Most SaaS companies get fixated only with their product. Can you blame them? Not only is that bringing them revenue but also helping to keep competition at bay. But is a high-quality product the only asset for a company? Since a majority of the SaaS based products run on a subscription based model, retention rates of customers seem to be fluctuating just like the British weather! It has become crucial more than ever to invest in customer support.
Yes, product innovation, hygiene checks, client calls and internal hullaballoo would always be there on our to-do lists but we have got to realize and understand the fact that sales process can be improved via both the product and a growing and equally stable customer list. We might have an amazing product with jaw-dropping facilities but if there are no customers willing to buy it or start bidding goodbye after a week itself, it is highly doubtful that the company would even last a year!
By customer support, a lot of companies feel that all they need to provide is a support hotline and things would fall into place. That’s where the pitfall starts!
To build a strong and long-lasting connection with your customers, apart from being there at the time of need, you should also check-in with them throughout their journey with you. Yes, 24×7 might not be feasible if you are a start-up, but by having the right contact SPOC listed on your website or by creating an in-app support tab and responding back within 24 hours can do the trick!
Does that mean that you do not have to worry about hiring the right kind of people as your frontline staff? The answer is a simple No.
Does it mean that if you an exhaustive FAQ section on your website, you can curtail the costs involved in recruiting and training your frontline staff? Again, the answer is No.
And does this mean that since I’m quoting SaaS companies specifically, you don’t have to bother about the way your fleet on street are interacting with the customer? Definitely not.
Customer demands need to be heard, to be cared for, and your line managers can make that happen along with an excellent product/service becomes the giant in the business ecosystem. Choosing a face for a company requires some deep thought and maybe a mass hiring for customer facing roles isn’t exactly the best idea.
Here are some of the qualities you definitely need to inculcate in your line managers. The best way to go about this could be through the right employee training that includes practical concepts through examples for better understading of such concepts:
It is said that to be able to empathize with someone, you have to go through the exact scenario and basically step in that person’s shoe. The reason this is a vital trait in any customer facing role is because you need to understand and value a customer’s helplessness and anxiety before proceeding to tackle his/her problem.
There is a reason why the phrase ‘little acts of kindness’ was coined. A majority of the customers across various industries want a friendly and kind voice when they feel harassed. There must be a million calls pouring into a customer service call center but if you ask a random customer how good the interaction was, you might be surprised by the shocking facts! Kindness is a way of life, an attitude; it is not a skill that can be trained.
This is that trait which shoots the arrow directly at the heart and not at the brain of a customer. If your frontline staff can actually sweat about the smallest of things going a little off-key in your company and think out of the box to actually resolve it, just so that there is a smile on the customer’s face, you know that you have hit the bull’s eye while hiring.
Although teamwork is an essential factor for every kind of role, it is crucial for the frontline staff because for a customer, there is no demarcation between one department and the other. The latter would regard the entire organization/company as one single unit. Since the former acts as the face of the company, it is vital that people stay away from the blame game and work together.
Of course there are some skills which can be built in with various training sessions. From a customer service angle, if I talk, I would say that the below pointers should definitely be looked at:
– Ability to ‘actually read what the customer means’
Via experience and a bit of training, a person can be trained to read the inner meaning behind customer comments like “oh really?!”, “what do you take me for?”, “now isn’t that fantastic?” It takes a keen eye and ear to understand the subtlety of sarcastic comments!
– Customer service expertise
52% of consumers are willing to spend more with companies that they believe are excellent at providing customer service!
Soft skills training clubbed with product training would help your frontline staff hone and polish their customer service skills. In addition with experience, you also get to know that the customer is not always right and the ability to stand up to the customer while not flinching from providing an exceptional service is the key.
– Speaking multiple languages
If your company has customers across the world, you can even think of language trainings so that your conversations get more of a personal touch. This not only enhances individual skills but also that of the company’s resources in totality.
Retaining customers should be a vital metric for every SaaS organization and ignoring it might be one of the biggest mistakes. Customer support not only solidifies your customer’s belief in you and your product but it also helps create an invisible brand of advertising that transcends all boundaries. So, what are you doing to attract and hire the top talent for providing customer support of your product/service?
If you liked what you read, please share in your social circles!