So you're a SaaS (Software as a Service) company, and your business is growing. You've made it through the early stages of growth, and now you’re trying to scale. But one thing that often gets overlooked when it comes to scaling a business is customer service.
What happens if one of those new customers has an issue with their subscription?
Will they be able to get in touch with someone quickly and easily? Will they feel like they're being treated like an actual person or like another number in the system?
These are all questions we hear from our clients who are struggling with scaling their SaaS customer support teams while maintaining quality service levels.
In this article, we take a deep dive into the importance of SaaS customer service, best practices and examples of top-notch SaaS customer support, and how you can make sure your SaaS customer support operation isn’t just so-so but great.
SaaS customer service provides new customers with the tools they need to get started with your product, and it helps them use it more effectively. It’s not just about the quality of your product, but also about how you’re meeting your customer’s needs, and improving your customer retention rates. But what is SaaS customer service?
The first thing to keep in mind about SaaS customer service is that sales and customer service are closely related. The sales process often begins with a customer inquiry, which could be handled by either a support rep or an inside salesperson, depending on the type of organization and the size of your team. And even though most people think about support as an afterthought, it can actually be one of the most important parts of the entire process.
Customer experience is another big area where customer service plays an integral role. From onboarding to ensuring customer satisfaction, users expect fast answers to questions and quick resolutions to any problems. With a strong SaaS customer success team, philosophy, self-service options, and strategy, you can turn browsers into buyers, agitated customers into loyal fans of your brand, and reduce user churn rates.
Customer service is arguably the most important part of your business. Shopify reports that half of US consumers have abandoned a purchase due to poor customer service, according to the American Express Customer Service Barometer. Meanwhile, seven in 10 shoppers are willing to spend more money at a business that provides consistently high-quality service.
This means that no matter how great your SaaS product might be, none of that will matter if your SaaS customer support is lacking. While sales, marketing, engineering, and other departments play important roles in any company, customer service is the glue that holds everything together.
As such, it’s important to put together a plan where you can gather customer feedback and make sure you have a SaaS customer service team before you even launch your product. It’s worth investing not only in technology to help manage SaaS customer support but also in top-notch support teams because they create loyal customers who are more likely to recommend you and stay with you for years.
Bottom line: You'll need people who understand your products backward and forward so that they can answer questions about them confidently. That includes having a deep understanding of pricing models for new customers versus existing ones, special discounts available, and ways to upsell customers to higher tiers.
A SaaS customer service philosophy is a set of beliefs and principles that guide the way you interact with customers. It's important to have one because it helps you stay focused on resolving issues in the best way possible.
Here's an example: "We believe that every client should be treated as if they were our only client." You would make sure that all aspects of your interactions with customers reflect this belief, whether it's how quickly they get responses from support or how well communication is resolved through written messages.
Naturally, your company's culture will shape your customer service philosophy — and vice versa. The best-in-class brands have customer service philosophies that are ingrained in their company culture, and every employee knows them by heart. They also know why they exist and how they can apply them to each interaction with a customer.
Once your key stakeholders are aligned on the importance of strong SaaS customer support, you’ll need a strategy to guide implementation. A good customer service strategy helps you understand who your target audience is, what their pain points are, and how you can help them solve those problems. Once you know that, you can create a set of processes that will allow you to deliver an outstanding experience for every single person who contacts you.
Key components of a great SaaS customer success strategy include:
Customer service is often the first point of contact with your customers. It’s also a great place to showcase your brand and build customer loyalty. Customer service can be challenging, though. You need to provide fast responses and solve problems quickly, which is why it’s important to follow a few customer support best practices:
Customer service teams need training just like any other part of an organization — and it’s even more important for them since they have direct contact with customers every day. One way to do this is by creating documentation for your training program. This will ensure that all members of your team are trained properly on how to handle customer issues and requests, so they can provide excellent service no matter what comes their way.
