Microsoft’s Office 365 SaaS offer includes a highly effective customer service operation. Subscribers requiring support can contact the Office 365 team with a telephone call. Once a support call has been recorded and successfully completed, subscribers can contact the engineer assigned in the future, thereby saving a lot of time.
We’ve maintained an Office 365 E3 plan for more than a year. The primary driver for us for continuing our subscription has been the quality of customer service. The key customer service feature has been prompt trouble remediation on the part of the Office 365 support team. Microsoft has a policy of elevating currently assigned support engineers to the position of primary contact, for the subscriber, going forward, for related issues.
With a telephone contact number, and an email address readily available to us to reach someone with an understanding of our working environment as the result of a prior successful attempt to fix a problem for us, we’ve proceeded largely satisfied and trouble free through our subscription. Multiply our experience by some substantial portion of the subscriber base and one can readily see why Microsoft has likely begun to realize serious revenue from their SaaS offer.
While it will likely not be possible for smaller ISVs to offer the same level of customer service at a comparably low cost to SaaS subscribers, simply implementing a similar support method will almost certainly produce happier subscribers who keep on subscribing month after month. Where the SaaS offer is more specialized (Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM comes to mind as an example of a more specialized SaaS), the likelihood of charging higher monthly prices will be greater.
Our customers include several businesses using competitors to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Dynamics CRM offers. We haven’t found the customer service offers from either Google Apps, or Salesforce.com to be comparable to Microsoft’s offer.
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