Simply providing a customer service operation for a SaaS offer doesn’t mean success. Customer service needs to be carefully managed if it is to produce intended results. Remember, intended results are satisfied customers who keep paying monthly subscription charges. The best customer service managers will have sales experience, a demonstrated ability to lead teams and, finally, an exceptional ability to listen to customers.
We recently observed an example of highly inept customer service. A colleague of ours subscribes to a popular freelance project auction SaaS. This colleague had paid the SaaS provider $30 per month for, perhaps, the last 14 months. He decided to terminate the service as the result of an ineptly handled customer service request.
Our colleague hadn’t gotten much lately from his paid subscription. So he decided to treat his subscription as he would any other purchase where his customer experience was less than satisfactory. He availed of the customer service feature offered by this project auction board (which, we should note, was hidden deep within an FAQ list and knowledgebase and only accessible after a customer answers a series of questions) and asked them how he might improve his use of the service to obtain better results.
The customer service representative responsible for answering his inquiry completely missed the opportunity he was offering the service. Even worse, the representative defended the poor performance of the subscription with reference to “yes, the market is very competitive, so it’s likely you won’t be winning as often as you would like”. Naturally this answer was the last nail in the “dead for now” coffin for this SaaS as far as our colleague was concerned. He promptly cancelled his subscription, which will result in $360.00 less revenue for the ISV over the next 12 months.
If you could use some help finding the type of talent you need to staff your customer service operation, please contact us. We have considerable experience identifying the type of talent required to build a successful customer service operation.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved