12 Customer Support Best Practices and Models for SaaS Companies

TL:DR

  • Customer support is crucial to get right — especially as a SaaS business.
  • There are 12 best practices you much follow at all costs.
  • Hire the right people and make sure you're investing in good training.
  • Make sure your support team is super accessible and visible to your users.
  • Make sure your tech stack consists of the right tools.
  • Make sure you structure your support team the right way — especially as you scale your company.
  • Think holistically about the entire customer journey to understand how to deploy effective support at all touchpoints.
  • Be super responsive and never leave your customers hanging.
  • Close the gap between product and support teams so customer feedback is never lost in translation.
  • Employ omni-channel support and meet your customers where they are.
  • Use session replay tools like Fullview Replays to proactively diagnose and solve issues even before your users reach out to you.
  • Build a great self-service infrastructure.
  • Don't hide behind automation. Customers still prefer talking to real people!
  • Continually collect feedback and measure scores like CSAT, NPS and CES.

As a SaaS company, providing excellent customer support is essential to your success.

Your customers depend on you to help them solve problems and answer their questions. With 54% of consumers switching brands after just one bad experience, it's clear that customer support can make or break your business.

This is why it's so essential to nail customer support and keep your customers as happy and loyal as possible. With exemplary customer service, your retention rates will increase, and the amount of churn your business will experience will decrease.

So, what are the best practices for SaaS customer support?

In this article, we'll cover 12 of the most important SaaS customer support practices and techniques. After we've examined that, we'll also introduce you to top customer support models to structure your SaaS customer support team.

Let's get started!

12 SaaS customer support best practices

In the age of the customer, businesses must go above and beyond to meet the needs and expectations of their target market.

In the SaaS industry, this is especially true since customers have more options than ever before. As a result, providing superior customer support is no longer a want but a need.

To help you create a customer support strategy that provides an exceptional experience for your SaaS customers, here are 12 SaaS customer support models and best practices:

checklist with customer support best practices.
Save and print this checklist to go point-by-point and keep track of your efforts.

Hire the right people and train them well

The most important part of having excellent customer support is hiring the right people.

They need to be patient, intelligent, and articulate. They also need to be able to think on their feet and be quick problem-solvers.

Your customer support team is the frontline of your business, so it's essential that you take the time to find and hire the best possible candidates.

In addition to hiring the right people, it's also important to train them well. Even the best employees will need some training, so it's essential to have a good training program in place.

While training programs will look different depending on the products and services, here are a few points your business may want to cover:

  • Product knowledge: Customer support representatives need to be experts on your product. They should know how to use it and be able to answer any customer questions.
  • Tone and voice of your brand: In addition to product knowledge, customer support representatives need to know the voice and tone of your brand. This is important because they'll be representing your company to customers. For example, if your brand is casual and friendly, customer support representatives should use a similar tone when communicating with customers.
  • Customer service basics: In addition to product knowledge, customer support representatives also need to know the basics of customer service. This includes everything from handling demanding customers to diffusing tense situations. Providing a good script for common questions and scenarios may also be helpful.
  • Your company's policies: Every business has different policies, so your customer support team must be familiar with yours. This way, they can answer questions and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

By hiring the right people and training them well, you'll be well on your way to providing great customer support.

Be accessible 

Good customer support is essential for any business, but it can be challenging to maintain a high level of quality when you are dealing with a large number of customers. One of the most critical SaaS customer support models and practices to ensure that your customers always have a good experience is to be accessible. Make sure that there is always someone available to answer questions or resolve problems. This may be in the form of a live chat, phone support, or email.

In addition to being accessible, it's also essential to respond quickly to customer inquiries. Customers should not have to wait long for a response. If you can't answer their question right away, let them know when they can expect a response. By being accessible and responsive, you'll be able to provide the customer support that your customers expect and deserve.

Additionally, avoid using too much automation or chatbots. Customers would rather talk to humans instead of machines. If you must use automation, make sure that there is an option to speak to a human if the customer needs it to ensure the best possible experience.

Use the right tools

When it comes to customer support, using the right tools can make all the difference. With SaaS software, there are a number of different tools available for your business to implement, including:

CRM system

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is one of the most important tools you can utilize in your business. This software will help you keep track of your customers, their contact information, and their support history. This is important because it will allow you to provide a more personalized experience and ensure that important customer information is never lost.

