in-depth content that could answer any question your customer might have. The self-service nature of knowledge bases also means freeing up your customer support reps to focus on adding value, not solving problems.

 

  1. Continuous improvement of the support process

There is always room for improvement, so make sure your support process constantly evolves to maximize customer satisfaction and the overall experience. You can establish a customer feedback system to help you determine which areas of the service that you need to improve on.

 

  1. Have a centralized database for customer support data

Since it’s always a good idea to have multiple channels in which your customers can reach you, they expect you to be able to track their conversations with your support team across all platforms. Failure to do so may lead to frustrated customers that are likely to be upset when they have to repeat themselves just to follow up on their concerns.

A centralized database with a structured ticketing system can help you handle all customer concerns across all available channels. This will also make it easier to track unresolved issues for an easier method to follow up.

 

  1. Hire awesome support staff with great ‘soft’ skills

Having the wrong people in your team always poses a huge challenge to your company regardless of the nature of your business. But when it comes to customer service, having the right people working for you matters more since it takes a person with great soft skills to have the ability to handle even the toughest customers.

 

  1. Stay on top of service requests that appear frequently

You should be proactively working on making improvements, so you’ll need to pay attention to repeated support requests that have similar requirements. Repeat support issues is a good sign that your software needs attention and you’ll have an easier time to investigate any underlying issues if you’re getting feedback from a range of customers with first-hand experiences.

 

  1. Establish a systematic process

An effective process is crucial in making sure you handle your customers well. This boosts efficiency while saving time and effort in handling concerns. Your main customer service KPIs should always include response time and time to resolution. Both of which can be optimized with a systematic process in place.

Of course, you’ll need to be open in making improvements to streamline your workflow and make your customers happier with their decision in purchasing your software.

 

  1. Publish your company’s standards

Some of the best customer service teams in the world have a strict set of guidelines they adhere to, which is the reason why they are considered great in the first place.

Having published standards for your customer support team ensures they work hard to reach them while encouraging your customers to go over them so they know what to expect.

 

  1. Provide a service that revolves around transparency

Doubt and suspicion about your software can always lead to unhappy customers, particularly in the current ‘big data’ industry that creates uncertainty revolving around security and pricing. Your customer support service should aim to reduce and even eliminate any suspicion through transparency in your policies, pricing, and all other aspects of your SaaS company.

 

Conclusion

Always keep in mind that SaaS is a service-based operating model. To help your brand achieve a considerable level of success, you’ll have to be focused on delivering exceptional customer service to augment the functionality of your software to stand out from the competition. Remember, it’s not only about the quality of your product, but also the people who use your product that matter.

 

Did you know that outsourcing customer support can drastically reduce overhead costs for businesses? Contact us to find out more!


The Dangers of Bad Mobile App Support

Here’s What Can Happen If You Don’t Offer Mobile App Support

Nowadays, when you don’t have expert app developers creating apps for your business, you’re passing on a great opportunity to expand your company in more ways than one. Simply put, your existing customers are on mobile, with research suggesting that 92% of the users’ time on mobile is spent on apps. 

The Dangers of Bad Mobile App Support

So, without a dedicated app for mobile, you could be missing out on some of these great benefits:

  • It can increase brand awareness as you get to interact with consumers through branded communication. This can result in increased trust and loyalty in the long run.
  • It’s the perfect channel for personalized marketing campaigns, allowing you to advertise new products, offer discounts and promos, invite users to special events, and much more. 
  • Mobile apps collect behavioral and transactional data. With such information available, you can better personalize messages, build insights, and improve subsequent campaigns.

 

The Dangers of Bad App Support

To reap the benefits though, your mobile app must be reliable, and that means incorporating customer support in it, especially since more and more people are becoming dependent on it for their everyday routine and work. Mobile app support must provide users with quick, reliable service; unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many apps today.

According to a survey by Radius Global Market Research and Helpshift, 69% of people report having problems with apps they use. Google, meanwhile, said that 80% of users are more inclined to purchase from mobile apps or sites that quickly respond to inquiries. This means that faulty or frustrating customer support is a bane for your business.

