The manufacture, release, and marketing remain the core principles of the business industry, no questions asked.
However, more is needed to constitute an effective business model despite being crucial. There needs to be more than sufficient for the successful functioning of a system, especially on a long-term ideal.
With the current scenario placing a heavy dependence on the consumer, and the customer's increased interest regarding their services, managing a transparent and responsible system for customer service becomes inevitable.
What is customer support?
From a business point of view, customer support can be defined as the designated team who focuses on helping customers when they have concerns regarding the products manufactured by a firm or the services they offer.
The overall goal is to ensure customer satisfaction and to clear out any issues they might need help with.
An effective customer service system goes a long way in maintaining or even improving the firm's overall profits.
That is in terms of maintaining or building an improved customer base, as the word of experience from one customer to another is more powerful than any other promotional measure you could take. One in the following respects can appreciate the effect of good customer service.
- Improves customer retention.
- Boosts brand reputation.
- Builds customer lifetime value.
- Extended support from peers.
Customer support, however, is slightly different from customer service. Customer support mainly focuses on making the resources available to the customer and addresses how to be part of the system.
The support team is concerned about taking care of technical doubts and fixing them rather than focussing on keeping the customer happy as the primary goal.
Customer satisfaction, in the case of customer support, is an implied result rather than the primary target.
The impact of customer support
Resolving customer discrepancies and clarifying their concerns is essential to maintaining a good consumer crowd. Only a reliable pool of customers to count on extended ventures and experimentation within your business is encouraged. Hence, by maintaining a user-friendly customer support system, you also indirectly boost your firm and its functioning by ensuring you have a safety net to bounce back on.
However, developing such a loyal customer base could be an elaborate and taxing endevourṣ. The result of this meticulous work is fruitful, and several professionals worldwide can vouch for the same. Hence, it is highly recommended that you spend enough time and energy setting up an effectively functioning system to manage your customer to think about your future goals more deliberately and responsibly.
Defining SaaS customer support
SaaS customer support can be defined as assisting customers regarding all aspects of your product.
SaaS support begins from the initial stage of helping your customer make the best possible purchase and extends to address their post-sales needs. Ultimately, it forms the foundation of a strong and reliable customer relationship.
Initially, customer service was said to be great, provided they responded promptly and provided reliable information that covered all the concerns posed by the customer.
In a nutshell, it was a conversation initiated by the customer and clarified by the customer service team.
With the days progressing towards a knowledgeable progeny of consumers, the approach to answering questions seemed insufficient. In that case, influential business magnates and professionals developed an integral or proactive system.
Elements of customer support in SaaS
An effective customer support model depends on more than simply allowing comfortable and successful interaction. More than simply satisfying the customer, an applaudable customer service work model would be one functioning with a clear objective and strategy implemented in a well-thought-out manner.
A few crucial areas to address while setting up your customer support system that you should take notice of are as follows.
1. Train your customer service agents
The customer service professionals who communicate with customers should have sufficient skills and techniques to help them put forth their answers in an informative yet polite way. Effective communication requires quite a bit of experience, especially with customer support. One will also have to look into the details and specifications of the product or service in question.
The workers in both teams mustṣ be sensitised and kept up to date with all the occurrences and undertakings of the others as well, as they will have to navigate through their work process accordingly. Apart from competent onboarding workers who are dedicated to work and possess the required skill set, they must build good team cooperation and hierarchy among themselves. Working as a unit is crucial for developing a self-sustainable customer support forum.
2. Documentation is key
There are several innovative ways to improve communication skills and train accordingly.
For starters, you can create a clear and concise document covering all the aspects of technical communication and customer service FAQs you would often be addressed and work on formulating appropriate ways to approach the concerns posed.
Through such effective means of process documentation, you can quickly identify areas that need work and concentrate on strengthening your skill explicitly set.
Targeted strength work is often better than a generalised check to improve quality. This is a universally accepted fact, extending across any activity irrespective of its nature.
3. Working on self-help content
Effectively writing up self-help content holds great importance in the customer support arena.
As mentioned earlier, forward systems like SaaS customer support focus on long customers and clear out their concerns instantly through a simple search on the website. However, it is up to the customer support team to make such pre-written clarifications accessible to the general consumer.
4. Customer support tools
There are now tools available in the market to cater to the widespread need of professionals and clients focussed on different streams and sectors.
