SaaS Customer Support Best Practices and Examples

Userpilot Team
13 min readFeb 22, 2024

Great SaaS customer support is the key to keeping your customers happy and satisfied with your product. It powers your customer relationships, enabling you to build lasting connections with customers.

This article examines how to create an exceptional customer support strategy. We take a deep dive into the strategies of successful SaaS businesses and the tools that power your strategy.

TL;DR

  • SaaS customer support is the process of assisting customers who use your product.
  • Exceptional customer support boosts customer satisfaction and encourages customer loyalty. It can also serve as a source of invaluable feedback for product development.
  • To create an effective support strategy, you must first define your support philosophy. This means deciding your approach to support, your goals, and how you’ll measure success.
  • You’ll also need to hire the right individuals for your customer support team and invest in training them and providing them with the tools for success.
  • One way to improve your customer support is by adopting the omnichannel approach to unify the customer experience across all touchpoints.
  • Offer proactive customer support and self-service support to help customers receive help quickly and limit your agents’ workload.
  • Take advantage of user segmentation to tailor your proactive customer service to the specific needs of your customers.
  • Take advantage of AI and natural language processing to automate routine tasks and manage both simple and complex support requests.
  • Encourage collaboration between your customer support and product teams to ensure the free flow of information.
  • The first step to measuring the success of your SaaS customer support efforts is understanding how customers interact with existing support resources.
  • You’ll also need to track a bunch of customer success metrics and other support-specific metrics to ensure you’re meeting your support goals.
  • Userpilot helps you create impactful resource centers and deliver proactive customer service without writing any code. Book a demo to learn how it works today.

What is SaaS customer support?

SaaS customer support is the process SaaS companies use to assist customers who use their products. It encompasses everything from helping them understand the product to troubleshooting issues and offering guidance.

Why is SaaS customer support important?

The world of customer experience is undergoing a rapid transformation, and offering proactive customer service is at the heart of this revolution.

A good customer support system has several advantages, including:

  • Customer satisfaction: Prompt and efficient support resolves issues quickly, minimizing frustration and boosting customer satisfaction.
  • Customer loyalty: Good support fosters positive customer relationships, which encourages customers to stick around and pay for your product. These loyal customers are also more likely to recommend your product to others.
  • Product development: Customer support teams gain valuable insights into customers’ needs and challenges. It is, thus, an invaluable source of feedback for bugs and feature updates.
  • Competitive advantage: Customers stop doing business with an organization due to poor support. In a highly competitive SaaS market, providing excellent support can be a major differentiating factor.

How to create an effective SaaS customer support strategy

Creating an excellent SaaS customer support strategy involves a combination of several key components and tools that enhance communication and accessibility. It involves three key steps:

Create a well-defined customer service philosophy

The first step to a successful support strategy is a clearly defined philosophy. To define your customer service philosophy, you must answer a few questions:

  • Who are your customers and what are their typical pain points?
  • How can you apply your business values to your support strategy?
  • How would you measure successful customer service? (e.g., fast response times, personalized solutions, etc.).
  • What are your core values around customer support? (e.g., empathy, proactiveness, transparency).
  • How will you handle disagreements and customer escalations?
  • Who will be responsible for measuring and delivering quality customer service?

As you answer these questions, try to define your ideal customer service experience and create a strategy for achieving it.

Hire a great customer support team

Next, define what the ideal customer support agent for your team should look like. For example, an excellent agent should be emotionally intelligent, empathetic, and a great communicator.

Your customer support team should also include agents with the right amount of domain knowledge. For this, you’ll need to invest in training your agents, ensuring they deeply understand your product.

You can also set up your support team for success by defining clear protocols for ticketing, escalations, resolutions, etc.

Invest in the right customer support software

Finally, your team’s performance can only be as good as the tools they have. For example, a good ticketing system will enable your team to manage tickets, track trends, and analyze performances easily.

To determine what other tools you need, you’ll need to examine your support channels (email, live chat support, etc.), the kind of questions customers are asking, and your support team’s skill level.

For example, if your customers consistently ask deeply technical questions, creating a comprehensive and searchable knowledge base will make life easier for both your agents and customers.

Ultimately, you only want to add tools to your arsenal if they’ll improve your ability to deliver on your customer service philosophy.

10 SaaS customer support best practices

Whether you already have a SaaS customer support team or you’re creating one from scratch, there are a few best practices that can elevate your strategy and improve the customer experience.

1. Adopt an omnichannel mindset for great customer service

The omnichannel approach to customer support involves unifying the customer experience across all channels. This means that customers’ activities or messages on one channel can serve as context on a different channel.

For example, the Userpilot-Salesforce integration lets you personalize user communication in Salesforce based on their in-app data and personalize their in-app experiences using Salesforce attribution data.

Send survey, NPS, and other feature interaction data from Userpilot to Salesforce.
Send survey, NPS, and other feature interaction data from Userpilot to Salesforce.

A unified omnichannel approach to customer service, therefore, centralizes all customer interactions, creating a seamless customer experience.

