Customer support, customer success, customer service –– do all these terms mean the same? Which of these make your SaaS users happy and, more importantly, how does it happen?
In this article, you’ll find these answers and learn how to measure customer support efficiency. Moreover, we’ll share the structure of a SaaS customer support team, discuss the benefits of hiring a dedicated team, and help you choose the right outsourcing provider for it.
What Is Efficient SaaS Customer Service?
90% of users from Microsoft’s research say that they won’t stay loyal to a brand with poor customer service. And you probably share this opinion. That’s why SaaS product owners need to constantly look for ways to improve their customer care. For subscription-based businesses keeping clients happy is the priority, and you can reach that with the help of effective customer service.
Companies make their customer service effective in two ways: reactively and proactively. Though people often confuse customer SaaS support and customer success different roles and departments perform these functions in a company. So, the term “customer service” embraces both support and success.
Understanding Customer Success
The customer success team focuses on how to help your clients achieve their business goals using your software. For this, a customer success team needs to build relationships with customers, learn their weak and strong points, and assess how your SaaS product can help them improve performance. Here you initiate communication and help to fit the software into your customer’s workflow. This way, customer success concerns long-time cooperation.
Explaining Customer Support
The customer support team deals with queries initiated by clients when they face issues while using your software. So, the support deals with separate short-time customer requests. However, for an effective support service resolving problems isn’t enough. You need to leave each client feeling satisfied with your product. But how to measure customer satisfaction?
SaaS Customer Support Metrics
Some parameters directly refer to customers’ satisfaction with your software. Below, we’ll look at the key customer satisfaction metrics and explain how to calculate each of them.
To make the idea behind the first two examples more straightforward, let’s assume you have the following input parameters:
The number of customers at the beginning of the month, N1 = 100.
The number of customers at the end of the month N2 = 90.
The number of acquired users during the month, A = 20.
- Customer Retention Rate (CRR). If you want to learn how long your subscribers have been with your service, calculate the CRR. Probably, you know that keeping a subscriber is cheaper than finding a new customer. Existing customers can buy more products from you without any investments, so keeping the CRR high is essential. You need to deduct the number of acquired (new) users from the number of subscribers at month-end and divide by the users’ quantity on the first day of the month. So, the CRR formula is: (N2 – A)/ N1*100% = 60%.
- Churn Rate (CR). This rate shows how many users canceled their subscription or didn’t extend it during the past month. You need to deduct the number of subscribers at the month-end from their quantity at the beginning of the month. Then you have to divide the difference by the initial number of users and multiply the result by 100%. Here’s the formula of CR: (N1-N2)/N1*100%, and the result is 10%.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). CAC considers all the costs related to attracting new customers. It includes expenses on marketing and sales. To calculate this metric, one needs to add total expenses on sales and marketing and divide this number by the quantity of all acquired clients within a particular period. A more complex approach also accounts for overheads, other related services, purchase of equipment, etc.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). CLV shows how much profit the company earned from one client during the whole period of his subscription. So, you’ll get this parameter if you multiply the average annual customer profit by the average period (number of years) of his retention. This is only one of the ways to calculate CLV, and there are more generalized ones like dividing the total profit for the period by the number of customers.
- Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). This one is considered the most critical for subscription-based businesses as it allows them to estimate monthly revenues. This is possible because SaaS companies can calculate their profit from annual subscriptions. Moreover, they can predict the approximate life cycle of their users: when they usually switch from trial to payable versions or upgrade their plan to premium.
- Average Revenue per Account (ARPA). ARPA helps to spot the service bringing more revenue. Its formula is simple: you have to divide the total revenue by the total number of accounts. Business owners can calculate the ARPA for existing and newly acquired customers separately to get into more detail. This can help them gain insights into revenue tendencies.
So, there are many ways to measure customer satisfaction and even make it one of the KPIs for your top managers.
