How to Optimize SaaS Customer Support for a Better User Experience
The way you handle SaaS customer support has a direct impact on user loyalty. Here’s how to do it right.
Building an exceptional SaaS product is just the first step to optimizing the user experience. For customers to get the most from your platform, you also need to provide them with quality support that leads to success.
That’s because your SaaS customer support has a significant influence over loyalty and retention. According to research by Microsoft, 96% of customers believe that support has a significant influence on how loyal they are to a company.
“Every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity,” says Stewart Butterfield, CEO at Slack. “If you go above and beyond on the customer service side, people are much more likely to recommend you.”
These six tactics will optimize your SaaS customer support and provide your customers with a better user experience. They do so by ensuring that you resolve problems quickly, maximize the productivity of your support agents, consider the user’s needs, and find ways to improve your service.
1. Deliver a Quick Response with a Chatbot
A chatbot is a software communication tool that simulates conversation between the user and a support person. It makes it possible for you to resolve user requests in real-time with minimal human effort.
Speed is an essential factor in user support. According to research from HubSpot, 90% of customers expect an immediate response to their request — in 10 minutes or less.
Stream’s Chat API for customer service allows you to quickly build a chat feature for your SaaS product. On top of offering chat functionally, the API suite comes with extra features to step up the chat experience for the SaaS user, such as message reactions, thread replies, and user presence to show when the customer was last active.
2. Build a Knowledge Base for Your Customer
A knowledge base is a library of information the user can reference to solve their own problems, which helps create a more empowering experience. Over 88% of U.S. customers expect a brand to offer an online self-service support option so they can resolve issues on their own.
This example from MailChimp includes a help center on its website that’s full of guides and tutorials on how users can get the most out of its email marketing platform. The user can search on any topic through the search feature and get access to step-by-step video instructions:
To make things easier for the user, notice how MailChimp instantly links to some of its most popular guides. This increases the chances the customer instantly finds what they’re looking for without too much searching.
3. Use Feedback from Customer Support for Your Next Product or Feature
Your SaaS support team’s role in optimizing the user experience can go far beyond just replying to customer requests. They can also provide insights into what the team can do to improve the solution, which you can use as valuable feedback for your upcoming product.
The reason your SaaS customer support team has such insights is because they’re at the forefront of user interaction. As a result, they have a solid idea of customer pain points, common complaints, and what’s missing in the product experience.
One way of leveraging their insights is to invite the support team to your company product meetings. It allows them to provide their thoughts and suggestions, encourages better collaboration between different departments, and helps you build a better product by listening to users’ feedback.
Here’s what Tomasz Tunguz, VC at Red Point, has to say about the power of listening to users: “Your customers become happier because you’re listening to them [...] As a result of that you end up building a better product. [And] because of customer success your company is able to grow faster, and it is able to grow at a more capital efficient rate.”
4. Manage All Customer Support Requests in One Dashboard
Customers will use multiple channels to get the help they need — from your website to social media. Collecting all messages in one dashboard gives your agents a complete view of the user’s SaaS customer service experience. And because they won’t need to jump from platform to platform to keep track of each query, they can respond to customers quickly.
In addition, user requests are easily lost without a singular dashboard, leading to unresolved tickets and decreased user satisfaction. SaaS customer service platforms can help during this process to efficiently centralize all of your customer support. Here’s a list of platforms you can use to group all of your customer support channels into one dashboard:
Zendesk is a top customer support platform that helps you to keep email, social, and channels in one place. A unique feature of the software is that you can add internal notes to each ticket to improve collaboration between different agents. Another great functionality is its Business Rules option that makes it possible to trigger automatic workflows for tickets to boost productivity.
HubSpot Service Hub
Marketing and sales software company HubSpot offers its customer support platform Service Hub with basic functionality. In addition to helping you manage your customer support channels, it comes with the ability to send satisfaction surveys to users and to also build your own knowledge base.
5. Segment Each Request Based on Type
Your SaaS customer support team will respond to different types of requests from customers: subscription issues, bugs, or confusion around specific features. Some requests may require specialized knowledge that not all agents have.
It’s why you should categorize each request accordingly and assign them to the right agent. For example, let’s say the user is experiencing technical issues with your SaaS product. To resolve the problem quickly, you can send the customer ticket to your IT department, the most qualified people in your team to handle the request.
6. Ask Users for Feedback and Measure Your Performance
To measure your user's satisfaction with your service, ask them for feedback and keep track of your support team's overall performance. It helps to see how your customer support team is doing and areas where they can improve.
You have various ways to ask users for their feedback on your SaaS customer support. The best measurements we recommend include:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Your NPS score is a metric of how likely users are to recommend your service to others. The higher your NPS, the better your product is at creating brand advocates.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): The CSAT is a percentage score customers use to rate their interaction with customer support. A CSAT score close to 100% means excellent, while a CSAT score close to 0% is poor.
Aside from your NPS and CSAT scores, use the following key metrics to measure the performance of your SaaS customer support team:
- Average response time: How fast are customer agents responding to customer requests? The average response time should be within 10 minutes or less, according to HubSpot.
- Average resolution rate: Out of all your customer tickets, how many are you resolving? To determine this, take your total number of customer requests, subtract the number of unresolved tickets, and divide that number by the total number of requests. You should aim for an average resolution rate of at least 70%.
- Number of tickets: How many support tickets does customer support receive each week? Too many tickets may be an indicator of an issue with the product. According to Tim Woo, marketing director for Framed Data: “Being that support tickets are direct feedback for instances where your product fell short or was confusing, we should always aim to minimize the number of support tickets.”
Be sure to review your SaaS customer support team’s performance to see how it’s evolving over time.
Provide Users with the SaaS Customer Support They Deserve
Customer support efficiency is essential for an exceptional user experience. Plus, each customer service request is a chance for you to connect with your user. Courtney Seiter from top social media monitoring platform Buffer says it best:
“We view every interaction that comes our way—every email, tweet, question, review, mention and more—as a true privilege. We know that it means someone took special time out of their day to think about us or get in touch with us. It’s a chance for us to have a conversation, to learn something we didn’t know before, to think about what we could do differently or better.”
With better SaaS customer support, you’ll improve the product experience and increase user retention as a direct result. Users will be more satisfied and more able to get the most out of your platform.
Want to learn more about how to step up your customer support with Stream’s Chat API? Learn more about scaling customer support with Stream.
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