This article is a guest post by Harsh Vardhan, Content Marketer at Hiver.
The revenue model of SaaS companies is dependent on repeat customers, making exceptional customer service experience a big differentiator. In fact, SaaS companies which have successfully made their customers happy have seen an average of 20-40% increase in spending.
To establish a dignified position in the market, here are five customer service mistakes SaaS companies must avoid:
1. Encouraging sudden innovations
SaaS companies should refrain from making continuous drastic changes. Instead, apply smaller changes in a subtle manner.
Kaizen is a Japanese management philosophy. It dictates applying continuous small changes that will over time lead to more substantial changes. When too many changes take place in a short span of time, there is inconsistency. This eventually makes it difficult for SaaS companies to build any real relationship with customers.
A study shows that by making frequent upgrades, companies incurred high churn rates. The reason being that SaaS companies were unable to scale with so many things happening on the side. The entire process of a constant 360-degree innovation is expensive and time-consuming, making it difficult to get a good ROI.
2. Disguising automation as a human activity
No one can disagree with the fact that automation has made everyday life and tasks easier. With 51% of companies using automation, there is no denying the benefits it has brought to the entire customer service experience.
The problem lies when SaaS companies try to disguise automation as a human activity. This form of trickery is what makes your entire customer service feel like a sham. It instantly makes you untrustworthy, thereby killing your chances of getting your repeat customers back. It’s no wonder that, 60% of automation implementation fail.
Automation does make your customer service efficient. But when customers expect a human to solve their problem, an auto response might be a bad idea. When customers realize that your SaaS customer service is unable to provide human empathy, they will not engage with you.
3. Limiting customer service to free trial users
SaaS companies spend a considerable amount of their resources to get the audience members hooked on to the free trial version. Customer service teams are deployed specifically to cater to free trial users, making sure they have great product experience. But, that’s just half the battle won.
The end goal of your customer service should be to convert free trial users into paying customers. Somehow the action fizzles out and what is left is a greasy half-baked customer service engine. SaaS companies rarely have a concrete plan on how customer service can upsell premium versions. This fatigue affects your entire payment cycle.
Monetize your positive customer experience by encouraging users to adopt premium versions. Divide your customer service into two parts; one which focuses on getting people into the free trials and the other which converts trial users into premium customers.
Keep monitoring your efforts for both customer service teams by constantly measuring customer satisfaction. This reduces churn rates of both free trial users and paying customers.
Here’s how your customer service can convert trial users into paying customers:
4. Going off the radar
E-commerce companies can expect to survive on short term relationships because they generally deal in volume. Sadly, SaaS companies cannot afford to survive on such a short bandwidth, since the major chunk of the revenue comes from retention.That means, your service team needs to be trained in building a long-term healthy relationship with customers.
After making a conversion, you can’t go AWOL. Your customer service team needs to be present at every stage and on every channel possible.Your customers might be right to expect a problem to arise, but they do not appreciate being kept in the dark.
The customer service team needs to be always aware of the ground situation. Keep communicating to the customers, update them about the progress of the situation. By keeping customers in the loop, customers gain a sense of comfort. They are at ease and your service team is in more control since they have the full knowledge of the situation.
5. Over apologizing
When your SaaS product doesn’t deliver, it’s the job of your customer service team to apologize for the situation. However, it does NOT mean that your keep saying sorry in a loop.
According to Beverly Engel, author of ‘The Power of Apology’, over apologizing, shows that you are weak and have low self-esteem, none of which are great traits for customer service teams to be associated with.
Customer service teams should not panic when they are facing the music from customers. They should calm themselves and with a zen mind approach the situation. When your service team is composed, they are in a better position to avoid the sob stories and provide solutions. This makes your SaaS company look more strong, decisive and respectable in the minds of the customer.
Say, if a user contacts one of your customer service associates, but it happens to be the wrong person. This is how the associate should deal with the situation:
- Redirect the customer to the right person.
- Explain the reason why you are redirecting the call.
- Explain to customers how redirecting the call will help them.
After reading the article, if you realized that your customer service was making these mistakes, ask them to take charge of rectifying them. The best thing you could do is learn from these blunders and make sure you don’t allow them to happen in the future. Make this one of the mottos of your customer service experience ‘Mistakes are for learning, not repeating’.