Here are other ways that lousy support can be detrimental to your business:

 

  • Complaints go unresolved (opportunity for improvement is wasted)

Reporting app problems start by searching troubleshooting request through the mobile app itself. When there is no email or number indicated, you’d have to open a browser and search. Depending on what you find, you’d contact the helpdesk, but not without staying on hold or not hearing back from them for some time.

Once you get hold of them, helpdesk will then ask for the details of your complaint. And after several back-and-forths, there’s only a 50% chance that your issue will get resolved. Moreover, unfortunately, some other bloke will likely experience your problem.

When app issues fail to come to light due to unfavorable customer support, developers and key personnel won’t work to fix and improve it. It is then essential to put people in your support team who care about the customer enough to bring their concerns to senior officers.  

 

  • Brand image is harmed (less perceived value)

The internet can be a double-edged sword to organizations. On the one hand, it can build your image; on the other, it can also bring it down. Bad customer support can tarnish the reputation you’ve worked for, and one bad customer service story is all it takes. Customers can quickly write a negative review or vent their frustrations on social media for the whole world to see.

Research has found that 95% of users will tell at least one friend or family member about bad customer experience they had, and 54% will share it with at least five other people. Naturally, perceived value and overall sales can decrease because of this, but it can also negatively impact your brand when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing.

An effective workaround is to have a key company figure to make amends to those affected by the bad customer support in a private discussion. They can also respond publicly to the criticisms, accept responsibility, and assure people that the company is working to solve the issues permanently.

 

  • Users write bad app store reviews (less advocacy)

As mentioned, it’s now a lot easier for your consumers to criticize your business when they are inconvenienced by poor app support. Data reveal that 24% of users will leave bad reviews on apps because of it, which is especially damaging because iOS and Android app stores both factor in user ratings when recommending apps during a search.

Naturally, receiving poor marks could mean fewer downloads and users. Fortunately, both app stores also allow developers to respond to negative reviews posted on the platform. Keep in mind the recommendations previously mentioned, and you can hopefully turn the situation around.

 

  • Users leave the app (less engagement)

It goes without saying that unsatisfied customers who leave harsh criticisms about your app will also delete it altogether. In the same survey by Radius Global Market Research and Helpshift, 47% of respondents removed apps that don’t provide customer support.

It’s true that once the user deletes the app, your business may not get the chance to correct the issue anymore, or that the complainant likely won’t care about it. Regularly surveying your customers helps prevent app support blunders. Engagement is necessary not only when the problem has been revealed, but also to discover how you can make things better before things go unpleasant.

 

  • Users get stuck in conversion funnels (less revenue)

Customer support isn’t just an after-sales service; interactions with prospects and leads can also fall into this. Leads can get turned off with your brand when the first person they interact with provides bad customer support. Naturally, this can lead to fewer customers and less revenue.

An easy remedy to this is to look into automation and use a CRM which stores all the information your support team will ever need. It can also help them respond to users quickly, whether they are already a customer or not, to serve them better. 

 

The experience is just as important as the app itself

There has been much talk about the importance of customer experience today. Unfortunately, some organizations and their development teams are yet to see its importance when it comes to developing mobile apps. An app can only succeed and be up to the challenging technological environment if developers keep the end users in mind.

If you’re legitimately concerned about your users’ experience, you won’t neglect mobile app support when working on your own app.

 

For more mobile app ideas and inspiration, check out these 9 Examples of Businesses Creating Awesome Mobile Apps!


6 Qualities to Look for in a Customer Support Officer

Business owners have a long list of priorities when it comes to running their companies, such as budget allocations, marketing efforts, recruitment, and more. However, many fail to recognize the need to invest in another equally important area: customer support.

Qualities-of-Customer-Support

It’s no secret that having and maintaining a great relationship with your customers is one of the key ingredients to your business’ success. Since support reps they are your direct connection to your users, they’re responsible for ensuring a flawless customer experience.

Globally, 96% of consumers say customer service is one of the greatest influencers of their loyalty and trust with a brand. If you don’t perform the way they expect you to, there’s a considerable risk that they’ll leave you for someone who can treat them better. If you’re excellent, they will naturally speak positively about your business. Plus, customer acquisition is 6-7x more expensive than customer retention.

