7 ways to elevate your SaaS customer support

Support functions differently across industries and for SaaS, specifically, there are ways in which you can take your support to newer heights.
Priyanshu Anand
January 11, 2024

7 ways to elevate your SaaS customer support

Support functions differently across industries and for SaaS, specifically, there are ways in which you can take your support to newer heights.
Priyanshu Anand
January 11, 2024

7 ways to elevate your SaaS customer support

Support functions differently across industries and for SaaS, specifically, there are ways in which you can take your support to newer heights.
Priyanshu Anand
January 11, 2024

Heading

Every industry needs to provide outstanding customer support today. In fact, customer support is a deciding factor for customers to discontinue or continue doing business with you. But customer support is different across industries - a SaaS company functions differently than an e-commerce company. For example - an e-commerce company handles customer concerns surrounding defective products, refunds, or shipping concerns, whereas a SaaS company resolves technical queries like product downtime or pricing concerns.

SaaS companies have to work with a wider range of customer concerns that can be anything from basic queries regarding the product to much deeper applicability for custom use cases. Helping customers realize the value of the product is a differentiating factor in long-term customer relations, lower churn, and better retention.

There are a few strategies that can be taken into account to help elevate customer support and as a result, customer experience.

Empower with AI

In today's fast-paced world, customers expect instant solutions. Incorporating AI into your support system, like Threado AI, can significantly reduce response times. This technology not only answers common queries swiftly but also assists support teams by providing instant information, making the entire process more efficient.

Intelligent bots

AI-powered virtual assistants can be equipped to handle customer queries independently to ensure instant responses and an option for users to get their queries answered without having to connect with and/or wait for a support professional. With the ability to train the bot, it can make the interactions intuitive and user-friendly, further enhancing the user experience. By handling routine queries, the AI frees up your support operations team to focus on more complex, emotional, and demanding issues, thereby enhancing overall support operations.

AI-powered chatbots can be programmed to assist customers in troubleshooting common issues. They can guide users through a series of steps to identify and resolve problems, offering a self-service solution that is both efficient and empowering for the customer.

Knowledge Base Optimization

By constantly monitoring customer conversations with intelligent bots or through the concerns raised - you can improve the knowledge bases that become the basis for complete self-help. Analyze user interactions to identify gaps for improvement and improve the answers to make them more accurate. Enrich the knowledge bases and update them regularly to keep them up-to-date resources for customers.

A reliable way to identify gaps is by monitoring which questions is the bot not able to answer or which answers are incorrect or dissatisfactory for the customers. This is an opportunity that can be leveraged to add more questions that the bot can be trained on. Eventually, the entire knowledge base gets optimized.

Predictive Text and Auto-Suggestions

AI leverages predictive text and auto-suggestions to facilitate quicker and more efficient self-service. By analyzing previous customer interactions and queries, it can suggest potential solutions even before a customer completes typing a query, fostering a seamless self-service experience.

A lot of bots tend to offer suggestions to make it easier for customers to interact and resolve their problems.

Define workflows to improve self-help

As an extension of the previous point, you can leverage auto-suggestions to create workflows that a user can follow. By giving pre-defined options, you’re not just saving time for the user but also making it easier to navigate through questions and resolve queries faster.

AI can also recommend FAQs, articles, and references that the user can explore on their own. These workflows can be some of the best ways to offer self-serve support to customers.

24/7 Availability and Scalability

Unlike human agents, AI-powered support systems can operate around the clock. This constant availability ensures that customers receive assistance whenever they need it, a crucial factor in today's global and always-online marketplace.

Also, AI systems can handle a large volume of queries simultaneously. This scalability is vital for businesses experiencing rapid growth or seasonal spikes in customer support requests.

Better agent assistance

Your agents are the foundation for driving better customer support and leveraging AI to give them better assistance can elevate customer support for your SaaS organization.

AI for agent assistance

Ticket volume and queries handled by each agent can be overwhelming, leading to slower resolution time, longer FRT, and dissatisfactory customer experiences. With Threado AI’s agent assistance bot, your agents get real-time assistance with a summary of the support tickets.

  • It will provide an automated summary of support tickets to a faster and easier understanding of customer concerns.
  • It will suggest customized responses for these tickets or customer concerns.
  • Agents will be able to change the tone of the responses, shorten or lengthen it, check grammar, reframe the answers, and also translate it into their preferred language.

