Rethink Commerce Blog

Increase Upgrades By Improving Customer Support

Posted on August 4th, 2015 by

SaaS companies are typically staffed by some pretty brilliant people. Innovative thinkers, trendsetters, and people full of creativity proudly fill your ranks. Sometimes, however, brilliant people are so focused on creating and improving a great product that customer service falls by the wayside. The truth is, regardless of what industry you are in, excellent customer support can significantly benefit your business. One important area that can benefit directly from great customer support is product upgrades.

A Top Priority 

“Make customer service your top priority” was tip No. 6 in Forbes8 Powerful Tips that Will Improve Your SaaS Conversions. According to the article, some SaaS niches experience 70 to 95 percent of their revenue from upgrades and renewals. While gaining new customers is important, keeping your existing customers happy and buying more is critical to maintaining your revenue stream.

The happy customers are the ones that remain with you and eventually like the product enough to upgrade when the time or opportunity comes. It’s the longevity and loyalty that creates the higher lifetime value. It’s also what inoculates them against the price sensitivity that can reduce the value of your products and services.  Loyal customers that love your products are more willing to pay for the service and support they value.  The ideal outcomes for any SaaS business are long-lasting relationships, increased prices and reduced customer acquisition costs. And your customer support team is key realizing each of those goals. 

How To Do It 

How specifically can your customer support team help increase upgrade revenues? Consider these two tips in your customer support strategy.

  1. Provide answers now. 

SaaS customers will often upgrade within the product, to satisfy their need for additional services or functionality. Don’t lose a perfect opportunity to close a sale because you can’t immediately answer one of their questions. Instead, provide a real-time online chat that they can easily access from anywhere within the product. If they have to pick up the phone to call or submit a question and wait 24 hours for a response, you are likely to lose the upgrade sale.

Here is an infographic that illustrates how online chat increases both conversions and customer satisfaction. One key takeaway is that 44 percent of surveyed customers said that “having a live person to answer their questions during the middle of a purchase was one of the most important features a website could offer.”

  1. Think beyond simply talking to a rep.

Customer support is about a lot more than providing a representative. It encompasses all the support tools available. Use these tools to promote upgrades. For example, offer a resource center for your customers so that they can easily find answers to their questions. Think of it as an expanded FAQ. Get visual. Use videos or detailed PDFs as tutorials, showing users exactly how to perform certain tasks. You could even provide a live webinar for users, opening the floor to their specific questions. This also provides an opportunity to show them features that are available through upgrades.

In addition to being a great sales pitch for an upgrade, a rich library of support resources works to subtly improve customer satisfaction and reduce churn. Ultimately, you are building a long-lasting relationship that is more likely to turn into an upgrade sale down the road.

Lastly, don’t forget social media. Social networks are not just for your promotions. Many customers use this platform to voice concerns, ask questions, and give commendation. A quick response from your company makes the customer feel that their feedback is valued, instills loyalty, and gives you the opportunity to sound less like a salesperson when the opportunity presents itself to pitch your upgrade.

A customer-centric culture permeates the entire digital lifecycle. Positive benefits go beyond increased upgrade sales. Decrease churn, increase renewals, build loyalty, and grow a solid business through an effective customer support strategy.

 

Avangate powers modern Digital Commerce, solving the complexity of online commerce, subscription billing, and global payments for Software, SaaS and Online Services companies. Backed by a proven cloud platform, unmatched expertise and a depth of digital commerce services, Avangate helps digital business leaders drive the fastest path to revenue, maximize the value of every customer, and expand global reach. Contact us for more information about how our digital commerce services can help you grow your business.

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Raj Badarinath

VP, WW Product Marketing and Alliances

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Comments (2)

  • Earl Parsons says: August 9th, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    data for download was sent to my mac and will not load

  • Raluca Marmureanu says: August 10th, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Hello Earl,

    Avangate solely manages the eStore for http://www.clonedvd.net. We have located your order and forwarded your issue to the software provider. They shall contact you shortly to assist you.

    Have a nice day!