While researching for one of my projects at StoryXpress, I came across articles that talk about the importance of customer support in various product or service domains. Most of these articles mentioned that how support can become a critical point since it may make or break a business, if not handled in a proper manner. Being a customer success person in the SaaS sector, I couldn't agree more and, believe that same goes for this sector as well.
When you build a coded solution for your customers, it is very important to make sure that they understand how your creation is solving their pain points.
In the process, they will have their doubts and will want to reach out to the “SUPPORT TEAM” for the rescue.
Over time, the paradigm has changed and companies, mostly in the SaaS industry, have begun to put more and more reliance on customer support. This has resulted in better customer retention, that further leads to increased revenue.
5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%. - Hubspot
Earlier, customer support was considered as a cost-center design which solves customer problems (i.e. a department which generates costs but not revenue). But, now it is known to be a far more important part of an organization that helps to identify loyal customers and nurture them.
Keeping this in mind, following are some ways in which you can innovate and work around the existing customer support practices and further reap much more benefit than before:
1. Make your support widget more accessible
I have observed that people place the Support button towards the end of a page or where it is not visible. When a user trying to find support that means the problem has already started. At this time, if he/she is unable to find the support button, the level of frustration will increase.
This might lead to an angry customer who is unable to find answers to his questions. The next thing the user would do is, to connect your support team and show all the anger and frustration for the product. Even if the query is solved, the negative impression made during the process still remains for a long long period of time.
Now think of the same situation but with the support button or a live chat available right in the front. That way the customers can easily find their way through a complicated problem or can easily connect with the company for any sort of queries. Also, this will make the process more interactive and help users find solutions to their problems in a stipulated time.
This would also make it easy for the user to provide feedback quickly which would, in turn, help your company to grow.
2. Create an easy to consume Knowledge Center with loaded FAQs
All the users are driven with self-learning and love to find answers to the questions themselves. As far as SaaS is concerned, sometimes it gets really difficult to explain to someone the function of the features without educating them about the entire software.
For these kind of situations, the Customer Support Representatives (CSRs) prepare playbooks, which are a step-by-step guide on how to use a platform. Playbooks explain all the functionalities of a platform, making it easy for the user. With videos becoming the most loved way to consume information, the whole process becomes not only interactive but also fun.
As I mentioned above that the user wants to become independent while seeking answers to his questions. FAQs with common customer queries or concerns become a very important part of knowledge consumption. When you create content for the user, you make the users trust your product. This also reduces the time that is wasted during the process of creating the tickets and waiting for the company personnel to respond to the query.
3. Be Empathetic and Use Power Words
Customer Support as the name itself suggests is about helping customers, therefore, the CSRs need to be empathetic towards their customers. There will be times when customers will not be in their happiest mood and it is then that the CSR needs to be empathetic and provide the best possible solution. In such a scenario, it is important to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and respond accordingly. It is a powerful little hack that can actually work wonders for both the customer and the service provider.
When responding to queries or solving problems that users might face on your platform, it's important to add these magical words. These not only add up brownie points to your relationship with the customer but also strengthens the understanding between both parties. No matter what it is, from reporting of bugs, getting complaint related queries or receiving feedback, add a Thank You note at the end. Similarly, if the user is angry for something that you played no part in, you can still be sorry about the way the customer feels and let him know about that.
This is one of the ways how customer support teams can stand out for the customer and enhance his overall growth.
4. Ask for reviews
Customer feedback is invaluable, therefore, it is very important to collect it and then further use it for better service delivery. During the feedback it is important to ask the customer for reviews about the service, the rating about the problem resolution or for that matter even quality rating for both the CSR and the company. If these remarks are collected that very time, bias is eliminated and user experience can be tapped.
If only the user will be satisfied, they will stick to you and might send a couple of their friends your way. On the other hand, unhappy customers will not hesitate to leave and chances are that they can in-turn become anti-referrals. For increasing the rate of growth for the company it is important to have a number of satisfied customers who can help in accelerating the process.
In a Nutshell...
Having a strong and effective support team can be a challenging task for the SaaS companies. But, keeping in mind the importance of the customer support team which is responsible for the expansion of the overall growth rate of the business these are a few steps that should be considered.
With these you can make the process simple and more approachable that would lead to a customer’s delightful journey.