Customer support is essential to Software as a Service (SaaS) product development. Even if you believe your product is user-friendly, there will always be some users who require assistance.
Your customer support staff is responsible for providing that help and ensuring customer satisfaction throughout their experience with your product.
Since your customers allocate precious budget space for your product, providing them with top-notch service is critical.
If you’re not convinced, a study by Verint shows that 70 percent of customers stopped using a product because they weren’t receiving the support they needed.
So, what should stellar customer support in SaaS product development look like? Here are six areas you’ll want to focus your efforts:
- Assisting issue resolution
- Enhancing the user experience
- Gathering user feedback
- Helping product improvement and iteration
- Onboarding and training
- Proactively communicating
Below, we’ll walk through these key aspects and benefits of customer support and how you can use them to provide your customers with the best service to match your product quality.
Assisting Issue Resolution
In most traditional capacities, customer support teams are responsible for addressing customer inquiries, troubleshooting problems, and providing solutions.
Your highly trained and expert team will assist users in navigating the SaaS product, resolving technical issues, and offering guidance on getting the most out of the product.
When it comes to resolving customer issues, HubSpot does a great job at breaking down customer support into three levels:
Level 1: Simple, straightforward requests that a general customer service team member can quickly handle.
Level 2: Typically dealing with a more complex issue, the first responder of the customer service team will need to bring in a specialist to provide more detailed help and support.
Level 3: Usually reserved for major technical issues, it will require software experts and development teams to dig into the software and determine if there are any bugs or problems that haven’t been encountered yet.
Providing efficient customer support is crucial in helping users fully utilize the benefits of the SaaS product and successfully navigate any challenges they may face.
Enhancing the User Experience
By offering responsive and helpful customer support, you can enhance the overall user experience.
Being prompt in addressing customer inquiries and issues is essential as it helps to build trust, improve customer satisfaction, and foster long-term relationships.
Positive experiences with customer support can contribute to customer loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations, ultimately leading to business growth.
Gathering User Feedback
Customer support interactions provide valuable insights and feedback for SaaS product development.
Support teams often act as a bridge between users and product development teams, relaying user feedback, feature requests, and improvement suggestions.
This feedback is invaluable for understanding user needs, identifying product enhancements, and prioritizing development efforts.
Gathering user feedback during the process of software development helps you:
- Create a customer-centric approach
- Identify bugs and improve product quality
- Validate your product strategy
- Gain the edge over your competition
Helping Product Improvement and Iteration
Customer support feedback and data can drive iterative product development.
By analyzing support tickets, common issues, and user feedback, SaaS companies can identify areas for improvement and prioritize product updates.
Regularly addressing customer pain points and enhancing product features based on support insights contribute to a more robust and user-centric SaaS product.
However, iteration should be more comprehensive than just your product. According to Neil Patel, running your customer support system through the same process is also important.
“First, you need to accept that support is not a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of thing,” Patel said. “Like everything else in SaaS, you’ll need to constantly iterate, analyze and improve.”
Onboarding and Training
Customer support teams play a crucial role in user onboarding and training.
They guide new users through the initial setup, provide helpful tutorials and documentation, and offer assistance to ensure a smooth onboarding experience.
Proper onboarding and training facilitate better user adoption, reduce churn rates, and increase the likelihood of long-term engagement with the SaaS product.
The more effort you put into effective onboarding, the more likely you’ll see increased retention month by month. This is a trend HubSpot’s Dan Wolchonok said he spotted quickly and followed over ten weeks.
“User onboarding improvements drove Week 1 retention up to 75% from the 60s,” he said. “Week 2 retention maintained that difference as it was up to the 60s from 50%. By Week 10, 25% of users were still using the product—rather than having only 10-15% of users actually active.”
If your customers are happy, they’re more likely to continue investing in your product over a more extended period. They’ll also be more inclined to recommend your product to industry peers.
Customer support is not limited to reactive issue resolution; it also involves proactive communication.
Through targeted communication, SaaS companies can inform users about product updates, new features, and system maintenance.
This proactive approach ensures users are aware of changes and maintains transparency, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction.
Another way to proactively communicate with customers is to create pages that help them help themselves.
According to HelpScout, 67% of users would rather find product support independently than contact a customer service team.
“Take note of the types of questions your customers are asking,” said Mercer Smith, vice president of customer experience insights and community for PartnerHero, “and consider writing up easy-to-find documentation or in-context support within the form of product guides, tooltips, or searchable documentation.”
This approach empowers the users to solve problems themselves without adding the extra layer of calling or chatting with a member of your support team.
However, it is still wise to make it easy for them to contact a live member of your customer support team on these pages if users can’t quickly find answers to their questions.
Customer Support Is Critical to SaaS Product Development
In a perfect world, customer support wouldn’t be necessary. The product would meet the expectations and needs of every customer, and there would be no issues.
Unfortunately, even the best products have obstacles that users need your help to overcome.
That’s why your customer support team needs to provide excellent service for your customers long after they purchase your SaaS product.