The customer gap, that chasm between what a customer wants from you and what they think they're getting from you, is essential for any SaaS company to minimize. But if your company is struggling to translate user feedback gathered during support calls into real product changes, that may be an impossible task.
If your company finds itself in this situation, you're not alone. Most SaaS companies struggle with comprehensive customer support workflows that span both live and asynchronous support, customer-facing and product teams. It's easy for silos to develop over time, and for different teams to lose track of what other teams in the company are doing.
But breaking down barriers and opening channels for the seamless flow of communication and information between teams is vital for business growth.
What is the gap between customer-facing support and product teams?
Typically, when customer-facing support agents get a query from customers about a technical issue related to the product, they will create a ticket for the developers to attend to in a CRM or project management tool.
Addressing such problems requires the developer to have more context about the origins and processes that led to the issue. They will ask the support agent more questions regarding the problem. Such questions may include the customer's type of browser, their operating system, what their user journey is, and for screenshots of console and network logs.
The support agent then has to contact the customer again to get these details and later give feedback to the developer to fix the problem. The back-and-forth communication between the customer, support agents, and developers is also time-consuming and frustrating for the customers.
All of this lead to worse customer experiences and more time wasted.
Why does the gap between support and product teams exist?
Most of the time, vital data that support teams gather from customers is lost and never makes it to the development team. This usually happens due to the following reasons:
Lack of proper integration between the tools used by both teams
When the development and technical support teams use tools that do not seamlessly exchange data, manual exports and imports are the only way to exchange data. This consumes a lot of time and can result in data loss during the exporting and importing process.
It is far more efficient for both teams to use tools that integrate and seamlessly exchange customer data for fixing this issue. Or even one tool that does it all, like Fullview, with its many integrations.
Better tools equals more context and better CX.
No common goals between product and CS
When your development and customer support teams don't have a common goal, there will often be a gap between them. That's why it's so important to get everyone on the same page and ensure that you're all working towards the same goal: creating the best possible customer experiences to boost retention and reduce churn.
So, when setting goals and KPIs for your development and customer support teams, think of having some that cut across both groups, like churn for instance. This will give them more reasons to work closely.
Non-technical support teams
If your support team doesn't have full knowledge of the technical aspects of your product and how it works, they will likely not capture all the necessary information needed to solve the problem.
That is why product team needs to guide your customer support team, or technical support team, about the right questions and follow ups to ask whenever a customer raises a particular issue. Having a dedicated support engineer is also a great way to involve more technical people into your team.
Better yet, investing in a tool like session replays that allows you to record, monitor and share user sessions across teams can be immensely helpful in ensuring everyone is working with the same information and proficiency.
Using non-specialized tools
The tools your support team uses to solve issues raised by customers affect how well data is captured and delivered to the right person to fix the issue.
Unfortunately, customer support often lacks dedicated and specialized tools. This is especially true for anything beyond level 1 support cases, where chat tools tend to do all the heavy lifting.
Once cases get escalated to level 2 and 3, most support teams often start creating their own duct tape solutions using a variety of different software like HotJar, LogRocket, Zoom, etc. This is often not an effective way to deliver technical support, and leads to developer time being wasted trying to figure out the user's problem. This is exactly the issue Fullview was designed to fix with both live and async support.
Why should you close the gap between customer-facing and product teams?
There are a lot of benefits to closing the gap between customer support and product teams.
One of the most important is that it enables the team to respond to customer feedback more effectively, and actually use this information to inform product development decisions — be it new features or entirely new products.
When customer support and developers are on the same team, they can quickly communicate problems and solutions directly. This helps them develop a better understanding of how customers are using the product, their pain points, and how to best meet their needs.
More productivity amongst both teams
When the gap between your support team and developers is closed, there will be more effective communication. This, in turn, will eventually reduce the time spent solving customer issues, and creates a win-win for both teams when productivity goes up.
The closer integration between customer support and developers allows for a more agile approach to resolving issues. If a problem is identified, the team can work together to fix it right away rather than wait for someone in customer support or development to take the lead on resolving it.
Improved productivity of both teams is also a win for the customers and the company.
Better customer experience
One of the common reasons customers switch from one SaaS product to another is poor customer support.
When there is seamless communication between the support team and developers, customer issues are solved faster. This leads to a better customer experience, and eventually encourages the customers to stick to your product much longer.
More revenue for the company
When both teams are more productive and customers are happy, the most apparent outcome will be increasing net revenue retention (NRR).
This may not happen immediately, but satisfied customers always lead to more revenue for the company in the long term. The increase in NRR experienced by SaaS companies is due to a combination of factors and can include:
- Reduction in churn rate
- Improved customer reviews
- Higher customer retention rates
- Increased brand loyalty
- Increased upsell opportunities
What solutions are available to close the gap between developers and customer support agents?
Currently, there are no out-of-the-box solutions designed to close the gap between developers and customer support agents. — that includes one important exception: Fullview. While most of the customer support collaboration tools, including CRM, marketing automation, and help desk solutions, mainly focus on bringing together sales and marketing, Fullview was designed specifically for customer support and product teams.
By building an end-to-end platform for both live and asynchronous support, we've eliminated the need for long email threads, unnecessary chatbots, screenshots, manual bug reports and more. Take the demo below to see exactly how it works in action:
With our solution, both support and product teams can automatically share data between themselves without going through the tedious process of manually exporting and importing data.