SaaS Customer Support in 2022: Examples, Best Practices
Your customers are the most important part of your business. As such, customer support is an integral part of any SaaS business strategy.
SaaS customer support enables you to build better customer relationships. When customers can have direct contact with your customer support to get guidance on how to resolve their issues, it’s the best way to boost loyalty and make a connection that lasts.
Done right, SaaS customer support can significantly impactful your bottom line, retention, product development, and digital adoption.
What Is SaaS Customer Support?
SaaS customer support is the process of providing assistance and support to your SaaS product customers. From helping them make informed buying decisions to supporting their post-deal needs, SaaS customer support helps you nurture prosperous relationships with your clients.
SaaS customer support teams function as a point of direct contact and resolution for customers. Whenever customers face any challenges or have any questions, they can connect with your customer support reps for personalized assistance.
Importance of SaaS Customer Support
SaaS customer support is one of the most insightful ways to understand your customer’s experience with your company. It serves as a vital resource for both your product and engineering teams to influence their future planning.
SaaS support is also one of the few ways your customers can connect with real people in your business. The values and manners your customer support staff demonstrate define your organization’s reputation, and a positive reputation can retain customers even more effectively than your software product itself. With increasing competition and high customer churn rates, it’s essential to retain as many customers as you can, and your support team plays a key role in doing that.
5 Elements of a Successful SaaS Customer Support Strategy
It’s often assumed that all it takes to have good customer support is hire the right people. While that is certainly important in the long run of your support strategy, there are some other essential elements needed. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Using the right tools and resources
The tools you use can hugely enhance your SaaS customer support team’s efficiency. By choosing the right customer support software for your team, your business can boost productivity and customer satisfaction.
Teams that use SaaS customer support software can:
- Monitor performance.
- Easily track all conversations in one place.
- Automate workflows.
- Reduce support tickets with self-help content.
2. Well-trained customer support reps
Your SaaS customer support reps are the pillars of your customer support model. How they interact with customers directly impacts the success of your business.
While your support reps know the basic features of your software product, it’s still important to prioritize consistent, ongoing training about your offerings and how to connect with customers. In addition to standard technical and customer service training, coach them on soft skills like empathy, active listening, problem-solving, and patience.
3. Defined customer support philosophy
A defined set of goals outlining what you’re hoping to offer to customers and accomplish with your offerings will help provide meaningful support that your customers value and appreciate.
Answering questions about your ideal tone and voice, your approach to handling customer escalations and frustrations, and what differentiates you from your top competitors will help shape your ideal strategy.
4. Seamless customer onboarding
The goal of SaaS customer onboarding is to incorporate your product into a customer’s daily routine with minimal friction and maximum efficiency. But SaaS onboarding isn’t just about telling users how to navigate a learning flow or which buttons to click. For successful customer onboarding, you must help customers achieve their goals – the true meaning of customer success.
Whatfix drives user adoption and onboarding across all of your applications with personalized guidance and embedded learn-by-doing techniques. Whatfix ensures that customer develop a high level of application proficiency within a short period of time to see better results faster.
5. Build a close relationship between support and product
Your SaaS customer support reps spend most of their time talking directly to customers – they know what they want, their pain points and struggles, and how they communicate.
To foster a collaborative team environment, include customer support reps in product team meetings, share customer feedback with product and development teams, highlight customer experiences via survey responses, and prioritize building relationships between departments. Making a strong connection between customer support and the rest of your company will help keep your focus on the customer.
5 Best Practices for SaaS Customer Support
There is much more to providing outstanding customer support than being punctual and polite to customers. Companies need to outline strategies that make the most of every interaction. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these top best practices for SaaS customer support:
1. Proper documentation
Having proper documentation on your product, processes, and best practices is essential for providing a great customer experience.
New SaaS customer support employee onboarding is much easier if you’ve written down the information they’ll need to be successful, and current employees can easily reference the material if they need a refresher. Process documentation ensures all support reps are following the same protocol and support is consistent across the board.
2. Monitor progress and support
SaaS customer support success requires you to monitor your performance closely to ensure your team is able to quickly resolve problems and customers are happy with their interactions. Customer support metrics tell you exactly how you’re performing against your target goals and help you adapt an appropriate strategy if performance isn’t meeting expectations.
With SaaS help desk software, you can capture crucial metrics and KPIs. For example, you can monitor the average ticket response time and see how quickly agents respond to customer issues or queries. You can even identify the popular communication channels used by customers to contact your team and adjust your goals and strategy based on their behavior.
3. Be proactive vs reactive
Reactive support is no longer helpful in avoiding customer churn. By being proactive, you can identify problems and prepare for problems before they escalate beyond repair.
Here are some ways your SaaS company can offer proactive customer support:
- Apologize for mistakes
- Be active on social media
- Share email newsletters
4. Collect customer feedback
The best resource for telling how you’re doing with your SaaS customer support is your own customer base. Offer several opportunities for your customers to tell you what you’re doing well and where you can improve.
Include links at the end of your support emails that prompt customers to share whether the provided support was adequate or could be improved. You may also consider using surveys to gauge customer satisfaction, how much support they need, and whether or not they would recommend your product. These product feedback efforts will help you understand how to improve your customer support strategy and the overall platform.