Ticketing system

Another important tool is a ticketing system. This software will help you keep track of customer support requests and ensure they are adequately resolved. A sound ticketing system will also allow you to prioritize requests and assign them to the appropriate team members to resolve them quickly.

Messaging software

Implementing a messaging software, such as Slack, can also be helpful. This software will allow you to communicate with your team members quickly and efficiently. It can also be used to update customers on their support requests' status.

Cobrowsing

Cobrowsing software allows you to share your screen with customers in real-time, providing an interactive experience that can help resolve issues more quickly. This is especially helpful for more technical support requests. For example, if a customer is having trouble using a particular feature of your software, you can use cobrowsing to show them how to do it.

Session Replays Software

Session replay software is essentially a playback of how a customer interacts with your product. It may include information such as where they visited, how far they scrolled, and what they clicked on. This information can be helpful in understanding customer behavior and identifying areas where your customers may need a little extra guidance.

While we've only named a few, there are many different types of software available to help with customer support. In fact, we've already compiled a list of the best customer support software in different categories.

The important thing is to find the right tool for your business to help you provide the best possible experience for your customers.

Structure your support team the right way

Along with the points we've already covered, it's crucial you learn how to structure your support team as it grows so that it can handle an influx of tickets without becoming overwhelmed—and so that your customers continue to receive great support. We've already covered that before. Here are the main takeaways:

  • Involve every staff member when it comes to startups. Not only will this give everyone a sense of responsibility for the company's success, but it will also help you build a support infrastructure from the ground up.
  • As your business grows, you'll want to create more targeted support and organize the teams based on your customer's needs and use the appropriate channels to best reach them.
  • No matter how large your company grows, it's essential to hold the same standard of customer support throughout. This can be done by ensuring that you have the right tools and processes in place, as well as a team of dedicated customer support professionals.

Think holistically

Excellent customer service is essential for any business that wants to retain its customers and attract new ones.

But what does it take to deliver truly great customer support?

For starters, one of the most important SaaS customer support best practices is to think holistically about the customer experience. This means considering every touchpoint along the customer journey, from the very first interactions with your brand and good onboarding to post-purchase support and great in-app experiences.

By providing a seamless and positive experience at every stage of the customer cycle, you can build customer loyalty and stand out from the competition.

There are a few key areas to focus on if you want to deliver superior customer service:

  1. Make sure your team is adequately trained and has the tools they need to succeed.
  2. Create a system for tracking and responding to customer feedback.
  3. Continually review your processes and policies to ensure they're meeting the needs of your customers.

By taking a holistic approach to customer service, you can create an exceptional experience that will keep your customers returning.

Be responsive 

When customers have a problem or concern, they want to know that someone will be there to help them resolve it quickly and efficiently. That's why it's so important to have a responsive customer service team.

Whether it's via phone, email, or live chat, customers should always feel like their concerns are being heard and that someone is working to resolve their issues.

Furthermore, businesses should continuously work to improve their processes and workflows. Streamlining how you do things can free up more time to provide quality customer service. In the end, happy customers are the key to a successful business.

Close the gap between support and product teams 

The gap between support and product teams is a massive issue in tech. This refers to the disconnect between the team responsible for building the product and the team responsible for supporting it.

It's an age-old problem, but it's one that can be fixed with proper communication and collaboration. We've already covered this in more detail here. However, these are the main takeaways:

  • The disconnect between support and product teams can exist for many reasons, such as a lack of proper integration of tools between teams, no common goals, using non-specialized tools, or having non-technical support teams.
  • The connection between these teams is essential for customer success, as product teams need to understand customer feedback in order to build a better product and support teams need access to product information to be able to provide quality support.
  • Using an end-to-end platform for support, like Fullview, helps to eliminate the need for multiple tools and provides a complete view of the customer from a single platform.

Employ omni-channel support 

In today's business world, customers expect a high level of support. They want to reach out to a company through whatever channel is convenient for them, whether that's phone, email, social media, or chat. This is known as omni-channel support.

Offering omni-channel support has become essential for businesses of all sizes. Customers are more likely to do business with companies that provide it, and they're also more likely to recommend those companies to friends and family. Furthermore, omni-channel support can help to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.

