Top 10 SaaS Companies Doing Customer Support Right (& Key Takeaways)
Though many different factors play a role in a SaaS company’s success, customer support is one of the most important. This team is responsible for helping prospective users convert into paying customers, then ensuring that those paying customers are both satisfied with their investment and maximizing their use of the product.
Plus, they’re the primary source of assistance when users run into issues or have questions about plans, features, and upgrades. It should go without saying, then, that every SaaS company needs to take their customer support seriously. Still, creating an effective strategy is often easier said than done.
So if you’re looking for ways to step up your support game, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ve compiled ten SaaS companies that are doing customer support well — as well as takeaways you can use to improve your own approach.
Many SaaS companies take a “reactive” approach to support, meaning that they wait to engage with customers until they reach out and ask for help. This is a mistake.
From the moment a user creates an account, it’s your responsibility to make sure that they know how to use your product, and that they take steps to familiarize themselves with it. And this doesn’t need to be complicated.
For example, MailChimp begins by sending a brief welcome email to new users, with a link to a tutorial on using their drag-and-drop editor.
This way, users are encouraged to start using the platform as soon as possible — while they still have a certain level of momentum and excitement.
Takeaway: Your support efforts should begin with activation.
No matter how straightforward your product, some users are bound to have questions or be confused by certain features — and you need to make it as easy as possible for them to get assistance. If finding an answer requires users to leave your product, find your support page, and reach out to a member of your team, many of them won’t be willing to put in the effort. Instead, you can simplify the process by offering support options directly within your tool’s user interface.
For example, Buffer includes a support icon in the corner of every page within their app. Clicking on it brings up a search bar, as well as a list of common support topics.
This ensures that users can find all of the information they need without leaving the app — and can continue using the tool uninterrupted.
Takeaway: Offer clear in-app support, with answers to common questions and issues.
Live chat is an increasingly popular support channel. And though it has the potential to be a valuable one for any SaaS company, that’s only the case if visitors actually utilize it.
Pollfish increases the chances that each visitor will by displaying a prompt with a straightforward question about their target audience.
This way, visitors don’t have to take the first step in reaching out or think of a way to explain their needs. Instead, they can answer a simple question and let a support agent take the conversation from there.
Takeaway: If you want visitors to utilize your live chat tool, consider using an automated conversation starter.
While most companies place information about their support channels on a “Help” or “Support” page, Hive makes it easier for users to get in touch by including a support icon on every page.
When a user clicks this icon, they have the option to either contact a support agent via live chat, search for a question, or request a demo.
This list of options not only makes it easy for visitors to get the help they need but caters to them at multiple stages of the buying process.
Takeaway: It’s in your best interest to let visitors know what their options are.
“Microlearning” company Grovo takes their live chat support a step beyond most with interactive chatbots.
And while some users may be hesitant to interact with a chatbot feature, they make the process much more user-friendly by offering pre-written responses for visitors.
If a visitor is unsure about whether this bot can assist them with a specific need, these options will reassure them that it can — and make it easy for them to get the help they’re looking for.
Takeaway: Improve your chatbots with pre-written inquiry templates.
Although it may not seem like a form of customer support (because it doesn’t involve interacting with an agent), creating an effective self-service portal is an essential component of any SaaS service strategy. But that doesn’t just mean writing answers to a few commonly-asked questions. Instead, your goal should be to design an informative, user-friendly resource that essentially serves as a stand-in for a support agent.
Slack, for example, simplifies the process of finding answers by including an auto-suggest feature in their self-service search bar.
Even if a user isn’t exactly sure how to phrase a question, this feature makes it quick and easy to navigate directly to the most relevant article for their needs.
Takeaway: Make it easy for users to find the information they want.
Some companies make the mistake of believing that once they’ve published a knowledge base or set of self-service articles, their work in this area is complete. But much like your product itself, your support resources should be a constant work in progress. Look for ways to improve it over time and make it as valuable to your users as possible.
Of course, this can be challenging if your product is complex and requires a large database of information. But Evernote takes a proactive approach by asking users to let them know which articles are helpful — and which are in need of work.
Plus, if an article doesn’t resolve a user’s question, the direct link to their support team ensures that they can find the help they need.
Takeaway: Make sure your self-service resources are helpful to your users — and if not, make it easy for them to contact you.
Although Evernote’s approach to asking users to rate their support articles enables them to identify which need work, their “Yes/No” responses don’t provide much insight as to how those articles could be improved.
So if you’re looking for concrete ways to improve your self-help resources, you can take a page out of Canva’s book by asking for feedback.
By asking what they could do better, they establish a direct line of communication with a visitor in need of help — while simultaneously collecting feedback that will help them improve their resources for all of their users.
Takeaway: Constantly collect feedback on your support resources.
Many consumers now take to social media platforms to get in touch with companies when they need help, and SaaS companies are no exception.
And while monitoring your primary account for mentions on a regular basis is likely enough if you’re a smaller brand, larger companies like Shopify benefit from creating dedicated support handles.
This way, their support team can monitor a dedicated feed for inquiries and respond accordingly — without annoying followers of the brand’s main account.
Takeaway: If you receive lots of support inquiries on social media, consider creating separate support accounts for your team to manage.
Retention is an important goal for any SaaS company. And while most support teams focus their retention efforts solely on helping active customers, it’s worth noting that your strategy can also play a role in bringing inactive customers back to your product.
For example, Trello sends automated emails to users that haven’t logged in for a while, reminding them of their product and encouraging them to use it again.
The email also links to a tutorial, in case the recipient needs a refresher on their product. Though simple, this could be precisely the reminder a user needs of what their goals were when they signed up, and a push for them to return to those goals.
Takeaway: Support can bring inactive users back to your product.
Providing excellent support isn’t always easy, but as the ten companies in this post prove, it’s entirely possible. Of course, that’s not to say that your strategy needs to include every tactic listed here.
Instead, consider which aspects of your customer support need work, and what your goals are for improvement. Then, determine which of the approaches above could help you reach those goals. And regardless of the exact strategies you choose, your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for users to succeed with your product — just like each of the companies in this post.