Robert Deignan built ATS Digital Services because he knew that, for the most part, customer support was (and still is) severely lacking. In many cases, customer service for consumers of technology such as computers was nonexistent, too expensive, or inconvenient. Robert Deignan set out to fix all that when he founded ATS Digital Services.
After several years in the business of solving technical problems for consumers, Robert Deignan, along with many other tech executives, have seen the importance of customer support as a vital part of the brand experience grow, especially for SaaS companies. In other words, just like marketing and sales, customer support is becoming as much, if not more so, a part of the brand as any logo or website design.
In this article, we will build off a few of the key trends and insights that Robert Deignan identified as critical drivers of the increasing importance of customer support for SaaS companies.
SaaS Require a Unique Approach to Marketing
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. SaaS products are different than traditional products in many ways, but their most notable difference is that consumers or businesses purchase them on a subscription basis. Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Slack, and DocuSign are all examples of companies that provide SaaS products.
Because consumers pay for these subscriptions on a monthly basis, the company who provides the SaaS product doesn’t receive as much money up front as they would if they sold it with a one-time fee. That’s part of what makes it so important that customers stay with a SaaS provider for a long period of time. The longer the SaaS customer is paying for the monthly subscription, the more valuable that customer is to the company.
And since retaining customers is always much cheaper than acquiring them, SaaS companies need to put an increased focus on keeping existing customers happy. In this way, comprehensive, efficient customer support is hugely important. After all, even the best product will have problems… whether they’re caused by user error or the product itself doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the customer’s problem is taken care of quickly and efficiently to prevent them from even thinking about canceling their subscription.
Customer Success is More Important than Ever in SaaS
Building on the previous point, while it’s important to solve problems quickly and efficiently, it’s just as important to avoid problems and maximize customer success. As mentioned earlier, SaaS providers need to focus lots of resources on retaining existing customers, but that doesn’t mean they can forget about acquiring new customers. Fortunately, it’s not hard to do both at once, provided that you have an experienced customer service professional like Robert Deignan on your side.
But even if you don’t have somebody like Robert Deignan to advise you directly, you can understand the concept. Essentially, your customer service reps are in the ideal position to anticipate future problems and offer guidance to ensure future customer success. So customer service reps should be trained on more than just what it takes to solve a problem. They should also have the knowledge and expertise to explain to customers how to avoid the problem in the future and/or offer relevant tips based on the customer’s goals.
In this way, the customer is not just satisfied, he or she is thrilled. As a result, you (as a company) improve the chances of that customer becoming an advocate for your brand. Here you can see how you’re effectively killing two birds with one stone. In essence, you’re investing in the happiness of your customers which helps you on two fronts: 1) the customer is more likely to stay with your company, buy more, and drive profits to you and 2) the customer helps attract new prospects via word of mouth.
Company Brands Must Be an End-to-End Experience
If there’s one thing that’s certain in the world of technology it’s that the competition is never going to get less fierce. As such, it becomes increasingly important for individual brands to find ways to stand out in any way they can. Of course, customer service can help you do this. For example, a customer has a problem, they call customer support, and their problem is solved. Undoubtedly, that customer is happy with your company. But if you want to truly stand out, you can take this a step further.
Instead of just hiring customer service reps who are knowledgeable and helpful (which is hard enough as it is), it’s important to have customer service reps that can act as ambassadors of your brand. In this way, even your customer service department will become both an extension and amplifier of your brand.
You can see an example of this in action with ATS Digital Solutions, Robert Deignan’s company, where they prioritize customer service above all else. And they don’t just do that by writing about it on their website. In fact, they talk the talk too by being consistently helpful to their customers.
Conclusion: Communication Channels Are Growing in Number—Service Bridges the Gap
Voice search, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit… the list of places your customer may interact with your brand goes on and on. In many cases, these interactions may not be relevant to customer service, but when they are, you’ll want to know how to handle that. Thanks to the hyperconnectivity of today’s internet, the tech world is much smaller than you think. People will see the way your customer support team handles communications that come in from a variety of channels.
Moreover, your customer will increasingly expect a seamless transition from interacting with your brand on a social media channel to interacting with your customer support team over the phone. To ensure that these transitions and interactions are seamless, businesses will have to make investments in customer service.
Want more on Robert Deignan? Read our last article here!