How AI is Changing the Customer Service Industry

It’s no surprise that AI (Artificial Intelligence) is really starting to make an impact in the customer service industry. How companies interact with customers is being strongly influenced by this emerging technology. Sure, the “chat bot” comes to mind immediately, but even that has taken a backseat to larger uses of AI which still involve (and improve upon) the human element.

Customers often seek out service because they have a problem and they want a person to empathize with them and make it right. Even with extremely sophisticated AI, a chat bot won’t be able to relate to a human experience, especially if it’s fueled by an emotional attachment.

So, how is AI changing the customer service industry to enable agents to make these human-to-human moments more impactful? Here are a few ways…

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The Importance of Customer Success for SaaS Companies

One of the unique ways a SaaS company operates is that they exist in a constantly changing environment. New software versions are being pushed live, with innovative features rolling out the door on a regular basis. But, with all these changes, problems can and will arise that require the attention of your customer team.

The job to communicate both the good and the bad about your SaaS product to your existing customer base often falls on the customer success team. Don’t have a customer success team built up and fully thriving in your business? Here are some key points to highlight the importance of having a customer success team in a SaaS business… 

They keep current customers happy and decrease churn – This is very important for the SaaS industry where recurring revenue is essential. Once you get a customer set up, the technical infrastructure costs you incur to keep that customer running are minimal. The longer a SaaS company retains a customer, the easier it is to maximize their revenue from the relationship. A SaaS company with a high churn rate is often missing a key component of customer success.

Customer success can increase the appeal of your product roadmap – A customer success department that frequently holds check-in meetings can acquire essential product information that’s impossible to obtain otherwise. For example, your biggest customer may tell you they are happy over the phone, but sending a customer success person to their operation can improve their experience with your product even further. In addition, the needs and wants of your current customers are often aligned with what your prospects are looking for. Let these common customer requests shape your product roadmap and craft your messages to existing prospects to help boost new business opportunities. Saying “we’re adding that soon” to a prospect is much better than “we don’t have that”.

Click here to download our whitepaper on the importance of communication and onboarding for SaaS companies!

Customer success helps in improving internal communication - The concept of a customer success team is to do everything within their means to ensure customers are successful with your business. This often includes being the voice of the customer within your organization to get things done. SaaS companies that don’t focus on customer success will have customers communicating directly with developers, IT, and more. While we strongly believe every employee plays a role in customer service, it's not efficient to have customers contacting your highly technical (and often expensive) departments when many of the questions they have for these employees can often be answered by a customer success team. Keep customer communication to a small group (such as the success team) and you’ll see employee efficiency and morale increase. There should never be a need for a customer to navigate your company hierarchy on their own.

 

To summarize, customer success is important for SaaS companies because they're a constant voice of the customer for your business. By investing in customer success, you’ll notice that the communication you have with your customers will be more impactful to both parties. Not only does this team benefit the bottom line in a positive way, but they're beloved by colleagues because they are the true owners of the customer relationship in any business.

 

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