Above: Example of an in-app survey created with Whatfix
5. Automate tedious tasks
If you discover your customer support reps constantly executing the same tedious and time-consuming tasks, it might be time to start thinking about automation.
For example, if your support reps are manually handling requests that can otherwise be resolved using templatized direction, it might make sense to automate those responses to save time and effort. The same applies to many day-to-day activities on a support team like creating new support tickets and closing resolved cases. Many customer support software platforms offer automation features you can take advantage of.
4 Types of SaaS Customer Support Software
Here are the four types of SaaS customer support software to help your team:
1. Help desk ticketing system
No matter how user-friendly your SaaS product is, customers will always have questions. Add in the complexity and dynamic nature of software, and it’s even more crucial that your customers have direct line access to your support team to get their issues resolved and questions answered.
With help desk software, you can provide that direct line of communication between your support reps and your customers, improving the customer relationship and making the process more efficient for everyone involved. Many help desk tools also let you offer proactive support through knowledge bases and automated messages.
2. Chatbots and live chat software
Communication is critical in any business, which is why there are so many ways to connect with customers in real time, including messaging and live chat features.
The best messaging and chat tools should help customer support teams to:
- Assign customer conversations
- Search and filter customer conversations
- Enable effective collaboration
3. Knowledge base software
A knowledge base houses FAQs, company information, and product-related documentation that may be helpful for customers and employees alike. Knowledge bases software typically use artificial intelligence (AI) to organize and keep data up to date. For example, when a customer enters a query in a knowledge base, the software uses AI to help them narrow down an answer – reducing the need to contact customer support.
Another advantage to using a knowledge base is the SEO benefit you get by publishing helpful, customer-centric content on your website. Prospects and customers will find your website via Google by searching for questions you have answered in your knowledge base.
4. Digital adoption platforms (DAPs)
A Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) simplifies onboarding and improves user experience by guiding users through task completion and adoption of new features. With the use of AI, analytics, and automation, DAPs can provide easy onboarding, better training, and improved support to users through the contextual content displayed at the time of requirement.
Whatfix is a DAP for internal employees and end-user customers. Whatfix has ab in-app self-help feature that enables real-time help and is repeatedly noted for the support team’s quality and quick response time.
5 Examples of SaaS Companies with Great Customer Support
Software and support is a powerful combination. With so many SaaS customer support tools to choose from, we’ve created a list of the top five companies with outstanding SaaS customer support to help drive inspiration for your business.
MailChimp is an email marketing service platform that helps users create email campaigns and measure success with data analysis. The company’s help center can help you set up your account, choose your audience, create a campaign, and view campaign reports in easy steps.
To cater to a global audience, MailChimp offers its help center in multiple languages including English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and German. From getting-started tutorials to articles on how to reach your audience, there is plenty of knowledge to gain. If users still have a question that isn’t covered, they can easily send an inquiry through the contact form.
Shopify is a subscription-based software that allows entrepreneurs to set up an online store and sell their products to a global audience.
Shopify has been quick to realize that solving an issue on social media is 83% cheaper compared to resolving it through a call center interaction. As a result, the company makes the most of its dedicated Twitter handle for support. The brand uses its account to respond to customer complaints and share proactive notifications, important updates, or news.
While it may not seem like a form of customer support because it doesn’t involve interacting with an agent, creating an effective self-service portal is an essential component of any SaaS support strategy. But that doesn’t just mean writing answers to a few commonly-asked questions. Instead, the goal should be to design an informative, user-friendly resource that essentially serves as a stand-in for a support agent.
Slack simplifies the process of finding answers by including an auto-suggest feature in its self-service search bar. Even if a user isn’t exactly sure how to phrase a question, this feature makes it easy to navigate directly to the most relevant article for their needs.
While most companies house information about their support channels on a “Help” or “Support” page, Hive makes it easier for users to get in touch by including a support icon on every page. When a user clicks this icon, they have the option to either contact a support agent via live chat, search for a question, or request a demo. This list of options not only makes it easy for visitors to get the help they need, but also caters to them at multiple stages of the buying process.
If you’re looking for concrete ways to improve your self-help resources, you can take a page out of Canva’s book by asking for feedback.
By asking what they could do better, they establish a direct line of communication with a visitor in need of help — while simultaneously collecting feedback that will help them improve their resources for all of their users.
Look at any successful SaaS business and you’ll see they all have one thing in common – outstanding customer support. Without timely, empathetic, thorough assistance, customers will end up creating more problems for themselves.
As your business grows, it’s crucial to innovate, improve, and invest in your SaaS customer support. There will always be new tools you can experiment with, but tools like customer support software should be a staple in your tech lineup.
Whatfix allows SaaS customer support teams to create engaging, on-demand support and offers in-app reinforcement training to ensure reps and customers alike are using SaaS customer support tools to their fullest potential. Whatfix provides a step-by-step guidance system that allows users to perform any task from start to end successfully, reducing users’ confusion and their dependence on your customer support reps.
Learn more about how Whatfix can help you create on-demand support and in-app reinforcement training content today.