The Gap Between Customer Support and Product Teams

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 you 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 support and product teams?

woman scratching head in frustration and confusion.
Worried your users look like this while using your product? The gap between customer support and product teams may be to blame.

Typically, when customer 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.

Here is why you should close the gap between your customer support team and the product development team to fix these issues.

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. Building a technical support team with more effective tools in place will support workflow and improve data exchange.

In other words, it will give your supper agents and product team more context.

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. But if both teams are working towards giving customers the best experience with the product, they will always find ways of working hand-in-hand to achieve it.

So, when setting goals and KPIs for your development and customer support teams, think of having some that cut across both groups. 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 the 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.

Using non-specialized tools 

The tools your support team uses to attend to the 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 cases, where chat tools tend to do the job.

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 support 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. 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. 

If you're interested in learning more about how we can help you deliver better customer support at scale, book a demo or sign up to give it a go yourself.

Author

Emma Bakh

CX Manager

Contributor