2. Provide support proactively rather than reactively

Proactive customer service is the easiest way to reduce customer support interactions. It is a customer-first approach that anticipates and addresses customers’ needs before they become major concerns.

For example, you can launch a tooltip to show users how a feature works when they first interact with it. This should address any questions they would’ve had and set them up for success from the beginning.

Offer contextual support to proactively address users' concerns.
Offer contextual support to proactively address users’ concerns.

This form of in-app contextual support minimizes customer support interactions by proactively addressing users’ concerns. It frees up your support team to address more complicated queries.

3. Offer self-service support via a resource center

Yet another way to free up your customer support team is through the provision of a dedicated in-app resource center or knowledge base.

The typical resource center can include how-to articles and guides, video tutorials, webinars and trainings, etc. Customers can search for solutions to their challenges without waiting long hours to chat with a support agent.

A good self-service portal should also be easy to find and searchable. Customers shouldn’t have to look for it or scroll through hundreds of articles to find the one they need.

Create a dedicated resource center for self-service support code-free with Userpilot.
Create a dedicated resource center for self-service support code-free with Userpilot.

Ultimately, your goal should be to enable customers to resolve complex issues quickly while reducing agent workload.

4. Use segmentation to personalize SaaS customer service

Divide your customers into distinct groups based on their shared in-app behavior. This form of segmentation enables you to tailor your support approach to the specific needs and preferences of each user segment.

For example, you can create content, tutorials, or FAQs specifically tailored to a segment’s needs. You can also create and launch targeted tooltips to address common pain points for each segment.

As customers get the sense that their needs are understood and addressed promptly, their satisfaction will naturally improve.

Segment customers based on their in-app behavior with Userpilot.
Segment customers based on their in-app behavior with Userpilot.

5. Host webinars to help customers troubleshoot

Sometimes, you need more than just tooltips and demo articles to help customers through problems. Enter the product webinar — a virtual seminar for showcasing a product or addressing a need.

Webinars provide a platform for you to proactively address common troubleshooting issues and empower customers to solve their problems.

Unlike video tutorials, it also provides an opportunity for direct customer interaction. This fosters a sense of community and loyalty among customers while deepening their understanding of your product.

Use webinars to guide customers through product or industry issues.
Use webinars to guide customers through product or industry issues.

For your webinars to be effective, though, they must be tailored to the needs of the customer. You can segment users based on their skill level or product usage patterns and send targeted invites accordingly.

6. Embrace AI-powered chatbots to automate support requests

AI-powered chatbots have gained a lot of traction for their ability to automate routine tasks, improve accessibility, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Unlike human agents, these chatbots are available 24/7 to answer questions at all times. They’re also capable of handling multiple inquiries simultaneously and can respond faster than any human agent.

This makes them ideal for repetitive tasks like order tracking, password resets, etc. By engaging chatbots to handle routine tasks, you free up your support agents to handle more complex or emotional issues.

Automate customer support management with AI chatbots.
Automate customer support management with AI chatbots.

7. Promote collaboration between product and SaaS customer support teams

Fostering a close relationship between the customer support team and the product team will, thus, help to keep your focus on the customers as you grow.

Support agents can share their insights into users’ needs, ensuring that product development is based on real needs. Similarly, the product team can further educate support agents to deliver better support.

To encourage this cross-functional collaboration, you can schedule meetings and brainstorming sessions so every customer-facing employee can discuss current trends and weigh in on product plans.

8. Build digital communities and encourage peer-to-peer support

A well-nurtured and active digital community can be a powerful addition to your SaaS customer service strategy. Community members help each other by sharing solutions and answering common questions.

In addition to freeing up your support agents, your digital community can foster customer engagement, loyalty, and advocacy. It can also be a source of valuable product insights.

A successful community, though, must be nurtured. You need to clearly define its purpose, select a platform that matches its target audience, and create a strategy for encouraging interaction.

Join Userpilot Product Marketing & Growth Facebook Group.
Join Userpilot Product Marketing & Growth Facebook Group.

9. Use NLP to streamline ticket resolution time for your SaaS support team

Beyond powering chatbots, AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help you analyze the content of your tickets, automatically categorize them, and route them to the most ideal agents.

NLP can also examine queries, generate common answers based on your knowledge base content, and assign more complex inquiries to human agents — with priority given to urgent or frustrated customers.

The result is a much faster ticket resolution time as your customer service agents spend less time routing tickets or handling basic tasks. This allows them to focus on more complex issues and resolve them quickly.

10. Gather customer feedback and act on it to improve customer satisfaction

Regularly solicit customer feedback through surveys, reviews, community pages, and even support interactions. Use the insights from their feedback to understand their needs and pain points better.

You can collect feedback on how well you’re doing with your SaaS customer support. Or, you can collect general feedback about the product to determine what customers like/dislike about your product.

As you analyze your collected feedback, look out for ways to improve your product or service and refine your strategy to ensure customer success.

Use NPS surveys to identify common customer concerns. Create one code-free with Userpilot.
Use NPS surveys to identify common customer concerns. Create one code-free with Userpilot.