Customer service is especially crucial if you run a tech or software company. Crashes, bugs, and defects should be addressed by your team quickly and efficiently while making the user feel heard and valued.

 

Qualities of Great Customer Support Officers

So, what does it take to breed great customer support officers in your company? Here are some of the top qualities they should have.

 

  1. Clear Verbal and Written Communication Skills

It’s not easy to articulate what you have to convey on the fly, especially when 82% of consumers want real-time replies and solutions to their concerns. Whether your customer service agent is on the phone or responding via email, they should have the ability to be concise and clear with the help that they’re going to provide.

They should use simple, positive language and answer queries to the best of their abilities. Pay attention to how they present themselves during the interview and even their email etiquette during active correspondence.

 

  1. Active Listening Skills

When conversing with your customers, your reps should make sure they listen to the whole complaint or concern while picking up keywords to pinpoint the problem. They tend to be detail-oriented and pay attention to the little things that many otherwise overlook.

By being attentive, your customer support officers will be able to notice trends as to what your users are inquiring about. For instance, the design and UX of your website or app may be preventing users from finding where they need to go. These notes are crucial for improving your product and giving your customers a better experience.

 

  1. Empathy

Customer service agents should understand where their users are coming from. It’s a challenging yet critical skill to recognize another person’s emotional state. Ask your customer support officers to put themselves in the customer’s shoes: What most likely happened to cause their frustration? How would you like to be treated if you were in the same position? Listen for the most caring and understanding answers.

Empathy is indeed a complex skill. However, by engaging with customers regularly, this particular quality can be honed over time.

 

  1. Product Knowledge

In a survey done by American Express, 62% of consumers reveal that service insight and knowledge are two critical components in customer satisfaction. How is this figure important?

There are times when complaints or concerns may arise due to the consumer’s lack of knowledge about the product. In these cases, they may either be furious, frustrated, or confused as to how things work. If your customer support officers show intelligence and competence, the customers will have an immediate sense of ease that the agent can solve their issues. Confidence goes a long way in customer service.

 

  1. Patience

Your customer service reps will talk to a lot of people in one day, and some conversations will be easier to handle than others. They should master the art of being patient when listening, communicating, and responding to customer queries. Patience will allow them to power through all their ticket requests with grace and tact.

 

  1. Flexibility

There will be times where your customer service team gets thrown with issues that they did not anticipate. During these moments, your agent should know how to think and act quickly while on his or her feet. Processes like escalation and rerouting should be second nature to them, so they know when to tap other members of the team for faster problem-solving.

According to a recent study, 12% of Americans say lack of speed is their top frustration with customer service. If they fumble or keep the customer waiting for too long, it could cause dissatisfaction. Check how well they work under pressure and how they delegate, prioritize, and manage their time.

 

Conclusion

A single expert customer support officer can drastically change the image of your company versus a few subpar ones. Invest in the right people that will represent your brand’s image to your customers and give them the proper treatment they deserve. After all, fantastic customer experience will translate to more loyal customers and higher customer retention rates—and this is what it takes to propel your business forward and achieve higher sales and ROI.

Never underestimate the power of great customer service. In the age of globalization, it’s the single added value that truly sets businesses apart!

 

Find out if you should build an in-house customer support team or outsource to an expert provider today!


How Gamification Affects the Software Development Process

There’s a certain kind of elation that games draw out from people, which is the reason why many are passionately into it, particularly video games. Who didn’t enjoy defeating King Koopa to save Princess Peach in Super Mario Bros.? Trash-talking while beating your buddies senseless on a few rounds of Fortnite is also hard to miss out on. Even Tetris took the world by storm during its heydey.

Gamification-in-Software-Development

There’s no doubt that the popularity of gaming has reached global proportions, but does it have a place in your business?

As a matter of fact, yes it does. Businesses have integrated the elements of gaming into their operations and marketing strategies. Since then,  has become a buzzword over the years due to the fact that it triggers real, powerful human emotions of happiness, intrigue, and excitement, delivering more positive user experiences.

