Why SaaS companies need customer support automation the most?

By Clustaar September 27, 2018

Rising competition in a crowded SaaS marketplace has increased the cost of customer support leading to higher marketing budgets. SaaS companies are strategically using “Chatbots” to automate customer support, grow customer base and reduce costs.

SaaS companies have been riding the global wave of digitization with explosive growth figures projected to touch $76 billion by 2020[1]. Unlike the past, your customers in today’s world are interacting with businesses in new interactive ways and through multiple social channels like Twitter, Facebook, Google and a host of increasing mobile apps on the cloud.

Your customer is still ‘King’ in today’s digital world

Your valuable customer base has expanded globally spanning different geographies and languages. In addition, your customers are also buying goods and services on smartphones from anywhere and anytime, requiring your business to support them on a 24×7 basis.

Is this putting limitations and pressure on your customer support teams? Yes, definitely.

The Change in customer’s interactive behavior

Let’s look back over the past few years to see how your customers have changed in their behavior. If you may have noticed, your customers are interacting more through social media apps on their mobile phones. Facebook Messenger, Livechat and WhatsApp are used giving rise to interactive rich messaging as a very popular mode of interaction. In fact, the younger the customer, the more they would prefer messaging as a way to reach out to businesses. As per a survey by Twilio[2], 9 out of 10 consumers globally want to message with brands. Today’s Millennials and Generation X would opt for messaging to interact with businesses in their busy schedules rather than use other traditional means like email, calls or even plain post.

Is your business ready to support this growing high potential customer base?

We can clearly see a huge gap between SaaS businesses and their customers in the mode of engagement through messaging. SaaS businesses are yet to exploit this powerful medium of messaging. Businesses can strengthen their customer support operations through automation. Chatbots have proved to be a powerful digital solution being adopted by SaaS companies worldwide to automate their customer support functions.

Chatbot solutions have redefined the whole interactive customer engagement. Customer support automation using chatbots is helping SaaS companies to support a dynamic customer base. There is a paradigm shift in business focus by SaaS companies in today’s techno-savvy world. The road to SaaS profitability is twin-pronged – all about acquiring new leads yet retaining the existing customer base and keeping them happy.

How can chatbots help SaaS companies in Customer support automation?

Let’s take a look at your traditional customer support operations and how chatbots in automation can provide benefits.

24×7 support

As with any customer, we all want what we need – Right now. Your customers do not bother to interact if it is a weekend or if it is after 6 pm. SaaS companies are supporting global customers and they have to be available all the time. Geographic locations have their regional holidays and many times, the staff is away requiring businesses to close their customer support on holidays.

Unlike customer support agents, Chatbot solutions can work 24×7, 365 days a year by answering your customer’s queries and handling their transactions independently. You can easily do away with time restrictions and holidays. Customers will be thrilled with the consistent availability, which can help acquire new leads and retain existing customers.

Recurring customer queries

Your customer support staff can get bogged down with recurring questions from your customers. Providing repetitive answers to customer queries can be procedural and zaps energy. Repetitive tasks reduce motivation and you may find team members performing below their potential. This impacts customer services efficiency which is equally harmful on a business level as well as morale.

Chatbots can handle these recurring queries from your customers with quickly and efficiently. Your customer support agents can move up the value chain and attend to more urgent tasks or complicated issues. They will be happier, motivated and perform better which results in high-quality service.

Chatbots increases sales

There are three main tools for SaaS lead generation – Lead capture forms, live chats and, Chatbots. Chatbots have proven to be the most cost-effective way to generate qualified leads for sales teams. The first five minutes is the ideal time to respond to a new lead as per research from InsideSales[3] and Harvard Business Review[4][5]. Chatbots can support and quickly answer an unlimited number of users at the same time.

Instant response

We all like an instant response to our query and your customer is no different. Customer support agents are human beings and it’s not always possible to respond instantly. At any point in time, there could be multiple customers online and your staff will be occupied handling customer interactions. This can lead to a frustrating waiting period for your customer. The situation leads to a high risk that your customer may move away to your competitor, resulting in loss of business.

Chatbots can respond instantly and handle any number of customer transactions independently. Your customer will relish the instant response resulting in an overall pleasant experience.

Minimizing Agent Transfers

Customer queries are not always answerable the first time around. Additionally, one agent cannot answer queries about different products or services. A customer’s query may need classification before it is transferred to the correct agent who can resolve it. Which can translate into additional waiting time for the customer and may involve several transfers between customer support agents.

Chatbots are able to classify queries based on multiple parameters and route it to the right agent for the first time, saving time and costs.

