Customer Support Channels a SaaS Business Should Use
If you had to choose one thing to improve your business, it should without a doubt be customer experience.
That may strike you as odd, as the usual intuition of most businesses is to improve their product or find a way to be price competitive. But recent research has shown that customer service is likely to overtake both of those elements by 2020.
To meet this rising tide of customer expectation, businesses need to find more ways to be customer focused than ever before.
It’s also been found that businesses that deliver better customer experiences obtain revenues between 4% and 8% above their market. That means you could be losing money by putting your emphasis in the wrong place.
And for SaaS businesses looking to get an edge on their competitors, one of the best ways to differentiate yourself is to find the best customer support channel for your customers’ needs.
To help you uncover which customer support channels are right for you, we want to show you all of your options and provide some key takeaways for each. You’ll be able to assess which is right for your Saas business and make a more customer-centric choice.
Different Channels of Customer Support
As a SaaS business, you can’t just set up a customer service kiosk and have your customers come into your business to lodge a complaint. Most of your customers probably aren’t even in the same zip code as you, and may even be halfway around the world.
So to provide a top-notch customer experience, you need to establish channels for complaints to be lodged. While no one ever wants to hear a complaint, they’re simply a reality of doing business.
The channels you ultimately use depends on whether you are B2B or B2C, but that shouldn’t keep you from exploring all of your options.
So briefly, here are some of the primary SaaS customer support channels with a few key ideas about each.
Customer Support Channel #1: Email
The first channel that comes to mind for most SaaS businesses is email.
Email is one of the simplest ways for your customers to get in touch, and it’s essential to ensure that you include it on your website and make it easy to find.
For example, here’s the contact form that you can send to PayPal if a question arises:
It’s simple, streamlined, and allows your customer to send a message at any time, day or night.
Plus, when combined with a helpdesk system, emails can be used to generate trackable tickets that allow you to prioritize issues and address concerns more efficiently.
You can even create an automated reply system for common issues that will fix your customer’s problems as soon as they submit their email.
Overall, email is a wonderfully personalized way to communicate about your customer’s needs. As long as you keep a personalized approach with a distinctive and on-brand style, you can’t go wrong with an email.
Customer Support Channel #2: Social Media
Even though email is usually the first channel that comes to mind, it’s not the most widely used platform for digital complaints. This may surprise you, but more customers are approaching businesses via social media than any other channel besides in-person.
But even though social media is used more than email, the approach can still be the same with proper helpdesk tools. You can quickly respond to customers when they ask for support and even establish short, canned replies that create faster resolution times.
You can keep the same branding and tone too, but with a more fast-paced result that keeps your support agents focused on bigger matters.
Customer Support Channel #3: Phone
Next on the list is perhaps the most classic of all support channels, the telephone. For decades, consumers have been calling into support hotlines to register complaints, and that isn’t likely to stop.
A recent study shows that 69% of U.S. adults shop more with businesses that offer consistent customer service both online and offline. That means having a team of customer support reps ready to pick up the phone is a must for a SaaS business.
So how do you use these phone-oriented channels for the benefit of your customer experience?
Perhaps the most common method is to utilize a call center service, but outsourcing can be expensive and ineffective. That’s why many helpdesk systems offer businesses a cloud-based version that keeps customer service in-house.
By keeping customer service closer to your business, you prioritize the customer’s needs and help them find faster solutions with an in-person touch.
Customer Support Channel #4: Live Chat
The fourth common channel for SaaS business is web-based live chat.
Live chat is still one of the newer channels for online businesses, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Studies have shown that over half of customers are likely to make another purchase from companies that offer live chat support.
This allows you to have instantaneous conversations with users as they’re using your product, which makes them effective for walkthroughs and impromptu service needs.
You can engage directly with your customers when they contact you, or you can even use live chat as a way to proactively engage with a web visitor or customer.
This can lead to higher levels of satisfaction and potentially bring your customer back for more in the future.
Customer Support Channel #5: Self-Service
Another option that can allow a SaaS business to help their customer is to create a library of self-serve content that lets them search and find a solution on their own.
You can accomplish this a couple of different ways.
One of the most popular methods is the Frequently Asked Questions Page or FAQs for short.
This is usually a collection of common issues and questions that users have asked the most. By answering them before your customer contacts your support team, you can save a lot of time upfront.
The other way you can create self-serve content is to create a database of knowledge-base articles. This can be text-based, images, videos, or any other format that you can share information.
For example, we use Freshdesk Support to help our customers find quick solutions for their needs.
By putting all of our FAQs, solutions, forums, and training material in one convenient place, we make it easy for self-serve clients to solve their issues and be on their way.
The Omnichannel Solution
All of these channels can help you create a top-notch customer experience in their own way. As long as you’re helping your customers resolve their issues and find effective ways to use your product, then you’re moving in the right direction.
But all of these channels aren’t quite the best solution. At least, these channels alone aren’t the best solution.
Instead of treating each of these channels as a separate silo, many organizations have begun to implement a multi-pronged approach. This is the omnichannel solution and could be the solution your SaaS business has been looking for.
Omnichannel customer support is the ideal method for SaaS because it integrates all of the different ways your business communicates into a single cohesive experience.
No matter where your customer is or who they’re talking to, they can get the help they need and be on their way.
A great example of this in application is the Starbucks Rewards app. It creates a mobile-friendly way for users to find stores and pay for their coffee, while simultaneously allowing Starbucks to send out notifications and emails about upcoming deals.
And if a customer needs to call a store or register a complaint, they can use the app to find the relevant phone number.
That’s at least three different channels all in one convenient space.
But if you can’t build a custom app, you still have options that will allow you to use this approach. For example, we offer a platform that integrates most of the channels discussed in this post into a single, cohesive tool for your business.
You’ll be able to cash in on improved customer experience, even as your business continues to grow.
Freshdesk is committed to helping businesses like yours create a seamless customer support experience no matter what channel you use.
We’ve helped clients answer thousands of complaints with our robust helpdesk software, and would love to help you next.
And an even bigger plus is Freshdesk will cost you less to use, and it’s even free to get started.
You’ll be able to elevate your customer experience and save time and money while doing it. What’s not to love?