In the cutthroat world of SaaS, a mere 5% increase in customer retention can unlock a 25% profit surge.
No wonder customer support sits on a goldmine – one primed for excavation with the right SaaS support model and strategies. But simply "solving queries" won't unlock SaaS customer success.
Fierce competition and rising customer expectations, amplified by advancements in AI, demand a proactive and quickly-adapting approach. Customer support agents in SaaS now need to nurture interest and confidence at every client touchpoint.
In this article, we’ve gathered both non-intuitive and more classy (yet necessary) tips for creating your SaaS customer support “A-team” driven by a deep commitment to fostering customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, based on our experience throughout the last months and research data with recent trends.
⚠️ Spoiler: And No. AI isn’t the main thing on the list. Yes, AI will be necessary this year. But is it going to be the game-changing factor that helps your customer support team stand out? No. These tips will.
Before delving into the "how," let's paint a clear picture of the "why."
Understanding the evolving landscape of customer expectations in SaaS is crucial for building an A-class customer support SaaS team that thrives in 2024 and beyond.
Drawing from our vast experience assisting diverse industries at EverHelp, here are the key trends from 2021 and now, redefining SaaS customer support:
Considering all these trends, we came up with advanced as well as some basic tips to do to upgrade SaaS customer success at every touchpoint.
Let’s start with the tips that you won’t find in most customer support guides. Some of these tips became game-changing points when we were helping our EverHelp SaaS client to improve product review score from 3.5 to 4.8.
One of the most popular SaaS customer support best practices is omnichannel presence. While seamless omnichannel experiences are ideal, sometimes less can be more when delivering quality customer service. Only 7% of the help centers that offer multiple service channels can transition customers between channels without challenges.
That’s why, if you have a limited number of sources and can’t manage customer support perfectly across all channels, strategic channel selection becomes key.
Although customers crave accessible and convenient support, that doesn't necessarily mean bombarding them with every possible channel. Just like HubSpot excels at prioritizing customer support channels based on customer demographics, usage patterns, and subscription value:
❗To prioritize your channels for a better SaaS customer retention, know your audience well. Offering app chat instead of chatbots to Gen Z might be a stupid idea, while older generations could prefer the human touch of digital avatars. By analyzing preferred communication channels, you ensure high-quality interactions on the channels that matter most.
Modern businesses are embracing a proactive approach to SaaS customer engagement, anticipating and addressing issues before they become problems. This shift, known as proactive support, is changing the game - transforming reactive customer care into a proactive power leading to customer confidence and loyalty.
Adobe saw a 15% boost in customer satisfaction after implementing these initiatives. Practice support is what fosters confidence and prevents panic.
Some other examples of proactive SaaS customer support initiatives to implement are:
This shift towards anticipating customer issues and addressing them before they escalate can become your winning SaaS customer engagement strategy in 2024.
Customers are ready to spend between 20-40% more on solutions that quickly resolve their requests. If your team has a database with saved replies to answer quickly, you can significantly increase the response time. To create the database, you just need to gather together the most answered questions, write replies, and organize them within one system. Usually, all CRMs have such functions as saving standard replies:
Authentic connection isn't just a feel-good buzzword; it's a strategic imperative.
In 2024, customers will WANT a connection with the product they subscribe to, 89% of consumers and loyal to brands that share their values. And that is HUGE. This seismic shift presents a monumental opportunity for businesses: building genuine human connections through every interaction is the new gold standard of customer loyalty. A friendly tone, a helpful hand, a genuine expression of understanding – these seemingly simple gestures close the gap and foster lasting loyalty.
Here’re some practical steps:
So, open your doors, open your hearts, and invite your customers in.
Ending support tickets with a question can be a great way to build customer relationships and ensure their satisfaction. Here are some ways to leverage this technique effectively:
To play even harder - consider having a small talk or friendly conversation with a customer after the ticket is resolved. Also, in case the customer doesn’t reply after the issue is resolved, consider sending the message within 48 hours. One message is enough to not be pushy. Don't overwhelm the customer with follow-ups.
By asking the right questions, analyzing data, and collaborating effectively, you can ensure your team is delivering excellent SaaS customer support and optimizing its performance.
Some questions to bring to the table, divided into sections:
Questions with Customer Centricity:
Questions for Proactive Problem-Solving:
Questions for team learning and growth:
Bonus Tip: Don't hesitate to customize these questions based on your specific team, goals, and challenges. The more relevant and focused your inquiries are, the more valuable the resulting discussions will be.