In one of its simplest forms, gamification is getting a stamp or sticker on a card each time you buy coffee. After collecting a certain number, you get a free drink or store merch. It’s like completing a level and getting a reward just like in a game. Nike applied this to their Training Club fitness app and Domino’s Pizza also had an app where their customers can create their own pizza. This delivers a positive customer experience that leads to better engagement, loyalty, and eventually, higher sales.

 

Why Gamification Works for Software Development

With all the benefits it delivers to users, gamification has been proven to work, which is why it continues to grow. Entrepreneurs are finding more game-based solutions to improve their business. A Statista report predicts that the worldwide gamification market will grow to 12 billion in 2021 from 4.91 billion back in 2016. For this reason, it’s no surprise that it’s no longer an uncommon method for business.

This stems from the generation who grew up playing computer games. From a young age, this kind of exposure developed a motivation system built around passion and awards. When integrated into a business process such as software development, it can be used to achieve compelling results. Here are some of the ways gamifying the software development process helps improve the overall business:

 

  • Developers acquire and master new techniques

Implementing gamified solutions can boost performance through competition and the ability to track other’s results. This pushes developer teams to learn more and make it fun.

 

  • It improves cooperation and increases motivation

An employee's performance is driven by two aspects: the team’s common goal and the desire to outperform their co-workers. With gamification, both these aspects are well covered.

 

  • Developers spend less time completing a project

Adding game-like elements pushes software developers to be more efficient (to get a higher “score”), which helps reduce the time required to finish projects.

 

  • Decreases development-related errors

Due to the competitive environment presented by gamification, developers naturally boost defect fixing rates, which helps them focus on their core activities.

 

  • Takes on an agile approach to software development

Game-like solutions help vendors divide projects into smaller segments and deliver tasks gradually piece by piece. This kind of dynamic approach can significantly improve team productivity.

 

How Businesses Can Get Started with Software Development Gamification

The pros of gamification in software development are overwhelmingly convincing. The next logical step is effectively implementing this approach in the software development process. As with any process, there’s a right way to do it, much like a game walkthrough.

 

  1. Set goals

The organization’s goals are what’s going to help you lay the foundation of your framework, so you should define them clearly to make sure your employees are empowered to carry out their objectives. Set milestones that can be achieved in short amounts of time to assure regular progress.

 

  1. Lay down the rules

Just like any game, there must be a defined set of rules that are easy to interpret. This is where you detail the limitations, points system, and levels, making it a critical task in deploying the game.

 

  1. Give out rewards

Setting up a rewards system is a critical part of gamification due to its motivational factor. Employees may feel proud and accomplished after completion of an assigned task or project, but additional rewards further boost their motivation to be better.

 

  1. Include a leaderboard or scoreboard

In typical game fashion, there are leaderboards or scoreboards to know how you’re doing in the game, giving you a sense of progress and achievement. This is critical in gamification because it allows employees to measure their performance against the rest of the team to encourage competitive spirit.

 

  1. Provide real-time feedback

Instant feedback will always have a constructive effect on your employees. If positive, it’s going to energize them, while negative feedback will push them to improve. Delivering timely feedback in your gamification efforts also allows your employees to instantly take actionable steps to fix improvement areas.

 

  1. Define the metrics

Clearly establishing a set of relevant metrics will help you track your team’s progress as they move towards your organization’s goals. Make sure they’re flexible enough to accommodate changes.

 

  1. Distribute badges

Your organization will be faced with the challenge of identifying your employees’ strengths and fields of expertise. This is important to assembling a great team to make it easier to achieve your business’s long-term goals. Assigning badges allows you to identify their reputation, certification, and achievements just like in video games, and will also help your employees with validation of their efforts.

 

Conclusion

With the integration of gamification through the right approach, you’ll be able to elevate your software development capabilities to new heights. The game design elements will allow you to assemble or build a capable team that’s composed of developers who are both effective and motivated. Imagine having a team of Call of Duty players ready to take on the world for the glory of your company.

Yes, that’s how gamification can help you achieve your organization’s goals with the highest efficiency. In other words, you’re trying to make winning fun for everyone.

 

For more on software development and deployment methodologies, check out our Agile vs Waterfall Software Development Infographic.