In other words, it's not enough to simply offer support; businesses need to offer support through multiple channels in order to meet customer expectations. In fact, businesses that adopt omni-channel strategies see 91% higher year-over-year customer retention rates compared to companies that don't.

Offer Proactive Support

The best way to provide excellent customer support is to be proactive. That means proactively identifying and fixing issues instead of waiting for customers to reach out with problems.

Fullview Replays is an excellent tool for being proactive because it allows you to watch recordings of user sessions in real-time.

With Fullview Replays, you can identify issues as they happen and deploy fixes immediately before customers reach out to your team with an issue.

Plus, Fullview Replays makes sharing recordings with your team easy, so everyone can be on the same page about what's happening. As a result, using Fullview Replays is a great way to ensure that you provide the best possible customer support.

Build A Great Self-Service Portal

A well-functioning self-service customer support portal can be a key competitive advantage for any company.

By allowing customers to find answers to their questions on their own, businesses can free up customer support staff to handle more complex issues.

In addition, a well-designed self-service portal can provide a significant return on investment by reducing the number of calls and emails that customer support agents need to field.

To build a great self-service portal, businesses should focus on creating comprehensive and up-to-date help content, making it easy to navigate and search, and offering live webinars and tutorials regularly.

By taking these steps, businesses can create an invaluable resource for their customers that will improve the overall customer experience.

Don't Hide Behind Automation

With the proliferation of chatbots and other AI-powered customer service solutions, it can be tempting to automate everything in the quest for efficiency.

However, as we've mentioned above, customers really value person-to-person contact. Chatbots may suffice for level 1 support, but when it comes to level 2 and 3 support, you need a more robust solution.

Fullview Live, our cobrowsing solution, makes it easy to call users in your app and cobrowse with them to solve issues collaboratively and in real-time. You'll be able to complete steps for them, control the screen and demonstrate features, all while chatting with them on the side.

Fullview Live makes onboarding customers and solving their problems much easier and quicker. In short, don't hide behind automation - use it to complement your high-touch approach to customer service.

Continually Collect Feedback and Measure Performance

One of the most important SaaS customer support best models and practices is to continually collect feedback and measure performance.

If you're not constantly gathering feedback from customers, you won't be able to improve your customer support offerings. And if you're not measuring your performance, you won't be able to track your progress or figure out how to improve. Some important scores to measure include:

  • CSAT: The CSAT, or Customer Satisfaction Score, is a metric that measures how satisfied customers are with the support they've received.
  • NPS: The NPS or Net Promoter Score is a metric that measures how likely customers are to recommend your company to others.
  • CES: The CES or Customer Effort Score is a metric that measures how easy it is or how much effort it takes for the customer to get in touch with the company.

The best way to figure out where you stand with these metrics is to conduct a customer support performance survey following a customer's interaction with your company.

This will give you the most accurate data to work with. We've already written a blog post about how to write the best customer support performance surveys before.

Here's the TL:DR: When writing a customer support performance survey, you want to keep it targeted, consider the delivery of the message, and experiment with forms such as the different grading scales or types of questions.

SaaS customer support models for startups and scaleups

As your company grows, you'll need to scale your customer support team accordingly.

The number of customer support agents you need will depend on various factors, including the size of your customer base, the complexity of your product, and the average number of support requests you receive.

One of the most popular SaaS customer support models is the tiered approach.

In this model, businesses create different levels of support, each with its own set of responsibilities. The most common tiers are levels one, two, and three:

  • Level One: This is the first line of defense against customer support requests. Level one support agents are responsible for answering basic questions and solving simple problems.
  • Level Two: This is the second line of defense against customer support requests. Level two support agents are responsible for more complex issues that require a deeper understanding of the product.
  • Level Three: This is the third line of defense against customer support requests. Level three support agents are responsible for the most complex issues, such as product bugs or technical problems.

We've already created a detailed guide on how to structure your support team as your company grows, so make sure you check that out for a concrete plan.

Conclusion 

When it comes to SaaS customer support best practices and models, understanding how to ensure your customer's success is critical. By following the tips and tricks in this blog post, you'll be well on your way to providing world-class customer support that will keep your customers happy and coming back for more.

Perfect your support workflows and processes with Fullview. We help you with all of these best practices — and more besides! Sign up today to see how.
Author

Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager

Contributor