Customer support lies at the heart of your SAAS business. As the means by which your customers engage when they need you most, SAAS customer support plays a critical role in delivering satisfaction. This goes a long way to brand building and driving customer retention, and with so much on the line, it becomes obvious why it’s so fundamentally critical that your business can deliver above and beyond expectation.
In this blog, we take a look at the very best ways to deliver top-quality customer support in your SAAS business.
As your frontline team, your support staff experience your customer’s pains and challenges every single day. As such, they’re the best individuals to discuss the challenges customers are regularly experiencing and the difficulties they face when attempting to rectify these issues. If you can get an idea as to the struggles of both your support staff and your customers, you can begin to develop solutions that help them serve your customers better. For example, if there’s a particular subject matter that’s regularly appearing, but the business hasn’t trained staff around it, or given them the resources they need to provide adequate help, then it’s important the senior staff know so action can be taken to preempt these issues.
The best support teams are trained to handle the key issues facing your customers, and as these change regularly, training programs will need to support this ongoing evolution in order to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.
When your customers initiate contact with your service channels, they have certain predetermined expectations. This is the same with any customer engagement, there is a level of competence and quality expected to match the brand perception your company communicates. As such, customer support engagements present a great opportunity to exceed those expectations and position your brand even more positively. By taking expectations and delivering above and beyond, you’ll be able to turn a negative engagement into a potential opportunity to improve your brand image.
To effectively exceed your customers support expectations, you need to preempt everything they need, and take action to accommodate where and when necessary. Ensuring your provide rapid response times, personalized communications that tackle the query and great communication skills is all essential to taking full advantage of this opportunity. You want the customer to go away feeling like their needs were not only met, but in a productive, friendly and convenient way too.
The very best support functions are reactive and adapt based on customer needs, and so it’s important you develop flexibility within your delivery functions in order to give your customers what they’re looking for quickly.
No matter how well you deliver SAAS customer support, there will always be times where the standard falls below expectations. When this occurs, it’s important to understand:
Understanding why the issue happened is the first step to avoiding a repeat. Whether it was due to a lack of staff training, a particularly unusual anomaly or something else totally unexpected, you need to know before you can take action.
Getting a view on the logistics behind the issue is critical, did all the systems in place work? Was there a failure in the contingency plan or were processes missed altogether? Understanding the functional challenges behind an issue ensures there’s no flaws in the way you operate and manage your SAAS customer support.
Taking lessons from failure is critical to ensuring it’s not repeated and helps maximize the average quality of customer support delivered. It may be staff need retraining, new support documentation is required or just that more support resources are required to meet expectations set.
Finally, once all of the above are considered, it’s important to identify the actions needed to rectify the issue and ensure it’s chance of being repeated is limited. Resolving such problems is critical to avoiding wider customer support challenges and the impact they may have on your business.
Monitoring, evaluating and learning from the mistakes made within your customer support function is critical to increasing the average standard delivered. In most cases, you can learn more from your failings, than you can your successes. You should see criticism as an opportunity to improve and optimize the customer support you deliver.
Chances are, your customers don’t want to contact your support team, they’re likely too busy, in no mood to express their problems to someone else and just want to find the solution they need on their own. It’s likely they’ve already turned to google and relevant forums and failed to find what they need, which is why they’ve decided a call to support is the only option. However, if you can collect data around these challenges, and then create resources to solve them, you can help your customers skip the need to talk to your support team altogether. This reduces operational costs and still delivers the same-quality of customer satisfaction.
This may come in the form of a knowledge sharing platform, or potentially just resources built by your support team to help customers in specific situations. For example, if a particular query is regularly popping up across clients, then it may make sense to create a resource around that issue to help rapidly deliver a high quality response.
Your support team’s top priority is to deliver customer satisfaction. But this is only achievable if they can give customers the key information they’re looking for. However, this is easier said than done, particularly if there isn’t any idea as to what customers want. Depending on your business, the support needs of your customers will differ, but it’s important to remember that what they desire is what you need to deliver. With this in mind, it’s integral you ask your customers regularly about what they want and expect from your company. This will help to set expectations and outline the key prioritizes you need to consider when expanding and upskilling your support teams.
- Regularly consult your support staff and train appropriately
- Exceed expectations at every opportunity
- Monitor your mistakes and evolve accordingly
- Create resources to help your customers help themselves
- Engage with you customers to identify the support they desire
By optimizing the support you deliver to your customers, your SAAS business will be able to drive customer satisfaction, encouraging retention and a higher average lifetime customer value. This is essential as customers become more profitable the longer they remain with your business and so it’s easy to see why a top quality support function is critical.
With the right strategy in place that puts the customer’s needs front and center, you’ll be able to preempt their support requirements and ensure your support channels are resourced accordingly.
Following these tips, you’ll be able to ensure your support team has the right information, skills and resources to help them deliver the high quality of support they need to deliver every time.