5 Ways to Reduce SaaS Customer Support Cost
Unless a company bills customers directly for support services, SaaS Customer Support can be a drain on company time and monetary resources, and never is this more true than when a customer is using a free version of the platform, or operating during a free trial. Converting such customers requires good SaaS customer support or they may abandon the service at the end of the trial period, or not see the worth of purchasing the full version.
Reducing customer support costs is important to the company bottom line, but no less important than the customer having access to the information they need to be successful. Platform providers can turn to a number of tools that help reduce SaaS customer support costs while ensuring users are successful.
Encourage Knowledge Base Use
A good knowledge base contains information that helps users find their own way by providing FAQs and articles based on customer questions and how customer support handled the issues. Also provided are specific how-to tutorials for specific operations or fixes.
Encourage users to consult the knowledge base anytime they need support, such as when they access a support chat, look up support telephone numbers, or are on hold waiting to talk to a support representative. A readily available answer the first time they call support may encourage them to check the knowledge base the next time they need help.
Knowledge bases can also serve as a method of user or employee training and lower costs by providing readily available access to the training materials and tutorials.
Update Knowledge Bases
A knowledge base with outdated information won’t help many people, and may actually increase SaaS customer support costs. Outdated information misleads and frustrates users when they don’t find referenced page options such as navigation or buttons.
Keep the knowledge base up to date and make sure it is easily searched so that users can find the information when they need it without requiring the time and effort of a customer support representative.
Automated Support Options
Some automated options such as a walkthrough make it easy for a user to bypass support altogether. At the click of a mouse button, they receive context sensitive help that leads them from one field to the next and instructs them on which buttons to push at the right time. A more sophisticated walkthrough can trigger on specific events such as the first time a user lands on a page or when they have not completed a certain operation necessary to employee training. The same walkthrough that triggered on an event can still be available if the user needs it.
Another way to lower customer support expenses is an investment in a user or employee training stage. Teaching users or employees when they are first exposed to the SaaS platform , or even before they begin using it is usually more cost effective than incurring repeated costs for fixing or resolving issues that could have eliminated with good training.
An investment in training allows the company to prevent specific issues from happening in the first place which not only lowers customer support costs, it also increases user satisfaction and can play an important onboarding role.
The use of walkthroughs and knowledge bases empowers users and gives them additional satisfaction from doing it themselves. Support representatives can encourage users to use the resources available to them by providing links directly to articles and FAQs, and by letting users know it is okay to tinker with the platform to learn how it works.
Empowering users to help themselves works well, but it’s always a good idea to follow up and make sure that users were able to solve their problems using the self-service customer support options provided.