What Is Customer Support As A Service?

Customer support is an essential business function. But what if you can’t or don’t want to hire in-house? That’s what CSaaS is for.
Published on: Nov 15, 2023
Last updated: Feb 26, 2024

TL:DR

  • Positive customer experiences lead to increased business performance, with around 84% of companies focusing on improving this experience outperforming competitors.
  • The article explores the evolution of customer support into CSaaS (Customer Support as a Service) and its implications on sales, brand loyalty, and operational efficiency.
  • CSaaS provides customer service through a third party, allowing organizations to save time, focus on core activities, and benefit from expertise.
  • Similar to outsourced customer service, CSaaS offers scalable and flexible solutions with customization and branding options.
  • Benefits of CSaaS include increased customer satisfaction, after-hours and weekend support, 24/7 support, international support, and the ability to scale support based on seasonality.
  • Proactive support is a key advantage of CSaaS, enhancing brand reception online.
  • Companies, especially startups, lacking resources or expertise to set up in-house support teams, and those with international clients, can benefit from CSaaS.
  • Embracing the CSaaS model enhances overall customer satisfaction, positioning businesses as competitive leaders in their niches.

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People love to feel cared for whenever making a purchase. In every touchpoint your customers have with various products, services, and brand markers, you have an opportunity to build a unique relationship that ensures repeat business. Around 84% of companies that work to improve this experience between customer and brand outperform their competitors.

In this article, we will review the importance of customer support and how it has evolved into a new model called CSaaS (Customer Support as a Service). We’ll look at its implications, definition, and how, when leveraged correctly, it can drastically improve sales figures, brand loyalty, and overall operational efficiency.

What is customer support as a service?

At its core, CSaaS provides customer service as a service through a third party. Instead of hiring an internal team or managing a department, a company can hire an external service that delivers unique customer support by specializing in CSaaS.

This new model saves an organization of any size critical time. For example, you can focus on building long-term partner relationships, reviewing data reports, or exploring new products while a CSaaS provider answers customer questions, solves fundamental problems, and provides comprehensive assistance.

Think of this as IT support as a service or SaaS (software as a service). Instead of crafting and maintaining all the tools needed for software development and IT support, you are entrusting a vendor to handle those needs for you.

Most CSaaS vendors will allow for customization and branding. As they are handling the daily needs of a target audience, you want them to reflect your brand voice and identity. That means they will be more than happy to customize offerings and provide either monthly subscriptions or “pay as you go” services.

In either case, you can have as much involvement as you would like. Still, the primary benefit is to automate your customer support, so letting whom you hire do the work for you is the best choice if you want operational efficiency. Automation is still the key to business success in the customer service field as long as you remain customer focused.

In many ways, this is the same as outsourced customer service in that you hire external providers to enjoy a cost-effective solution where the provider focuses on core business attributes like your customers expect within your business niche.

However, the service model is a bit different because it is typically an option with more scalable and flexible solutions using advanced technology and expertise. If you want to learn more, you should read our article on the best customer support outsourcing companies for insight.

Benefits of on-demand customer support or customer service as a service

Customer service as a service offers numerous benefits to businesses from any niche, particularly in the form of flexibility and expertise. When coupled with on-demand customer service, you gain a powerful tool to scale during busy seasons like the holidays or after a new product/service announcement. Let’s review some other core benefits.

Increased customer satisfaction

Any customer as a service company will specialize in delivering high-quality support focused on your niche market. Smaller teams often struggle to achieve this same level of customer support on-demand in-house. That expertise directly leads to enhanced customer satisfaction, a crucial element for your business success.

After-hours and weekend support

On-demand customer support means just that – it is “on-demand.” A quality vendor will be able to fill in the gaps when your in-house team is not available. This includes outside “normal” banking hours of 9-5, Monday through Friday.

24/7 support

Your business needs to be able to offer solutions to customers at any hour of any day if you want to optimize converting leads into loyal brand ambassadors. You never know when a potential sale is just around the corner in the wee hours of the morning, and all it needs is an answer to a simple question to tip the scales in your favor. Having that 24/7 customer support, outlined in another of our articles, is essential.

International support

The world is smaller now. With emerging markets in China and Indonesia, utilizing international customer support for a global-facing business only makes sense. Finding a quality customer support vendor that provides global support catering to diverse languages and cultural contexts is a substantial benefit of CSaaS.

Scale and downsize support depending on seasonality and other factors

Black Friday sales in the US can top well over $9 billion in sales, with a related spike in the amount of customer inquiries. Seasonality is crucial to your business operations. Maybe you run a touring company that experiences a jump in sales during the summer months or a clothing brand with winter gear anticipating a fall rush. Whatever your purpose, having the flexibility to downsize/scale through comprehensive CSaaS helps you maintain operations and lower costs.

Proactive support

Smaller customer support teams are more reactive in nature. That can be a struggle when trying to proactively support your customers by anticipating their needs like a specialized CSaaS team can. That proactive support dramatically enhances how your brand is received online.

When should companies consider CSaaS?

Seeing the many benefits of customer support as a service is only step one. You need to consider if your company is in the proper position to integrate this form of support or if you need to go in a different direction. Let’s review some of the ways to tell if CSaaS is right for you.

If you are a startup

By their nature, startups will lack the resources to establish a strong market presence without the help of specialized CSaaS providers. This allows a team to offer professional support without needing in-house infrastructure.

If you lack resources or expertise to set up customer support teams in-house

A CSaaS vendor provides immediate access to trained professionals and sophisticated support systems, typically as a pay-as-you-go service. That ensures you can manage your expenses while focusing on your primary business goals.

If you require flexible support

Flexibility is a critical driver of CSaaS adoption. Companies of all shapes and sizes experience fluctuating support needs and will enjoy the many benefits of a versatile CSaaS team.

If you have international clients

Adapting your support needs to varying time zones, and cultures can be overly complex and challenging. Having a strong CSaaS provider is like hiring an interpreter on a trip overseas. They are able to better communicate with your target audience without sacrificing your brand identity.

Conclusion

Customer support as a service represents a substantial shift in how businesses are approaching customer service. With a growing need for flexibility, scalability, and expertise, considering finding a CSaaS provider only makes sense if you want to remain competitive in today’s market.

When you embrace this new model, you enhance overall customer satisfaction and position yourself as a competitive juggernaut who should be considered a leader in your niche. That will grow your reputation and ensure target customers have a rewarding journey to share with friends, family, and coworkers.

Sources used:

Sources last checked on date: 13-Nov-2023

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