Roles and Structure of a SaaS Customer Support Team
Whatever issues users of a SaaS product may face, the customer support team should resolve them effectively, quickly, and with a smile on their faces. These people need to deliver excellent service through multiple communication channels while resolving clients’ issues and growing customer retention rate. This team structure example shows which roles you may need in a SaaS customer support team.
- SaaS Customer Support Lead. This role is critical for performance orchestration and keeping clients happy. Identifying team KPIs, advocating customers’ needs, and driving software improvements are among the essential tasks of the customer support team lead. These managers are responsible for building and following the processes that ensure an excellent customer experience.
- SaaS Support Agents.These employees represent your startup or company to clients because most users interact with customer support only. So, every agent needs to be dynamic, proactive, and professional each time he or she helps a client who has issues with a product. Support agents are goal-oriented and multi-tasking communicators who know the product perfectly and are eager to help business owners.
- SaaS Customer Support Analyst. These professionals collect and analyze customer surveys, reviews, and queries. They use the core customer-related metrics to identify services that need improvement. Data-driven reports and valuable insights from deep research delivered by customer support analysts help SaaS companies improve their service and create a proper client-centered strategy.
- SaaS QA. This role is necessary for customer care service teams of three and more people. A SaaS Quality Assurance analyst will create manual tests for product applications and consider all significant risks conducting the root cause analysis. This employee will have to do the tests on all common mobile and web browsers using the best practices and instruments for troubleshooting. And your SaaS QA will collaborate with UX designers and the product team to introduce new product features.
Benefits of Outsourcing SaaS Customer Support
Though customer support is the heart of your Software-as-a-Service business, keeping an in-house customer service SaaS team isn’t the only option to consider. An outsourcing model, for example, became more popular during the past years as it boasts several benefits.
- You save on payrolls. Outsourcing opens many opportunities for hiring specialists from countries with lower remuneration levels. So, without sacrificing professionalism, you can employ remote support agents for less money. This way, the outsourcing model can help you save up to 15% of costs on salaries.
- You don’t have to rent an office. Since outsourcing assumes your team members can be located across multiple countries and regions, they work remotely. For you, this means a possibility to save on office premises and suffer minimized administrative costs related to your customer support SaaS team operation. So, you forget about monthly rentals and utility bills.
- You have access to top professionals. You can make your outsourcing customer service shine because outsourcing helps you reach highly-trained specialists. They boast years of industry-relevant experience and cooperation with some of the most successful SaaS companies. Finding such talents in your city isn’t always possible and affordable for new companies, but the outsourcing model opens this door for you.
- You can hire multilingual 24/7 professionals. If you sell your SaaS software to users worldwide, keeping your customer service multilingual is the key to success. Even though most of your customers will probably speak English, sometimes explaining technical issues can be challenging. Moreover, remote specialists can help you cover customer support round-the-clock.
- You can enhance your in-house team. It’s not always necessary to choose one of the two options: hiring an in-house SasS customer support team or outsourcing it. Why not combine the two models, especially if you already have a couple of enthusiastic professionals on board. You can only enhance your team with remote agents and, for example, ensure 24/7 service.
How to Choose Best Saas Customer Support Services Provider
Many companies can help you hire a dedicated team of customer support agents, so you need to keep in mind several criteria when choosing an outsourcing provider.
- Successful use cases. There’s nothing more impressive than happy customers. So, research all the testimonials, referrals, and recommendations relevant to this company. Check their social media and industry-related portals for feedback from their past and current clients. Read case studies to understand how exactly they approach challenges and arising limitations.
- Impressive experience. Many new outsourcing companies can deliver adequate services and do it cheaper. But seasoned providers often do it faster, more professionally, and offer some financial bonuses. For example, they can lower profit margins if you need several teams of SaaS support agents. So, years of experience in the industry prove that your potential partner is reliable.
