Customer support is one of the most important considerations for any blossoming and established business. How people feel when they use a service, interact with a team, or are treated when they come to customer support for help with a product, can make or break any business.
We are human beings; we are social, and how we are treated significantly impacts our behavior - including purchasing decisions. We also like things to be relatively easy - we don’t want to jump through unnecessary hoops or have to call multiple people to get an answer to a mundane question, especially when engaging with a new offering in a B2B capacity.
Software as a Service (or SaaS) is different from many other services in that it’s usually almost entirely online. There’s unlikely to be a dedicated, physical store that people can visit to speak to a member of staff. So how can you best enhance customer support for a SaaS business?
Create a library of information online
The first thing your team should do before investing in any other solutions is to create an online resource center. It can be in the form of a library of information, such as an FAQs section that includes questions like "Can AI power customer conversations?" or "What's the best software to help improve customer support?.
Your library of information should be as exhaustive as possible. If a question has already been answered for any particular subject, it should be included in the library (provided it’s relevant to more than just one person). Your library should be alphabetised by subject matter and include a search bar to make the customer’s life as easy as possible.
It should also be regularly updated to remove any redundancies or inaccuracies and to clean up dead links. The only thing worse than missing information is false information. On that same note, make sure to remove any circular information trails. It is where the customer is sent around in circles from one page to the next without ever finding the answer to their question.
Finally, your library of information should be easy to find on your website and via links in your marketing emails.
Use the help of AI in the form of chatbots
Imagine a worker who never sleeps, who is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They’re always in a good mood, and they know the right thing to say most of the time - and when they don’t have the answer, they’re not afraid to ask questions. We’re not talking about inhumane labor conditions coupled with a ton of caffeine, don’t worry!
We’re talking about chatbots, integral to many customer experience management systems. As well as being available at any time of day or night, they’re also a cost-effective way of providing the first point of contact for a customer who might otherwise get frustrated and give up on your company.
A chatbot is a great way to get answers to commonly asked questions, and artificial intelligence is only getting better, with improving speech analytics capabilities, so the questions they will be able to answer and the manner, will become more complex. Even if it can’t answer your customer’s question straight away, the chatbox can log the query into a customer service tool where it will be addressed by an actual human during working hours.
Group requests by type
Another way to enhance your customer support is by making how you sort through the queries more efficient and logical - this is a pretty important customer service objective. By grouping requests by type, you can expend less time and energy answering them because they will broadly require the same knowledge base and research, which avoids too much duplication of work.
You can also group the requests by type to send the grouped questions to customer service agents who know more about a particular area than their colleagues. For example, subscription questions can all go to one person, tech support, and bug fixes to another.
It means less work for your team and a faster response rate for your customers. And, time being money, this also equates to more efficient use of your financial resources.
Check out your feedback
For some reason, people don’t always want to complain or give feedback to your team directly. Maybe this has something to do with conflict aversion. However, most people feel comfortable leaving feedback online, and this can be a goldmine for you and your company.
Free feedback that you can peruse and see how to improve your customer support service? Winning! While it might seem daunting to look at negative feedback, treat it as an opportunity to gain an honest, clear view of your services and how you can improve. Some feedback won’t be relevant or fair. Your energy and time are best spent looking at the constructive feedback that can alert you to problems within your system.
Keep an eye on social media
Social media is another place you can find feedback from people, so keep an eye on your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Social media is also a great way to interact with current and prospective customers, so make sure you catch any comments or questions and answer them for some stellar and personal customer service.
You can make it a habit to check your social media once or twice a week to see if you have any direct messages or comments. As well as being a marketing channel, these can be a source of new customers. Answering messages not only helps the individual whose question is being answered is not only good for them, but it also makes you look good to onlookers - anyone who might be considering using your services.
Ask for more feedback from users
As well as looking at what people are saying and engaging with customers and potential customers who have left comments, you can actively request feedback from your users.
It shows that you care about their opinions and experiences, which is a big part of customer service. It also gives you the chance to implement their suggestions which makes your software as a Service better and your customers feel heard and respected. You can even offer a sales quiz to see which products your customers are most interested in.
You can ask for feedback at several points in your interactions with customers. You can ask for feedback on your customer service after an initial consultation or a week or two after they begin to use your product. Dialpad's guide to customer touchpoints can help you figure out when to ask for feedback.
You can ask for feedback via your chatbot or email, or even on social media. The advantage of the last option is that it can feel more interactive to give feedback alongside others, and through likes, you can also see how many people agree with a specific piece of feedback.
Get your onboarding process on point
Once you’ve made a sale, the next step is to get your onboarding process on point - you can use resources like this customer onboarding strategy. The easier this is, the less your customer service team will have to work answering questions that have been addressed during onboarding.
You can supply a thorough manual, a tutorial video, or an interactive lesson to help people use your software. This will make their experience of using your product simpler and reduce the pressure on your customer service team.
Make sure everyone on your team knows the product inside out
If your customer support team and your designers are on the same page, you will be able to put out an excellent product that is user-friendly and requires less customer service support. With customer support teams sharing the feedback with designers who can then integrate into product updates, you can end up with a product that requires less work from the customer service agents.
Designers, in turn, can also inform customer service teams about particulars surrounding the product that can be useful in their jobs working with the customers. Sharing is caring, especially when dealing with offering a seamless customer journey!
Automate to have more time for your customers
Finally, the more processes you can automate, the more time you can make for human-to-human interaction with your customers. By automating as much of your marketing or invoicing or emailing as possible, you can free up time and resources to pour into customer service. Data analytics and ML for communication service providers can help you to figure out where you can streamline further.
And by streamlining customer service by making lots of information available in your information library and through your chatbot, when customers need to speak to a person, you can offer a deeper, more personalized experience because you will have the time to do so.
Enhance your customers’ user experience
Good SaaS customer support relies on knowledge sharing. This is both in-house, between different teams and departments, and online with your customers by building a coherent and exhaustive library, FAQ section, or using the attached crm tools examples which you regularly maintain.
The more you can automate, the better it is for your time and availability - you can save time and money and then pour those into providing stellar and personalized customer service. Finally, feedback is everything. Look out for it, ask for it, respond to it, and use it to your advantage.
One of the advantages of self-serve SaaS with a free trial is the increase in leads. While many of these free trial users will lapse and become inactive, there are ways to regain control.
“We were looking for a solution that was really easy to use, didn’t require a tech team, and would have a robust integration with Salesforce so we could trigger sales communications in a smarter way. Nobody else out there has what Ortto has.”