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Boosting Customer Support Metrics for SaaS

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There’s no arguing the fact that great customer support is a necessity for every SaaS brand. Without it, establishing and maintaining a happy user base would be virtually impossible. That’s why, today, many SaaS companies track their customer support metrics with the same level of precision as their website analytics and revenue numbers.

Given how big an impact this aspect of your business can have on your overall success, it makes sense to want a concrete way to quantify the level of support you provide and monitor how it changes over time. What’s less clear, however, is how to improve those metrics. While establishing a baseline is a valuable first step, the overarching goal of doing so is typically to use it as a starting point for measuring progress.

And although the best approach to customer support varies for different companies, there’s one addition that can have a significant (and positive) impact on support metrics across the board — and that’s helpdesk software.

Which Customer Support Metrics Can Helpdesk Software Improve?

Unless you’ve had the chance to test different helpdesk platforms, you might be wondering whether they really have an impact on customer support metrics. After all, software isn’t what gives your customers the answers or information they need. Your support agents do that, and the helpdesk you choose is ultimately just the tool they use to do so.

It’s true, then, that even the most advanced helpdesk software in the world won’t transform an underperforming support team into a world-class one — and it certainly can’t replace a skilled team of agents. But what it can do is enable them to do their jobs more efficiently, and provide a higher level of service to your customers. But you don’t have to take our word for it.

As a helpdesk software provider, we at Freshdesk have access to a lot of data related to customer support. And while the data we have on the impact of helpdesk software is limited to the impact of our helpdesk software, it makes a fairly compelling case.

While analyzing user data for our Customer Happiness Benchmark Report, we found that our helpdesk software enabled our customers to improve several key metrics, including:  

– Accelerating resolution rate

– Reducing assign time

– Reducing average response time

– Increasing customer satisfaction

It’s also worth noting that many companies don’t have a way to track specific metrics until they start using helpdesk software, like resolution SLA and number of responses to resolution. This lack of a baseline makes it difficult to say for sure whether those metrics improve once they begin using a new customer support platform. Even so, monitoring them is a step in the right direction — and almost any helpdesk software can accomplish this goal.

Case Studies: 3 SaaS Businesses that Improved Customer Support Metrics with Helpdesk Software

If you’re on the fence about using helpdesk software for your business, you might be looking for concrete answers as to how big of a difference it will make for specific support metrics. But the truth is, the impact of helpdesk software is different for every company that uses it. And that’s because there are so many variables that play into each of the metrics they track.

After all, a startup with two customer support agents likely provides a very different level of customer service than an international company with support staff around the globe — regardless of the platform each of them uses to communicate with customers. So if you want to get a clear idea of the role helpdesk software can play, it’s often best to examine it on a case-by-case basis.

And that’s why we’ve compiled a few case studies from our own SaaS clients here. Unlike broad estimates and averages, their stories paint a clear picture of the difference helpdesk software made in their ability to help customers.

1. Cloudbakers

When Cloudbakers sought a helpdesk platform to streamline their communication, their top priorities were integration with their existing Google Apps infrastructure, and a built-in time tracking feature to simplify the process of documenting time spent on project-related requests from clients.

They chose Freshdesk based on this criteria, and were extremely happy with its ability to not only route incoming requests to the right team member, but track the time they spent and automatically generate timesheets. These timesheets then integrated with the invoicing platform they were already using, making it easy to reconcile payments with invoices.

Now, to be clear, none of these goals are tied to standard support metrics. Still, they all played a role in the company’s decision to invest in helpdesk software, as well as their satisfaction with their decision — illustrating the difficulty of measuring helpdesk results using a single set of standardized metrics. That said, the company also saw significant improvements in their ability to handle client inquiries quickly and efficiently.

customer supportAfter two years of using Freshdesk, Cloudbakers improved their first call resolution by 21%, improved SLA resolution by 11%, and doubled their overall ticket resolution. So while their primary goals may not have matched up to these metrics, there’s no arguing that using helpdesk software improved them — and enabled them to provide excellent support, even as their number of daily tickets steadily increased.

2. OnlineFaxes.com

To say that OnlineFaxes.com’s support team is busy would be an understatement. The company’s 60 employees have earned over 80,000 customers, and their support team is responsible for approximately 5,000 tickets per month.

And because they offer multiple products with different pricing and feature sets, their team needed a helpdesk platform that was capable of extending support across all of them. They also needed a better solution for managing phone support, as their previous support platform created lots of issues with call forwarding and routing. These needs led them to Freshdesk.

The original reason for this decision was the ability to start using a multiproduct platform at a competitive cost, and they also liked the idea of a built-in phone channel. Within a week, they completed the switch. As a result, they were able to start directing tickets and calls related to all of their products to the right agents — and productivity skyrocketed.

Again, this is an example in which the company’s reasons for seeking a new helpdesk software didn’t directly match the metrics many brands use to track their support team’s performance. Still, Onlinefaxes.com increased first call resolution by 21% and lowered their average response time to just two hours — all while handling 6,500 inbound calls across 14 local phone numbers.

3. aNewSpring

When learning management system aNewSpring wanted to improve their customer service strategy, one of their top priorities was finding a solution that enabled them to easily provide support on multiple channels. Their previous system only converted emails to tickets, making it difficult to track and resolve inquiries that came in on other channels.

As a result, their primary reasons for switching to Freshdesk were its breadth of supported channels, the level of customizability for each, and the simplicity of the software. After the switch, they also began utilizing additional features like automated ticket assignments, community forums, and multi-level reporting.

So while their initial goal of providing consistent support on multiple channels was a relatively straightforward one, upgrading to new helpdesk software changed the overall support experience they offer their customers in more ways than one. As a result, they jumped from an 87% positive rating to 94% — illustrating that their users clearly appreciate the improved support.

The Takeaway

Although each of these case studies center on Freshdesk users, it’s important to note that they aren’t intended as sales pitches for our product. In fact, many of the features mentioned in them, like multichannel support, automated ticketing, and reporting are all widely considered standard in any quality helpdesk software.

But what they are intended to illustrate is that the benefits of a helpdesk tool don’t always neatly match up with a standard set of metrics. Each of these three companies had (and still has) a unique set of needs, and a checklist of numbers isn’t the best way to illustrate their results.

Conclusion

Providing excellent customer support is an essential goal for every company, ranging from local businesses to international brands. And if you’re looking for ways to improve the way your SaaS company assists customers, you’ve likely considered investing in helpdesk software.

But like any other investment, you probably want to be sure that it will produce the results you want for your business — and that might lead you in search of data on how, exactly, helpdesk software boosts the support metrics you’re already tracking. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find concrete data on the subject.

That’s because helpdesk software produces different results for different businesses. And this is mostly because those businesses each have their own set of priorities and goals for their support strategies.

Still, as the case studies illustrate, helpdesk software can have a significant and positive impact on SaaS companies’ ability to deliver excellent support — and the exact results you can expect to see depend much more on your goals than a universal set of benchmarks.

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