The Software as a Service (SaaS) model gives you a way to digitize and automate many processes with software sales, delivery, and ongoing maintenance. However, it may mean that you lose some touchpoints that ISVs had with their customers before the cloud. Your customer support team may have become the face of your brand and your primary opportunity to build stronger relationships with your users. But before your team can contribute to a growing user base, you need to overcome these common customer support challenges.
One of the most common customer support challenges is meeting your users’ expectations for response time. A Genesys survey found that 65 percent of customers will wait up to 15 minutes, but 31 percent will hang up after only 5 minutes. Your users also expect a response within an hour or two if they reach out by email or on social media. Additionally, if you have a chat option to reach customer service, expectations are a little higher. Customers expect a first response of 15 seconds or less when reaching out via live chat.
Meeting your users’ expectations boils down to having enough resources to answer queries in a reasonable amount of time. A self-service option, such as a knowledge base or an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, can provide straightforward answers, taking some of the pressure off agents and allowing them to address more complex issues.
Staffing your customer support team with knowledgeable agents is essential. Your agents should be trained on your software and how to fix the full spectrum of issues that commonly arise. However, there’s always that one question that no one could have anticipated.
Make sure you have a smooth escalation process in place so that if an agent needs help from a developer or a technical sales professional, they can hand off the issue without making the user repeat the situation over and over. Also, you may want to provide your team with an intelligent solution that provides agents with a “ChatGPT-like” experience so that they can quickly access solutions to unusual situations or simply confirm information before sharing it with the customer.
The Angry Customer
Some customers have reached their boiling point before they call customer service. You need a team that’s not only skilled in your technology but also in how to help calm anger and frustration and focus on the issue at hand.
Train your team to listen to the customer and empathize, letting the customer know they understand their frustrations. It’s also okay to apologize, even if the root cause isn’t with your product or your staff. In addition, train your team to focus on the issue and work with the customer to find a resolution that your business and your customer can live with.
An unexpected spike in the number of tickets can also create a customer support challenge. A sudden increase in tickets may be due to a security patch that changed performance, a new feature that customers want to learn more about, or a navigation change that puts regular users at a loss for where they can find the features they need.
To break through a backlog, have a system of prioritizing calls so that you can address the most critical needs quickly while providing help to others in a logical order.
Life Without Customer Support Challenges
Customer support will be an asset to your business if your team can overcome challenges and meet — or exceed — expectations. You need a well-trained team following a solid strategy. But it also takes continual improvement, learning and documenting customer engagements and using feedback to confirm that your customer support team delivers optimal service.
Also, remember that your customer support team is a part of your whole organization — it doesn’t stand alone. So, the decisions you make and policies you put in place should align with your overall business strategy. If your primary goal is to convert freemium users to paid customers, build brand ambassadors, or promote a partnership, instruct your customer support team to guide users toward that result.
Above all, if your customer support team is the one in-person touchpoint you have with your users, take full advantage of it and grow the ROI you see from your customer service team.