Real-time agent support

With Threado AI features like omnichannel support that allows the bot to be installed on Slack, in-product, and embed, and the ability to read tabular data, agents will be able to get answers to their queries faster, which allows for quicker customer query resolutions.

Personalization is Key

Customers feel valued when support is tailored to their needs. Use data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences, offering support that feels personalized and attentive.

  • Understanding Individual Customer Needs: Personalization starts with understanding each customer's unique needs and preferences. By leveraging data analytics, businesses can gain insights into customer behaviors, past interactions, and preferences. This understanding enables support teams to tailor their approach, ensuring that each customer feels heard and valued.
  • Customized Solutions and Recommendations: With a deeper understanding of individual customers, support agents can provide more accurate and relevant solutions. For instance, suggesting a product or service that aligns with the customer's previous purchases or interests can significantly enhance the customer experience.
  • Predictive Support: Using AI and machine learning, businesses can predict potential issues a customer might encounter and proactively reach out with solutions or advice. This proactive approach not only solves problems before they escalate but also demonstrates a deep understanding of the customer’s needs.
  • Building Long-term Relationships: Personalization helps in building stronger, more meaningful relationships with customers. When customers feel that a company understands and caters to their specific needs, they are more likely to develop loyalty and engage in repeat business.

Omnichannel Support

Being where your customers are is crucial. Ensure your support system spans across various channels like email, chat, social media, and in-product assistance. This not only increases accessibility but also caters to the diverse preferences of customers.

  • Unified customer view: Omnichannel support involves integrating various communication channels (like email, chat, social media, phone, and in-product support) to provide a consistent customer experience. This integration ensures that customer data and history are accessible across all channels, allowing support teams to provide informed and cohesive assistance.
  • Accessibility and convenience: Customers have different preferences for communication. Some might prefer the immediacy of a chat, while others might opt for detailed communication through email. Omnichannel support caters to these varied preferences, making it easy for customers to reach out through their preferred channel.
  • Seamless Transition Between Channels: Customers can switch between channels without losing the context of their queries or having to repeat information. For example, a conversation that starts on social media can seamlessly transition to a phone call, with the support agent having full visibility of the previous interaction.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: By providing a consistent experience across all channels, businesses can significantly enhance overall customer satisfaction. It demonstrates to the customer that the business values their time and is committed to providing convenient support.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Omnichannel support allows businesses to collect comprehensive data across different touchpoints. This data can be analyzed to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points, which can inform business strategies and improve customer experience.

Continual Training and Development

Your support team should be constantly trained on the latest product updates and customer service techniques. A well-informed team is crucial in providing accurate and effective support.

  • Regular Skill Upgrades: The customer support landscape is dynamic, with evolving technologies and changing customer expectations. Regular training ensures that support staff are up-to-date with the latest tools, technologies, and best practices in customer service.
  • Product Knowledge: In-depth training on the company's products and services is essential. A support agent with comprehensive product knowledge can provide more accurate and helpful solutions, significantly improving customer satisfaction.
  • Soft Skills Enhancement: Technical knowledge needs to be complemented with soft skills training, including communication, empathy, problem-solving, and adaptability. These skills are crucial in managing diverse customer interactions and delivering a positive experience.
  • Feedback-Based Training: Utilizing customer feedback to identify areas for improvement in support services is invaluable. Training programs can be tailored based on this feedback to address specific weaknesses or gaps in service delivery.
  • Leadership and Career Development: Providing pathways for career advancement and leadership training not only motivates staff but also helps in building a strong pipeline of future leaders within the support team.

Community Building

Foster a community where customers can interact, share experiences, and provide peer-to-peer support. This not only alleviates the load on your support team but also creates a loyal customer base.

  • Peer-to-Peer Support: A well-managed community allows customers to help each other, answering questions and sharing experiences. This peer-to-peer support can be incredibly efficient, often resolving issues faster than traditional support channels.
  • Building Brand Advocates: Active community members often become brand advocates. They share their positive experiences and help others, effectively promoting the brand organically and enhancing its reputation.
  • Reducing Support Load: By enabling customers to find answers within the community, businesses can significantly reduce the volume of direct support queries. This not only saves resources but also allows the support team to focus on more complex issues.
  • Creating a Knowledge Base: Over time, community discussions can evolve into a comprehensive knowledge base of user-generated content. This repository of information, created by and for users, can be an invaluable resource for both new and existing customers.
  • Customer Retention and Loyalty: Communities foster a sense of belonging and loyalty. When customers feel connected to a brand and its user community, they're more likely to remain engaged and continue using the product or service.

