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Customers First: The Best B2B Customer Service Blog

The Role of Customer Support Software in Successful SaaS Companies

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 17, 2017 11:32:00 AM / by Matthew Brown

Operating a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) business can be very rewarding as it’s a great way to deploy software that has many benefits. It can also be challenging. But, if one industry understands the importance of how technology can aid your business, it’s the software industry. So what role can customer support software play in the success of a SaaS company? Here are a few ways this software can help keep your business prosperous and facilitate growth…

It can help reduce customer churn – If customers are not onboarded properly, churn can be a real issue for SaaS companies. Customer support software is great for keeping track of key information (including all customer interactions) that can lead to dissatisfied customers. For example, software can be utilized to make sure issues are responded to in a certain timeframe so customers don’t feel ignored. It can also display how satisfied a company or even a particular contact is though technology that measures “distress” via average ticket response times, total number of tickets, and other metrics.

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It can tell you how to improve your product – As a SaaS company, you likely have a product roadmap and vision for how your software will evolve in future versions. But does than plan match what your customers are looking for? Customer support software helps in not only resolving issues faster but it can be a central repository for all customers that you can learn from. Information such as common ticket types and ticket volume related to specific software areas is important to keep an eye on to make sure the needs of your customers are being met. It's also really easy to include a "feature request" ticket type to gather intel on what new features are most requested. After all, happy customers equal a successful business.

Increase your top of funnel leads – Not only can customer support software tell you how to improve your product, but it can also help in driving new top of funnel leads. How? For example, you can look within the support software at new customers to see what their common questions are, then have your sales people address these questions more clearly with prospects in the future. Sales is all about making sure someone feels comfortable with their software choice, and a resource of information to quell the future concerns of prospective customers is a great asset to have. Likewise if you offer a trial (as many SaaS companies do) you can track issues by trial accounts to understand where and how to improve the trial experience.

Teach support staff to identify needs that can be upsold – In a SaaS company, every employee is involved in sales in some form. No, your support staff shouldn’t be selling to your customers directly. Instead, since they're the people who are talking to your customers on a daily basis, train them when they should and should not to loop in a sales person. If a customer is looking to accomplish something that requires a higher tier software package, enable your support team to say more than just “that’s not available at your price point”. Instead, have them follow up with “I’m going to loop in Jen from our team to tell your more on how we can meet your needs” and tag them in easily via support software. Sales people love this type of introduction and it will be much more successful on both fronts.

Understand what customers are worth (or not) – Especially in SaaS, not all customers are created equal and there can be reasons why sometimes customer relationships simply do not work. A $5,000 per month customer may reach out to support more than one who spends $50,000 a month and this means higher maintenance costs for the lower value customer. It’s important to look at ticket volumes by customer via SaaS support software and then take it to another level – see how happy they are with your company – and determine if the relationship is a good fit for both of you. We’re instinctually trained to never want to lose a customer but sometimes they can do more harm than good to a business and its bottom line.  

In conclusion, customer support software has a major role in successful SaaS companies. It helps with not only customer retention but also increasing sales with current and new customers. The software can also be used to help employees communicate more efficiently and to evaluate the success of every customer relationship. It’s no surprise more SaaS companies are deploying customer support software solutions, sometimes for the first time, because of the many ways it can benefit a company both short and long term.

   

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