- Cost-effectiveness. Reducing SaaS customer support costs is probably one of the main reasons to consider outsourcing. And you need to calculate how budget-friendly your cooperation can be. Does this outsourcing provider charge fees for recruiting? What are payroll-related taxes that you’ll have to cover? Will this company replace the candidate in case of force majeure?
- Flexibility. Is the company you consider ready to react to your business requirements effectively? For example, if you urgently need to hire five more customer support agents, will it be able to do that as soon as possible and without extra fees? Or, once you have to pause your project, will it still charge you for the human resource you don’t use?
- Quick results. Assembling remote teams takes time, and often this time is crucial for any business, let alone SaaS one. That’s why if you need your team asap, consider the terms a particular provider offers. The more professional approach to searching candidates outsourcer implements and the more advanced tools its recruiting team uses, the faster you’ll get your team working.
- Data Security. Customer support agents have access to sensitive data. That’s why business owners need to understand that along with a dedicated team they also outsource customer support legal considerations SaaS model includes. So check how providers store, transfer, and access your customers’ private data.
Outsourcing Customer Support for SaaS Companies with Mobilunity-BPO
Mobilunity-BPO is a Ukraine-based outstaffing company that successfully builds teams for various businesses around the world. For example, we source companies with remote SEO, digital marketing, and lead generation professionals. Our team ensures back office support with HR specialists and recruiters. And we’re always happy to customize data annotation teams for various ML and AI projects.
Our family includes 200+ hard workers who helped us deliver professional services to 40+ clients from more than 15 countries. That’s why we definitely have a decent customer support SaaS software solution for your company. We have 10+ years of experience in the Ukrainian job market and leverage access to the most hard-working, enthusiastic, sophisticated, ambitious, well-trained, and business-oriented agents. And here are some of the peculiarities of our work:
- You pay a monthly fee. Our cooperation model assumes that we issue only one invoice every month. It includes payrolls, taxes, and administrative expenses related to your customer support team. And the good news for you is that we don’t charge any recruiting fees. So, you get a highly efficient team and pay a fixed fee for it each month.
- You stay focused on work. We take care of all the administrative arrangements and other issues related to your team. So, we deal with the formalization of annual vacation and sick leaves, team retention, or improving employee motivation, leaving you the possibility to stay focused on work. And, instead of spending time on minor issues, you can keep developing your SaaS product.
- You take top talents on board. Who doesn’t dream of having a perfect customer support team for launching a SaaS project? With us, you can make it real. Highly responsive, product-knowing, engaged, attentive to details, amazingly result-focused, and client-oriented support agents can’t wait to start working with you!
How to Hire a Customer Support for SaaS Company with Us
There’s little magic in how we cooperate with our customers and approach each client’s requirements. We stick to procedures that proved their effectiveness over time, but we don’t deliver a one-for-all solution. That’s why we always try to consider many details of your request to deliver a win-win solution in the short term. And here’s how we will work with you:
- You complete the contact form, and from this moment, you won’t have to push the process –– we’ll do it for you. In 1-2: hours, our managers will contact you to learn your requirements for the team. You can draft a list of critical conditions you want to point out, but don’t worry if you don’t have them so far. We’ll start the process from scratch, and soon you’ll have a job description for each role in your team. Now you only need to review, correct if necessary, and confirm those documents.
- We start sourcing candidates from top job portals and through our referral network. Sometimes, you’ll be able to see the first CVs within the first week, but usually, it takes us 2-4 weeks to find, pre-screen, and interview candidates. So, in a few weeks, you have a list of 3-5 CVs for each position. Our recruiters always make some notes and recommendations to help you choose the most appropriate person for the role.
- You choose the candidates, and we send them pre-agreed job offers. Once accepted, we will prepare the cooperation agreement with you. We start the hiring and onboarding processes to ensure your SaaS customer service team is ready to work upon signing the contract. We always operate in compliance with local regulations, so rest assured that your team will be paid on time while we meet all legal requirements for salary payment.