Measuring Success

All those efforts you put into elevating your customer support will only be evident through measuring success parameters through critical customer support KPIs.

KPIs are not just statistical data; they are the vital signs of your customer support ecosystem. They offer quantifiable measures that reflect the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of your support team. In a world where customer expectations are soaring, failing to keep an eye on the right KPIs can lead to missed opportunities and, worse, customer attrition. Therefore, the need for accurate, real-time tracking is more critical than ever. It's not just about collecting data; it's about collecting the right data and acting on it swiftly.

Some important KPIs to keep track of -

  • First Response Time (FRT) -  First Response Time (FRT) is the time taken to respond to a customer's query for the first time. The shorter the response time, the higher will be the customer satisfaction as it shows that their concerns are being addressed promptly.
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) - You can conduct surveys to ask customers how satisfied they are with the customer support or service. This can be used to measure their satisfaction score.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES) - CES determines the effort that a customer has to put into getting their queries resolved. Self-help options and AI bots can help reduce this score and improve experience.
  • Resolution Time  - This is the measure of the time taken to resolve a customer's concern. A shorter resolution time means higher customer satisfaction.

Read here how you can leverage AI to improve key metrics and KPIs in customer support.

Elevating your SaaS customer support to new heights

Empowering support with AI transforms the speed and efficiency of responses, making support readily accessible and personalized. Personalization in customer support goes a long way in making customers feel valued, offering solutions tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Omnichannel support ensures a seamless and consistent experience across all customer touchpoints, enhancing convenience and satisfaction.

Continual training and development keep the support team agile and knowledgeable, ready to tackle emerging challenges and customer needs. Community building creates a valuable space for customers to engage, share, and support each other, fostering a sense of belonging and loyalty to the brand. And finally, measuring the impact of each of these strategies to see how they contribute to a robust and dynamic customer support system.

Threado AI can be an integral part of your customer support with new-age AI that focuses on uplifting assistance to your support agents and having an intelligent AI chatbot as the first line of support which also enables self-help.

Every industry needs to provide outstanding customer support today. In fact, customer support is a deciding factor for customers to discontinue or continue doing business with you. But customer support is different across industries - a SaaS company functions differently than an e-commerce company. For example - an e-commerce company handles customer concerns surrounding defective products, refunds, or shipping concerns, whereas a SaaS company resolves technical queries like product downtime or pricing concerns.

SaaS companies have to work with a wider range of customer concerns that can be anything from basic queries regarding the product to much deeper applicability for custom use cases. Helping customers realize the value of the product is a differentiating factor in long-term customer relations, lower churn, and better retention.

There are a few strategies that can be taken into account to help elevate customer support and as a result, customer experience.

Empower with AI

In today's fast-paced world, customers expect instant solutions. Incorporating AI into your support system, like Threado AI, can significantly reduce response times. This technology not only answers common queries swiftly but also assists support teams by providing instant information, making the entire process more efficient.

Intelligent bots

AI-powered virtual assistants can be equipped to handle customer queries independently to ensure instant responses and an option for users to get their queries answered without having to connect with and/or wait for a support professional. With the ability to train the bot, it can make the interactions intuitive and user-friendly, further enhancing the user experience. By handling routine queries, the AI frees up your support operations team to focus on more complex, emotional, and demanding issues, thereby enhancing overall support operations.

AI-powered chatbots can be programmed to assist customers in troubleshooting common issues. They can guide users through a series of steps to identify and resolve problems, offering a self-service solution that is both efficient and empowering for the customer.

Knowledge Base Optimization

By constantly monitoring customer conversations with intelligent bots or through the concerns raised - you can improve the knowledge bases that become the basis for complete self-help. Analyze user interactions to identify gaps for improvement and improve the answers to make them more accurate. Enrich the knowledge bases and update them regularly to keep them up-to-date resources for customers.

