Exploring 8 best practices for SaaS customer support
No matter how well developed your product is, it’s likely that at some point along your customer’s journey, they’re going to have questions. When they do, it’s beneficial for many reasons that they’re met by an empathetic and efficient customer support team. Knowing what constitutes exceptional customer support and how to implement it can boost your business’s performance significantly. At FHG, we’re fluent in delivering SaaS customer support that ticks all the boxes. In this article, we share 8 best practices for SaaS customer support you need to know about and why it’s so important.
8 customer support best practices
Of course, having friendly and caring people on the other side of your customers phone calls, emails or DMs is essential. However, there are several other critical components to providing impactful customer support, which we explore below:
1. Prioritize documentation
An often overlooked, yet exceptionally beneficial customer support tool, is a comprehensive knowledge base. Yes, it takes time to create. However, creating this documentation is likely to pay off significantly down the track, in more ways than one.
Believe it or not, your customers don’t actually want to call you for support. Their preference is to find the answer to their question seamlessly through a self-service feature, such as a FAQs page. When customers can find the information they’re looking for without speaking to you, it’s a win-win. They find what they need and the volume of your incoming support tickets is slashed so your support team can focus on any pressing issues. Having a documented knowledge base can also make onboarding new employees a far simpler feat.
2. Connect your support team and your product
Building a solid bridge between your support team and the rest of your company can reduce the risk of many future struggles. Your support team has the most direct contact with your customers. They are likely to know them best. Facilitating a relationship between your support personnel and the rest of your company can help you focus on your customers’ needs and pain points as your company develops.
You can achieve this through circulating support conversations and regular briefings between other departments. This can keep the customer support team updated on product updates, service interruptions, launches and special offers. It can also keep your SaaS products teams informed about customer satisfaction.
3. Choose appropriate support channels
As with many things in life, it can be beneficial to do a few things with excellence than to deliver below-average performance in many things. In a nutshell, your customers are likely to prefer a quick and concise answer via any channel rather than a slow sub-par answer via their preferred channel. There’s no point in having a multitude of bilingual customer-facing channels, for example in-app support, Zendesk and Google Play Consol, if you don’t have a dedicated support team to tend to them.
When choosing your support channels, it pays to ensure they provide you with the opportunity to deliver improved customer support.
4. Be accessible
Customer support is to SaaS retention and growth what the sun is to photosynthesis. As such, you want to make your customer support features as accessible to your customers as possible. A contact form has little use hidden within the depths of your website, for example.
Allowing your customers to navigate their way to the support they need seamlessly can create a community of incredibly loyal customers. Logically placed ‘contact us’ buttons, live chat boxes and easy to spot search tabs are great for helping your customers access the help they need with ease.
5. Understand that speed is of the essence
A decade ago, a ‘Thanks for contacting us. We’ll respond to you within 1 business day.’ email would be tolerable. Fast forward to 2021 though, and customers have high expectations for response time. In fact, 75% of customers expect you to respond to them in less than 10 minutes. What do we want? Customer support! When do we want it? NOW!
With this in mind, if you haven’t already, it may be a great idea to consider implementing 24/7 live chat support. While it may feel like an added burden, especially to those accustomed to managing more traditional support channels like email, it can be well worth the adaptation. 41% of people opt for a live chat as a means of customer support. Why? Mostly because it’s fast (or supposed to be)!
6. Keep tabs on your progress
There are two parts to this. In order to keep tabs on your progress, your company needs to identify what progress looks like. What ‘good’ customer support looks like. What making a difference looks like. And not what it looks like to you, but rather what it looks like to your customers. Once you know, you’re able to measure your support team’s performance and progress. You’re also in a position to then comprehend the impact of your customer support efforts on your company growth.
Some great ways of measuring progress can be through monitoring ticket volume, average response times and general customer satisfaction with service levels. Another method can be by analyzing the number of free trial customers who become paid customers following a customer support experience.
7. Invite feedback often
When it comes to gauging your support performance, consider your customers as your most trusted advisors. Ensure you give them ample opportunity to give you feedback. And then take that feedback on board. A good way of collecting customer feedback is by including prompts for customers to rate their support experience once complete. You can do this via a link at the bottom of a support email, a check box at the end of a live chat or a phone survey at the end of a support call.
Offering your customers the chance to have their say often can allow your company incredible insights on how to enhance both your customer support and product.
8. Engage a support operation
There are many business facets, each of which requires and deserves individual attention and intention. SaaS customer support is one of them. And not all people have the skills and attitude required to deliver outstanding support. Many consumers are easily swayed based on the research they conduct themselves, which is often in the form of online reviews. When you offer a high level of customer support that generates positive customer experiences and feedback, you’re in a prime position to retain existing customers and attract new ones.
When a business grows or goes through a seasonal spike, so does their need for customer support. As such, businesses fall into the trap of falling off the growth train upon suddenly having to use most of their resources for supporting all their new customers instead of focussing on continuing to grow the business. Expert customer support operations exist to execute bespoke customer support on your behalf. Hiring a professional support team to take care of your customers through their journey with your product is one of the best practices for SaaS customer support.
Why is customer support critical to SaaS companies?
As mentioned, customer support is a lifeblood of most companies. And it’s a lot more than simply ‘answering queries’. So, why exactly is mastering your customer support so important?
- It’s one of the best ways to gauge how your customers truly feel about your business.
- Customer support often allows issues to surface in your inbox before anywhere else.
- It helps your business plan for the future based on deep insights.
- Your customer support is a reflection and extension of your brand.
- It can enhance your reputation and gain referral business.
- Customer support has the potential to drive retention more powerfully than your product.
The best customer support teams have a strong focus on knowing and understanding why they provide service to a customer. They adhere to a company culture of serving customers with an uncompromisingly high standard that thrives on trust and support extended across all touchpoints.
Level up your customer support game with FHG
As you can see, customer support in the SaaS game is not only ‘something to consider, it’s essential. At FHG, we have a common goal: to provide businesses like yours with the ultimate in customer support services, no matter the scope or location. We match your brand voice exactly and include all management and training so you can focus on what you do best, knowing your customer support is in exceptionally capable hands.
What’s more – getting started with us is easy. We can have you up and running with a full flexible support ops team in six simple steps and as little as a week. The results speak for themselves. Contact us to see what we can do for you.