With that, the simultaneous growth in technology has led to the development of a massive progeny of software and applications, which help simplify almost every process along the way.
That being said, SaaS customer support has been spared from the list. There are now several ways in which you can make use of software assistance to boost how you build your customer support system.
5. Workflow automation
One of the most effective ways to incorporate this into your work system is through tools like Scribe, which help you automate your workflow. Starting with documenting your processes, scribe lets you look back on all your actions retrospectively and records them for further reference. Apart From this, the tools also report the collected data effectively, sparing you from the taxing work of management.
6. Use a common forum
Keeping track of all your customer interactions and recording the conversations you indulge in is very important for the technical and legal aspects. For this purpose, the advanced design of SaaS support systems allows you to manage all your history and transactions in one place, irrespective of how you connect with the customer.
Many leading companies and workspaces worldwide have started creating their online workspaces, with limited access to their workforce, to allow effective communication. Having a specified forum meant only for your work unit promotes extensive communication and incorporates all necessary tools in a one-stop location.
7. Track your performance
Apart from focussing on the process and customers, it is equally important that you keep track of your personal growth and skill development during your work. Instead of using old-school paper-based means or outdated spreadsheets, you can now use tools and documentation software assistants to manage these reports. Such tools come with added services that help you track KPIs and create descriptions for you to reflect on.
Out of all the necessary criteria to be met, the three main areas you should focus on would be ticket volume, average response time, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. You should also be comparing the details gathered in the present with the past to understand how your measures and activities are impacting the outcome.
8. Customer feedback
Like in any other process, customer feedback is one of the most crucial elements for improvement and progress. Only through honest and timely criticism and feedback can one out any system flaws and inconveniences raised in the workflow. Having such details pointed out by the customers through surveys can also improve interaction.
To obtain feedback effectively and gradually, one can simply leave the links for the forms or surveys at the end of any content or web page. Often, insights from customers and clients can help you acquire an alternate outlook on the existing problems and develop strategies accordingly.
Successful forerunners in SaaS customer support
In the current industry, several leading businesses and brands use SaaS systems in an unbelievably effective manner, making the best out of their customer team and providing the best possible experience for those working on both ends.
Here are a few noteworthy ones to understand how your firm can benefit from successfully implementing a flawless customer support network.
Shopify is a simple subscription-oriented software for entrepreneurs to assist them in managing online stores and catering to a global audience.
The firm was quite popular recently because it boosted its social media presence by creating a dedicated Twitter handle for customer support. The setup effortlessly achieved outstanding levels of customer satisfaction. It gained excellent positive reviews, costing 83% less than what would have been if it had followed a generic call centre interaction mode of customer support.
With its critically acclaimed email marketing system, MailChimp enables its users to develop extensively curated campaigns along with accurate and robust data analysis. The intricately managed SaaS system provides all the necessary answers without searching for them. The help centre is designed in such a way that it can automatically help you with essential activities like creating an account, choosing your audience, and creating as well as viewing campaigns.
Headspace has been greatly appreciated for its onboarding strategy via email, including all the required data in the best possible arrangement. This email campaign draws the user's attention, promoting their product casually through cleverly progressing write-ups.
Improved customer support practices
Even with a properly designed customer support system with clear objectives, there will always be ways to improve your customer support system. There will always be room for improvement, as the minds and knowledge of the customers keep oscillating with time. Here are a few possible points you can start from.
1. Easier onboarding
It is the process of getting new customers and users to use and incorporate SaaS products into their routines in the best possible way. One can quickly achieve an excellent, frictionless system, ensuring the best possible efficiency.
Rather than just hiring, it also includes providing good training and support to your employees once you hire them. With a team of competent and passionate people, customer support becomes enjoyable, smooth communication is set up, and additional effort becomes unnecessary.
3. Support & product systems
Since the support team focuses entirely on backing up the product created by the product team, businesses should try and close the communication gap between both teams to all extent.
Only with detailed information regarding the product with all the specifications the support team can formulate all the essential self-help material. It is also crucial for creating a sustainable user manual or guide that is practically applicable.
In a nutshell, one should remember that the nature of these explanations should target the entire target population and is to be written in a way that would quickly get through to all of them with no questions asked. This proactive approach to customer concerns is followed through in SaaS support systems, where the information and details are available to the customers before they raise an issue or question.