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Why Service Is Just As Important As Software in the SaaS Business Model

Written by Paul Rosevear

Above: Good times with Grovo’s amazing account management team.

Like death and taxes, bad customer service is one of the unavoidable miseries of life (cue rage-inducing hold music). And when you’re shelling out money month after month for software that’s supposed to make your life better, job easier, or company more successful, crappy support can make you wonder what life might be like with another provider. You know, one that values your business a bit more.

Beyond the obvious (people want to be taken care of when they’re spending money), why is service such a vital ingredient to SaaS success? Let’s dig through a few of the reasons.

SaaS is more than a product. It’s a partnership.

These aren’t the old days when you bought a CD-ROM at Staples, popped it in your Dell, and dealt with bugs, breakdowns, and maintenance issues on your own. For many customers, the promise of service is what opens their wallets. Here’s the idea: when ongoing service is included, the software has to work. And if it doesn’t produce fantastic results right away, the customer can work with the service team to make it work. This partnership mentality is very appealing in the B2B world for a simple reason: buyers want to be credited with success, not blamed for failure. Service is the safety net that makes that possible.

Great service turns customers into evangelists.

Back in the heyday of mass manufacturing, service was viewed as a necessary evil. Overseas outsourcing, convoluted phone trees, labyrinthian support forums—these were all ways to reduce cost and keep customers at arm’s length. Of course, the Internet blew all that to pieces. Nowadays, there’s no more hiding. You need authentic and vocal support from your users if you want to succeed. And what better way to earn it than by showing you care when it matters most? Harvard Business Review saw this coming from miles away, predicting in a landmark 2003 study that your company’s Net Promoter Score—a measure of how likely you are to recommend a service or experience—was the one number you needed to grow. Over ten years later, turns out they were right.

With better service comes better software.

The best SaaS products are built on and continually refined by a dialogue with the people they’re made to benefit. This is the reason Jeff Bezos makes everybody at Amazon spend at least 2 days in customer service training each year—including Jeff Bezos. If you’re not there to serve your customers well, to listen to them, to hear what’s working and what’s not, how will you know which features people love? Which they hate? What improvements would make your software indispensable? Not only will investing in exceptional service increase your retention and improve your reputation, but it will empower you to build better software.

So, how do we think about service here at Grovo?

It would be impossible to cover all the great things our team does to help customers be successful in a single post, but I asked one of our customer success reps, Lindsay White, to share three things she does to deliver great service every day.

Meet Lindsay, Client Success Manager here at Grovo. She rocks.

Meet Lindsay, Client Success Manager here at Grovo. She rocks.

1. Consistent support. “Whether a client is just getting started or been with us a while, we’re always helping them find new and better ways to use the platform.”

2. Be genuinely helpful. “We either know the answer, or do the legwork to find it out.”

3. Make ourselves available. “If a client emails late at night or on the weekend, chances are we’re going to get back to them.”

Okay, there you have it—just a glimpse. We hope more SaaS companies start following Grovo’s lead and prioritizing service and the long-term health of the customer relationship on their way to building software that makes the world a better place.

Are you an L&D professional looking for a better way to engage and train your employees? Learn more about Grovo here.

 

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