Les Melnichenko
Oct 20, 2020 | 8 min read

Customer satisfaction and retention are becoming the name of the game now and so is delivering impeccable support where clients need it and at the right time.

Fortunately, as the technology evolves, you can meet your customers’ expectations to your best extent. With all-new channels, tools, and management systems around, customer service teams are able to lend a helping hand to people more efficiently. 

Still, providing SaaS customer service that wows clients requires more than just investing in an advanced toolset. Instead, you have to bear SaaS customer support best practices in mind to make your approach be up to par.

In this post, we’ve explained what SaaS support really is as well as shared some good-to-know tips on how to assist your customers if you’re in SaaS customer service. 

What is SaaS support?

Software as a service, which is the full name of SaaS, stands for a cloud computing offering that provides users with access to a vendor’s cloud-based software

Top 5 Advantages of Software as a Service

In plain language, SaaS support is a ready-made solution for a business that wants to assist its customers. 

The modern idea of web-clouding dates back to the 1990s when Applications Service Providers (ASPs) gained their ground and the rise of the World Wide Web began. At first, SaaS wasn’t taken seriously. But during the past decade, it has shown rapid growth together with the adoption of new technologies: Platform- (PaaS), Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and SaaS Application Suits.. 

In a traditional business model, you sell a product, a customer buys it, and nothing happens next. The product doesn’t change but does its job. In the SaaS support model, clients often pay repeatedly (usually on a subscription basis), and take advantage of a product every day. Plus, the product is evolving and growing. 

When a client comes in with a question, a company should be able to help at any time. An unpredictable part here is that software may often have bugs and snags that can lead to tough customer conversations. For complex issues, you should have experts with technical expertise to fix customer issues ASAP. For a tricky product, you need people who are well-versed in it.

Such companies as Slack, Trello, Salesforce, and Basecamp are famous for delivering exceptional SaaS service. Some of them may not provide 24/7 support. However, their strong points are satisfying customers’ demands, knowing customer retention techniques, and providing a perfect customer experience.     

When can SaaS support be your best choice?    

Most of you might have a traditional idea of how SaaS support can help customers. Users navigate a website, see a “Contact Us” button or link, and that’s how it works. However, SaaS support is now breaking new grounds.    

You can provide SaaS customer support inside your app. For instance, HelpCrunch can be easily integrated into your SaaS product. As a result, you have a sleek in-app chat widget with an integrated knowledge base which helps you assist clients faster. 

This way, customers can communicate with you being right inside your app. Let’s say, a new product release is out now and your client notices minor bugs, or there’s an issue with setting up an account. With your in-app SaaS support, they can contact you and report a problem in real time by clicking a chat widget. Now that the knowledge base is also available from a chat widget, customers can switch over to it and find the much-needed answers right away. 

It gets even better. You can use a live chat widget as an in-app messenger to send targeted and proactive chat messages to various customer segments to:

  • Inform clients about company news and new features
  • Onboard trial users 
  • Provide product training via chat
  • Re-engage less active users
  • Announce special deals 
  • Increase overall customer engagement

Sounds amazing, right? An in-app chat has all the chances to become your key customer communication tool once you try it. No one wants to give up timely professional assistance on the go without filling in unnecessary forms.

How to deliver unrivaled SaaS support?

Being into SaaS customer service is more than just setting up an email campaign or having a rep who answers the phone. If you’re to build a productive SaaS customer support team and assist clients to your best extent, be ready to go through a thoughtful process with a bunch of details. 

1. Go for proactive customer retention

It’s sad to lose a customer who has already subscribed, isn’t it? Holding as many people as possible once they come to you is important for a SaaS company. Have a look at the numbers: acquiring new clients costs 5 times as much as retaining existing ones.  

Think of how much money you spend on acquiring new clients or launching marketing campaigns. You want the customer lifetime value to be higher than the cost of customer acquisition. The greater the LTV in this proportion is, the better finances your brand has. Now you do the math. Now you do the math. 

Proactive customer service can help you with retention and offload the support team inside your app. Onboarding new clients, teaching them how to use your services and products, and meeting their every need at the beginning of their journey (and showing your initiative, of course) can have a positive impact. Judge by yourself, increasing customer retention by 5% brings about a minimum 25% increase in profit.

2. Make your SaaS support team easy to find 

How many times were you searching for a Contact section on a website or inside an app? When I fail to find that button, it usually gets on my nerves. Not to make your customers searching for a support link for years, make it easy to see. 

Here you have several options. Number one is to place “Contact Us”, “Support”, or any other relevant button either at the header or at the bottom of a page. Number two is to add a self-intuitive icon inside your app meaning that a user can ask all the questions if they click it. HelpCrunch takes the second option.

Once you are logged into your account, there’s a question mark sign on the left. You can check the knowledge base center here, drop a line to our customer support team, or even look through the developer’s documentation. 

