It is time for consumers/business to start pushing back on poor customer service from SaaS providers? Are SaaS providers pushing support too much onto the end user, and if so, as an industry, how do we hold them accountable?
Somehow I feel like customer support is something where SaaS companies are either amazing or terrible. On the latter, you have things like Google Workspace which offer almost no support, along with other apps where it seems like most support tickets get bounced around between reps before you give up and figure it out on your own. On the other hand, I'm biased after having worked on the team, but companies like Zapier heavily invest in detailed customer support and make that almost a part of their offering. Zapier connects so many different tools, their support team almost ends up providing outsourced support for Google apps and more. So if anything, companies that underinvest in support end up creating more work not only for their customers but also fro their software partners.
In many ways, this is part of why communities like Capiche exist, as a way to help people help each other and share tips about software.
And poor customer service from larger SaaS vendors may be an opportunity for new startup SaaS to compete with established competitors since they can offer better customer support. Though possibly that's part of the problem. Companies see great support as "things that can't scale" and thus as they grow they increasingly neglect it. Seeing it instead as part of the sales and retention process might be a better way to value it.
I understand that for some smaller companies, hiring and training a robust support team can be difficult but it will reduce churn and make the product stickier. I think that if you're not able to provide good, direct customer support you need to provide really good documentation and make it easy for customers to find answers. Preferably you do both (HubSpot) being a good example. Hiring a good technical writer and finding/building a Help platform is a good fallback until you can grow your Support team.
I think most SaaS approach this from a different angle. The most recurring support ticket(s) = new features to build or making the bugs that cause the problem high-priority. They are not optimizing for # of users addressed directly, they rather want to avoid them (users) sending a support ticket in the first place.
That being said, the problem is very big and users are on the losing side of this. Since, the above mentioned system translates to lots of bugs, or rather a general lack of direction on the user side, before any changes are made.
What's your take on a marketplace that aggregates the top users or experts in forums for different SaaS, and allows them to charge for either fixing issues or answering questions on-demand?
I feel like I would use such service myself (on both sides of the equation). Though, I know it does not solve the core of the problem.
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