Real-time lead engagement

The advantage of chatbots is real-time engagement. There can be a 5-minute delay or more in reaching a human representative. This delay can lead to a loss in business.

InsideSales.com found that when a salesperson contacts a lead within 5 minutes it has a positive impact on the lead becoming a client.

“The odds of contacting a lead if they are called within 5 minutes are 100 times higher versus one called in 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying a lead if called in 5 minutes are 21 times higher versus 30 minutes.”

Chatbots can respond in real time. They help filter and pass on qualifying leads to the salesperson or customer support agent leading to quicker contact and higher conversion rates.

Quick answers

Your customers are looking for quick answers to enable them to be informed enough to make a ‘buy decision’. At times this information that may not be readily available with a customer agent depending on the query. Customer support agents have limitations, as human beings, we may not be able to quickly search and provide a quick answer to the customer’s query.

Chatbots are able to search vast databases and retrieve the right information in seconds. The quick answer can make the difference between having a satisfied customer and an unsatisfied customer.

Multiple language support

Your customers may be speaking different languages. However, irrespective of the language used by your customer, Chatbots can be multilingual. Chatbots can be created in multiple languages and can be assigned a default language. They can also use language detection to identify the language spoken by the customer and switch languages accordingly.

Faster Issue resolution

Your customers want a quick issue resolution. Agents can take some time to understand the issue and provide a solution.

Chatbots, collate information from the customer and present it, in advance to the human agent so that he or she is better prepared to answer and resolve the issue.

Smart decision making from customer insights

Chatbot interactions with customers can help in gaining insights into customer behavior. You can segment customers. The data will help to draw customer behavior patterns. You can understand your customer better, helping you to design highly customized content marketing strategies. These customer insights can help you to predict their movements or their buying patterns. Once you understand your customer’s preferences, you will be able to promote the right choices and improve sales.

Increase team productivity

Repetitive tasks can be draining and decrease productivity. Don’t let your customer support team, answer repetitive queries, hand it over to chatbots and decrease response time. This can boost morale among your customer support team and in turn increase performance and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Easier data collection and re-training

It’s difficult to get data from customer support recorded conversations and even trickier to personify experiences for customers. Chatbots can give constant and consistent responses which help in data collection and segmentation. Chatbots can be trained for every platform, product information updates, and modifications. This can be done easily with simple code changes.

Saving your money

Your business has human capital costs in customer support and they increase every year with the growth of your business. However, with Chatbots, it’s a one-time investment that assists in reducing staff costs. This also leads to less staffing costs, driving up your profit margins.

Can chatbots become smarter for ‘Customer Support’? Yes.

Customer support is the main focus area these days for all businesses. Your customer is central to your business, and success is all about improving the customer experience and engagement in today’s interconnected world. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial intelligence technologies are rising in importance. Both help in meeting the expectations of customers in chatbot technologies and continue to evolve.

Chatbots are used for conversational interactions between your customers and your business. The customer is looking for relevant information in real time. NLP is used to make the customer’s conversation understood, ask relevant questions, understand the answers and gain context. NLP attempts to derive the intent of the customer’s input rather than the information itself. Thus adding a touch of humanity to the conversation.

One cannot predict what questions the customers will be asking. With NLP, chatbots can be trained on multiple interactions and can prepare streamlined responses for its output. This will provide the chatbot with a wider knowledge basis to answer questions more accurately. NLP helps chatbots adapt for better comprehension of words, abbreviations, slang, and acronyms. Additionally, chatbots with NLP can capture information on customer’s feelings and sentiments. It also collates unstructured content from social media.

Chatbots are becoming more like human users so that most queries get answered by the chatbot. When a query is complex, the chatbot can then pass the query on to a human agent who can resolve it. Using NLP and Artificial intelligence help chatbot behavior to mimic human agents so that the transfer appears seamless and smooth for the customer.

You can collect strategic information from these interactions which can identify a user’s opinions, preferences, and buying habits. Which help in gathering actionable business intelligence for your organization.

SaaS businesses will need a good chatbot service to be successful.

The target customer is increasingly technology savvy. And they expect on-demand instant service. SaaS businesses need to automate their customer support operations with chatbots to capitalize on demand. Acquiring a skillful chatbot service leads to an increase in customer satisfaction. Positive customer experiences build loyalty which in turn boosts sales. Chatbots can help create a positive customer experience with rapid and accurate issue resolution.

Check out how Clustaar can help you automate customer support and create positive customer experiences with our chatbot solutions. Or drop us a line and we will be with you right away.

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[1] https://www.bettercloud.com/monitor/state-of-the-saas-powered-workplace-report/