Time is the most valuable source. Customers subscribe for solutions first of all to save their time. Therefore, a customer support team that can’t get straight to the point is not only annoying but also negatively affects customer retention. Focus on essential information exchange. Use clear and concise language, avoid technical jargon when possible, and get to the heart of the matter quickly and efficiently.
Also, stay problem-focused, no matter what (this one is quite stressful for customer representatives, we know!). But the truth is that the customer is the one who pays and expects customer support to solve the issues (ironically, even when the problem can’t be resolved).
If you feel puzzled about this, here are some examples of how to keep a positive tone even if the issue can’t be resolved:
Feel the difference:
The old-school strategy “buy, die, or unsubscribe” doesn’t work anymore. With so many options in the market and the crisis increasing in many industries, customers are savvier than ever. They need actual reasons and time to weigh options and make a buying decision based on their inner motivations.
If you're telling the customer about a new deal or something, remind them why and how it's better than their current plan. Also, give customers the time to make a decision whether they want to upgrade their subscription or not. The slow burner in your industry can become a winning strategy in 2024.
While cost savings are certainly a benefit, the true value of AI lies in its ability to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Faster resolutions, tailored solutions, and proactive support based on data-driven insights can build trust and create long-term relationships.
Here’s how generative AI can be used smartly to achieve better results:
Let customers self-service with a collaborative SaaS help desk. Cultivate a thriving online community where customers can connect, share knowledge base, and solve problems amongst themselves. In 2024, help desk should not be just a static repository. Encourage user contributions and edits, as in HubSpot's Knowledge Hub:
This creates a living resource tailored to your customer's specific needs, promoting self-sufficiency and reducing repetitive inquiries.
Use screenshots whenever possible and other visual materials to assist users:
In addition to the mentioned help desk knowledge base examples, it’s recommended to build forums like Atlassian's, fostering a sense of belonging and empowering customers to become self-sufficient brand advocates.
Invest in the right CRM system, a digital sidekick that automates routine processes like ticket logging, routing, and even basic troubleshooting. Free your agents to focus on complex issues and proactive outreach, building deeper customer relationships that drive loyalty and boost your SaaS success. Remember, automation isn't a replacement for human connection, but rather a fuel injector for delivering exceptional support that sets your brand apart.
Some of the most popular choices are:
Bonus tip: To stay on a safe side, we also have within our team a system of setup alerts and notifications. So, if there is a failure in our CRM or if an anomalous number of requests falls on one of the projects, we can quickly respond to any changes and make quick decisions.
If your team has loads of customers and it’s challenging to reply to all at once, it’s time to prioritize SaaS customer success metrics. Here are some crucial KPIs with suggested best practices:
At EverHelp, each person within a team has clearly set goals definition, knows how and where to track these goals, and has a personal skills-development plan for growth. It all plays a huge role in our growth strategy.
The SaaS world moves at warp speed, and your support team needs to be agile enough to keep up. Invest in continuous training and development programs that equip them with the latest features, industry trends, and best practices. Think immersive boot camps like Salesforce's training programs, where agents become tech ninjas ready to tackle any customer conundrum.
At EverHelp, we have boards in the knowledge base for each customer agent and manager with goals and progress tracking, where we prescribe which skills need to be improved and conduct training specifically on these weaknesses.
Don't let valuable customer insights languish in a digital void. Create a robust customer feedback system that captures their experiences, both positive and negative. Integrate tools like Slack's feedback channels to seamlessly weave customer voices into product updates and service improvements. Remember, their whispers can become your loudest victory cries.
Leverage advanced data analytics (check this full guide for more info) to gain actionable insights into customer behavior, agent performance, and recurring issues. This data-driven approach empowers you to optimize resource allocation, predict customer needs, and proactively address concerns before they escalate.
Remember, trust is your most valuable asset, and a single breach can shatter customer confidence and loyalty. Prioritize data security and privacy in every customer interaction and consider these practices:
Bonus Tip: Leverage external security audits by reputable firms to gain an independent assessment of your security posture and identify potential vulnerabilities.
Remember, excellence in SaaS support is not a destination but a continuous journey of learning, optimization, and exceeding customer expectations. Embrace these tips, and let your commitment to customer-centricity become your winning formula in SaaS market.
Always keep in mind that excellent SaaS support necessitates exploration, improvement, and going above and beyond for customers. Use these tactics, and your dedication to customer service will propel your SaaS to new heights.
Are you prepared to elevate your support capabilities and propel your SaaS enterprise to new heights? Journey with a companion! Choose EverHelp, the premier outsourcing service for SaaS customer support, as your partner in growth. Sign up for a call with EverHelp team now and learn how we can assist you in crafting extraordinary customer support experiences following the tips above and beyond.