My advice is to choose either of these options. If customers don’t see how to contact you, it may be the first “frustration mode” trigger. And this is NOT the kind of mistake you want to make.

HelpCrunch inbox need help section

3. Adopt an omnichannel approach

If you think about expanding your support channels list, an omnichannel customer communication strategy is what you need. Thanks to it, you can connect all channels to interact with clients the way they want. You might say “how is it different from a multi-channel concept?”. Let me make it loud and simple. 

For instance, if a customer contacts you via live chat and then wants to follow up via an email, a company with a multi-channel might ask them to re-explain the issue once again. A business with an omnichannel strategy, on the other hand, has the previously discussed info at its fingertips and on all channels. So, a customer support agent reading the email can quickly get the hang of things.  

Let’s take a shared inbox HelpCrunch has as an example. It can store all the support queries under the same roof. Besides, such a feature is both convenient and time-saving as each of our customer success managers has access to the information and is able to deliver as timely SaaS support as possible.

HelpCrunch inbox new

4. Create helpful self-service resources

Gone are the days of making phone calls to a technical support team, waiting for an answer for hours on end, and throwing a phone against the wall in a rage. Today, clients are just as demanding as tach-savvier than ever. So, self-service is one of those main things they expect to get from your SaaS customer support in the first place.  

Self-service is gaining traction as 40% of clients say they prefer searching for the answers online on their own rather than speaking to a human customer support expert. For instance, all the answers Amazon customers have are directed to relevant help center articles or website pages before a client contacts a customer service agent. Thanks to such an automated approach, Amazon can take as many customer inquiries as they like and still deliver an optimal experience.

Amazon self-service resources

So, why don’t you let clients troubleshoot their issues by themselves? Consider building a helpful knowledge base and make the most of it. Identify the keywords users type in a search box to offer clients more specific info. Don’t rely on just writing stuff: include video tutorials or how-to guides. This way, you can reduce the number of incoming tickets, boost conversions, and improve client onboarding.

5. Create the right customer success team

“Are customer support and customer success teams not the same?” you might ask. Actually, they both share the same goal but have different approaches when it comes to interacting with clients. Your support team works to solve users’ problems when they occur. A customer success squad, on the other hand, contacts clients to reach their goals. 

“Customer success is where 90% of the revenue is” (Jason Lemkin, Gainsight Pulse conference). Well, this is true as it’s a customer success agent who can:

  • Make it easy for new clients to set up their accounts
  • Communicate the value of a service upfront
  • Gain concrete and honest customer feedback and use it to guide your brand’s strategy 
  • Convert trial users into paying customers
  • Get clients to embrace what you offer so that they become brand ambassadors
  • Increase revenue and reduce churn
  • Create long-term customer relations 

To recap, customer success is all about creating the most value to a client at any given time and in any scenario. So, to provide awesome SaaS support, you should incorporate support and success concepts into your business.

6. Cultivate a collaborative environment

Your SaaS support team should not only realize all the importance and responsibility of helping clients but also be ready to work as the whole unit with the rest of the colleagues. Arrange team-wide workshops, webinars, and meet-ups. It’s a fair opportunity to share ideas and experience in a casual atmosphere. 

HelpCrunch gathers for weekly optional online meetings in our “Crunch Academy”. We prepare various reports about the challenges we face in our work, how we solve them, and what tools help us do our best for customers and the brand. I guess this may be a perfect example for your team to follow 🙂 

7. Establish proper customer support KPIs 

Metrics come in a variety of shapes and sizes in the customer support SaaS world, but we’ll try to crack down the most important ones. 

Let’s break SaaS customer service KPIs into three groups to set things right:

Support agents level 

These metrics usually help look at your team’s performance and detect pain points as soon as possible. Consider these:

  • Average ticket resolution times
  • Number of chats closed
  • Feedback score 
  • Average handle time 

Team level

Team-based metrics are used to measure the activity of the whole unit. They evaluate the quality of service delivered and give a better idea of the challenges within each team. Arm with these criteria:

  • Average response time
  • Highest wait time
  • Average customer satisfaction score 

Management level

By keeping track of the following metrics, management teams can get a view on ROI and new opportunities for the SaaS support delivered:

  • Customer satisfaction score year to date
  • Number of customer engagements year to date
  • Average answer speed year to date
  • Customer lifetime value

Bottom Line

Customer support as a service should be the top priority for a business that wants to have pleased users in its client base. Without proper assistance, your customers would struggle with your product features. And that often leads to negative emotions and impressions. You need just positive word of mouth, don’t you?

Include the tips above in your arsenal to spruce up your SaaS support. Don’t forget to have your customer support and customer success teams on the same page, too. Two heads are better than one, as they say. 

To deliver outstanding customer service by providing effective solutions, a delightful experience, and to make sure clients reach out to you using their favorite communication channels, creating an account with HelpCrunch is all it takes. 

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Les Melnichenko

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