For example, if there are certain rules about how long an email response should take or how many follow-up emails should be sent before escalating an issue, having this information available will make it easier for your team members to follow these processes without having to ask questions every time they get a new ticket.
Consistency is key for SaaS customer service. Your product team needs to know what makes a great product, and your customer success team should understand how to use that product effectively to help their customers. If both teams are working with the same set of business goals in mind, it will be easier for them to collaborate on providing great service.
Ultimately, it’s about focusing on the customer experience. If you want to be successful in this industry, you have to think about your customers first. That means making sure they have a good experience with every touchpoint they have with your brand — from purchasing your product to using it and interacting with support. Your customer success team should collaborate closely with the product team so they can ensure their products are easy-to-use and intuitive.
The best practices in customer service and support are constantly evolving. With the help of help desk software like Gorgias or Zendesk, it's possible to deliver a consistently high level of support while also leveraging new technologies like AI and chatbots.
And with a platform like Chatdesk, you can supercharge your customer support efforts by leveraging experienced US-based customer service agents to help you respond to support tickets.
With customer service software, you can more easily organize all support requests and track incoming questions, issues, and complaints in one place. It also allows you to assign tickets to specific agents so that each agent is only responsible for a limited number of tickets at a time.
In addition, using customer service software will allow you to easily create new tickets from emails or chat messages from customers. This can be especially helpful when someone needs help but doesn't want to use the phone or voice chat — they can simply send an email or message through your website or app and get automated responses or instructions on how to escalate an issue.
You want to make sure that you're getting the most out of your customer service team and that they're providing the best support possible. If you can measure and improve your process, then you'll see better results.
In order to do this, you need to establish clear key performance indicators (KPIs) that will allow you to measure the success of your efforts. You also need clear metrics on what success looks like for each goal so that everyone involved knows what they're working toward and how it will affect the business as a whole. For instance, by tracking metrics like average response time and conversions, you can benchmark against other companies in your industry and identify areas where you may be able to improve.
From there, you can set goals for future improvements. For example, if you want better ratings on Google, then you can set benchmarks such as 90% positive reviews within the first month after sign-up with a goal to increase this by 5% over time. This will keep you focused on improving your strategy so that it works for customers and employees alike.
One of the most common complaints about customer service is that it's not automated and fast enough. Outsourcing can help you combine SaaS customer service technology with real humans who are trained to resolve customer support issues for your brand. When you outsource with Chatdesk, you can:
Learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your customer service in this article.
Below are a couple of industry-best customer support examples to help inspire your customer support operations.
From the moment you hop onto the Chatdesk website, you’ll find plenty of support and a seamless customer experience. A chatbot invites users to engage with support through a chat window; there’s also a phone number provided, or users can access FAQ pages to resolve issues on their own.
A prominent button and contact forms make it easy to schedule a free demo to see Chatdesk in action. There’s also a blog, examples of use cases, and other resources to help visitors better understand customer support best practices.
While many people are familiar with Webflow as a website building SaaS platform, it’s also an incredible example of SaaS customer support. The Webflow site offers many of the same support tools as Chatdesk, such as FAQ pages, plus a Webflow University with tutorials and resources and a Webflow Forum with community support.
The brand also has a large social media presence. While most companies respond just through email or chat, Webflow also responds to tickets on social media. This makes it easy for customers to get support quickly and ensures Webflow is engaging with its customers wherever they are.
We know that the process of building a great customer service experience can be challenging. Not only is it difficult to get all of the moving pieces in place, but there’s also a lot of complexity involved in making sure it works well with other areas of your company.
However, if you have a clear vision of what your customers need and take the time to create an effective strategy, then you should see results quickly. In time, you can grow your SaaS customer support strategy and team into a thriving, engaged part of your business — one that helps you attract and retain your very best customers.
If you’re looking to outsource your customer service for your SaaS company, be sure to book a free demo. We’ll get you set up for a free pilot and take care of your first 100 support tickets — on us!