A reliable way to identify gaps is by monitoring which questions is the bot not able to answer or which answers are incorrect or dissatisfactory for the customers. This is an opportunity that can be leveraged to add more questions that the bot can be trained on. Eventually, the entire knowledge base gets optimized.

Predictive Text and Auto-Suggestions

AI leverages predictive text and auto-suggestions to facilitate quicker and more efficient self-service. By analyzing previous customer interactions and queries, it can suggest potential solutions even before a customer completes typing a query, fostering a seamless self-service experience.

A lot of bots tend to offer suggestions to make it easier for customers to interact and resolve their problems.

Define workflows to improve self-help

As an extension of the previous point, you can leverage auto-suggestions to create workflows that a user can follow. By giving pre-defined options, you’re not just saving time for the user but also making it easier to navigate through questions and resolve queries faster.

AI can also recommend FAQs, articles, and references that the user can explore on their own. These workflows can be some of the best ways to offer self-serve support to customers.

24/7 Availability and Scalability

Unlike human agents, AI-powered support systems can operate around the clock. This constant availability ensures that customers receive assistance whenever they need it, a crucial factor in today's global and always-online marketplace.

Also, AI systems can handle a large volume of queries simultaneously. This scalability is vital for businesses experiencing rapid growth or seasonal spikes in customer support requests.

Better agent assistance

Your agents are the foundation for driving better customer support and leveraging AI to give them better assistance can elevate customer support for your SaaS organization.

AI for agent assistance

Ticket volume and queries handled by each agent can be overwhelming, leading to slower resolution time, longer FRT, and dissatisfactory customer experiences. With Threado AI’s agent assistance bot, your agents get real-time assistance with a summary of the support tickets.

  • It will provide an automated summary of support tickets to a faster and easier understanding of customer concerns.
  • It will suggest customized responses for these tickets or customer concerns.
  • Agents will be able to change the tone of the responses, shorten or lengthen it, check grammar, reframe the answers, and also translate it into their preferred language.

Real-time agent support

With Threado AI features like omnichannel support that allows the bot to be installed on Slack, in-product, and embed, and the ability to read tabular data, agents will be able to get answers to their queries faster, which allows for quicker customer query resolutions.

Personalization is Key

Customers feel valued when support is tailored to their needs. Use data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences, offering support that feels personalized and attentive.

  • Understanding Individual Customer Needs: Personalization starts with understanding each customer's unique needs and preferences. By leveraging data analytics, businesses can gain insights into customer behaviors, past interactions, and preferences. This understanding enables support teams to tailor their approach, ensuring that each customer feels heard and valued.
  • Customized Solutions and Recommendations: With a deeper understanding of individual customers, support agents can provide more accurate and relevant solutions. For instance, suggesting a product or service that aligns with the customer's previous purchases or interests can significantly enhance the customer experience.
  • Predictive Support: Using AI and machine learning, businesses can predict potential issues a customer might encounter and proactively reach out with solutions or advice. This proactive approach not only solves problems before they escalate but also demonstrates a deep understanding of the customer’s needs.
  • Building Long-term Relationships: Personalization helps in building stronger, more meaningful relationships with customers. When customers feel that a company understands and caters to their specific needs, they are more likely to develop loyalty and engage in repeat business.

Omnichannel Support

Being where your customers are is crucial. Ensure your support system spans across various channels like email, chat, social media, and in-product assistance. This not only increases accessibility but also caters to the diverse preferences of customers.

  • Unified customer view: Omnichannel support involves integrating various communication channels (like email, chat, social media, phone, and in-product support) to provide a consistent customer experience. This integration ensures that customer data and history are accessible across all channels, allowing support teams to provide informed and cohesive assistance.
  • Accessibility and convenience: Customers have different preferences for communication. Some might prefer the immediacy of a chat, while others might opt for detailed communication through email. Omnichannel support caters to these varied preferences, making it easy for customers to reach out through their preferred channel.
  • Seamless Transition Between Channels: Customers can switch between channels without losing the context of their queries or having to repeat information. For example, a conversation that starts on social media can seamlessly transition to a phone call, with the support agent having full visibility of the previous interaction.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: By providing a consistent experience across all channels, businesses can significantly enhance overall customer satisfaction. It demonstrates to the customer that the business values their time and is committed to providing convenient support.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Omnichannel support allows businesses to collect comprehensive data across different touchpoints. This data can be analyzed to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points, which can inform business strategies and improve customer experience.