How to measure the success of your customer support

The only way to know whether you’re offering good customer support is to measure your team’s performance.

There are two key ways to do this:

Analyze the customer interactions with support resources

Understanding how customers interact with your support resources is crucial to your understanding of their needs and the optimization of your support system.

What resources do they most interact with? Do they find answers easily in your knowledge base? Do they favor specific channels or content types over others? How effective are these channels?

Leverage data from support tickets, resource center analytics, social media interactions, and surveys to answer these questions.

Userpilot provides insights into customer interactions with your resource center.
Userpilot provides insights into customer interactions with your resource center.

Track customer success metrics

There is a long list of metrics that can help you measure the success of your SaaS customer support agents and your overall customer success strategy. Some of the most important ones include:

  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): The CSAT score measures how happy your customers are with your products, services, and the overall customer experience.
  • Net promoter score (NPS): NPS measures customer loyalty and likelihood to recommend your product.
  • First response time (FRT): The FRT is the time it takes an agent to respond after a customer raises a ticket.
  • Time to resolution: The time to resolution metric refers to the time it takes a customer support agent to resolve a ticket.

Examples of SaaS companies with great customer support

Still not sure where to begin? Thankfully, there are several SaaS customer support examples to get you started. These include:

Slack

One of the keys to effective customer service delivery is proactive customer support. Slack achieves this by creating a rich, informative, and user-friendly resource center that answers most customer queries.

Slack's auto-suggest feature makes the search easier.
Slack’s auto-suggest feature makes the search easier.

In addition to making this resource center searchable, Slack further simplifies the process of finding answers by including an “auto-suggest” feature.

This makes it easy for customers to find answers to their queries, even when they aren’t exactly sure how to phrase them. They can, thus, spend more time on the solution and less time asking the question.

Rocketbots

Rocketbots uses interactive walkthroughs to guide users through the app’s different features.

This proactive approach to SaaS customer support identifies difficult features and provides users with an interactive step-by-step guide that shows each button and its function.

As part of your onboarding process, walkthroughs get users to the activation point faster. However, you can also trigger walkthroughs whenever a user first interacts with a feature to boost feature adoption.

Rocketbots boosts customer success with interactive walkthroughs.
Rocketbots boosts customer success with interactive walkthroughs.

Buffer

Buffer may be known for their excellent online banter — which is no surprise for a social media company, but they’ve also excelled at rendering effective SaaS customer service.

In addition to providing exhaustive documentation, Buffer makes its help resources easy to find. You can locate the help button on every single page and search through the documentation without leaving the page.

Buffers help center navigation.
Buffers help center navigation.

This means that when a customer finds the answer they seek, they are still within the product and are ready to resume their previous task. As simple as this may be, it does user engagement levels a world of good.

MailChimp

MailChimp provides a comprehensive help center that helps users set up their accounts, create campaigns, choose their audiences, and more. This well-laid-out support helps new users to get started immediately.

The help center covers a variety of topics, from broad domain information to specific MailChimp tutorials.

To ensure no user misses out on the support it provides, MailChimp offers its help center in several languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese.

MailChimp's comprehensive help center.

Deliver great SaaS customer support with Userpilot

Ready to elevate your SaaS customer support delivery? Userpilot is a product growth platform that helps you to connect better with clients, scale your support, and boost product adoption and growth.

To do this, Userpilot empowers you to:

Create a powerful resource center

Help users quickly find the answers they need with Userpilot’s in-app resource center. Create your resource center with internal/external links, tutorial videos, and more, and decide who sees what via segmentation.

Thanks to Userpilot’s localization feature, you can also customize your resources to appear in a user’s preferred language in just a few clicks.

Userpilot's localization feature encourages global accessibility.
Userpilot’s localization feature encourages global accessibility.

Deliver proactive support and drive in-app engagement

Create simple or intricate flows with Userpilot using modals, tooltips, slideouts, spotlights, and driven actions. Drive attention to specific features with a spotlight or chain tooltips together to create a flow.

With Userpilot’s feature tagging capability, you can also track how users interact with different features to help you identify friction points and user experience bottlenecks.

Deliver proactive in-app support with Userpilot.
Deliver proactive in-app support with Userpilot.

Boost product development with in-app surveys

Select a template from Userpilot’s extensive survey template library and get started collecting customer feedback. This library includes everything from NPS to CSAT, CES, and other survey types.

Userpilot enables you to create surveys, customize them in your colors and style, and translate them.

Userpilot's survey template library.
Userpilot’s survey template library.

You can also track granular survey analytics to extract insights from each survey.

Conclusion

The most successful SaaS businesses recognize the need for great SaaS customer support. They carefully define their strategy and invest in the right tools and personnel. You should too!

Userpilot empowers you to provide proactive in-app support and improve customer success through targeted education. Book a demo today to learn how Userpilot can help you improve your support.

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Userpilot Team

Userpilot is a Product Growth Platform designed to help product teams improve product metrics through in-app experiences without code. Check out userpilot.com