Continual Training and Development

Your support team should be constantly trained on the latest product updates and customer service techniques. A well-informed team is crucial in providing accurate and effective support.

  • Regular Skill Upgrades: The customer support landscape is dynamic, with evolving technologies and changing customer expectations. Regular training ensures that support staff are up-to-date with the latest tools, technologies, and best practices in customer service.
  • Product Knowledge: In-depth training on the company's products and services is essential. A support agent with comprehensive product knowledge can provide more accurate and helpful solutions, significantly improving customer satisfaction.
  • Soft Skills Enhancement: Technical knowledge needs to be complemented with soft skills training, including communication, empathy, problem-solving, and adaptability. These skills are crucial in managing diverse customer interactions and delivering a positive experience.
  • Feedback-Based Training: Utilizing customer feedback to identify areas for improvement in support services is invaluable. Training programs can be tailored based on this feedback to address specific weaknesses or gaps in service delivery.
  • Leadership and Career Development: Providing pathways for career advancement and leadership training not only motivates staff but also helps in building a strong pipeline of future leaders within the support team.

Community Building

Foster a community where customers can interact, share experiences, and provide peer-to-peer support. This not only alleviates the load on your support team but also creates a loyal customer base.

  • Peer-to-Peer Support: A well-managed community allows customers to help each other, answering questions and sharing experiences. This peer-to-peer support can be incredibly efficient, often resolving issues faster than traditional support channels.
  • Building Brand Advocates: Active community members often become brand advocates. They share their positive experiences and help others, effectively promoting the brand organically and enhancing its reputation.
  • Reducing Support Load: By enabling customers to find answers within the community, businesses can significantly reduce the volume of direct support queries. This not only saves resources but also allows the support team to focus on more complex issues.
  • Creating a Knowledge Base: Over time, community discussions can evolve into a comprehensive knowledge base of user-generated content. This repository of information, created by and for users, can be an invaluable resource for both new and existing customers.
  • Customer Retention and Loyalty: Communities foster a sense of belonging and loyalty. When customers feel connected to a brand and its user community, they're more likely to remain engaged and continue using the product or service.

Measuring Success

All those efforts you put into elevating your customer support will only be evident through measuring success parameters through critical customer support KPIs.

KPIs are not just statistical data; they are the vital signs of your customer support ecosystem. They offer quantifiable measures that reflect the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of your support team. In a world where customer expectations are soaring, failing to keep an eye on the right KPIs can lead to missed opportunities and, worse, customer attrition. Therefore, the need for accurate, real-time tracking is more critical than ever. It's not just about collecting data; it's about collecting the right data and acting on it swiftly.

Some important KPIs to keep track of -

  • First Response Time (FRT) -  First Response Time (FRT) is the time taken to respond to a customer's query for the first time. The shorter the response time, the higher will be the customer satisfaction as it shows that their concerns are being addressed promptly.
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) - You can conduct surveys to ask customers how satisfied they are with the customer support or service. This can be used to measure their satisfaction score.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES) - CES determines the effort that a customer has to put into getting their queries resolved. Self-help options and AI bots can help reduce this score and improve experience.
  • Resolution Time  - This is the measure of the time taken to resolve a customer's concern. A shorter resolution time means higher customer satisfaction.

Read here how you can leverage AI to improve key metrics and KPIs in customer support.

Elevating your SaaS customer support to new heights

Empowering support with AI transforms the speed and efficiency of responses, making support readily accessible and personalized. Personalization in customer support goes a long way in making customers feel valued, offering solutions tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Omnichannel support ensures a seamless and consistent experience across all customer touchpoints, enhancing convenience and satisfaction.

Continual training and development keep the support team agile and knowledgeable, ready to tackle emerging challenges and customer needs. Community building creates a valuable space for customers to engage, share, and support each other, fostering a sense of belonging and loyalty to the brand. And finally, measuring the impact of each of these strategies to see how they contribute to a robust and dynamic customer support system.

Threado AI can be an integral part of your customer support with new-age AI that focuses on uplifting assistance to your support agents and having an intelligent AI chatbot as the first line of support which also enables self-help.

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