What differentiates a good SaaS company from a great one? While there are several valid answers to this question, many companies edge out their competitors through successful customer service. Yet, as technology evolves and users become more independent, the typical contact center is no longer the only way to assist customers. Many users seek the speed and simplicity of self-service support. 

Naomi Rozenfeld, VP of Revenue @ Wix Answers, shares her tips for crafting a successful self-service strategy.



What is a Self-Service Strategy?

When SaaS companies begin planning their customer service efforts, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is setting up a help center with reps waiting to take customer tickets. While this is an integral piece of any SaaS support department, Rozenfeld notes, “The industry as a whole has started to shift to understanding that self-service is where the users are.” In other words, avoid simply being reactive and set a standard of proactive support. 

To further this point, Rozenfeld explains that for every one customer that escalates to talking to a representative, there are nine customers who do not. A self-service strategy recognizes this and becomes the mechanism that enables customers to find their own answers and resolve issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. Self-service could include features like a knowledge base, chatbots, AI, and more.

How Should Startups in Growth Approach Self-Service?

Rozenfeld strongly recommends a focus on self-service from day one. The first steps depend on your unique business model. Start by thinking about your business goals and your most important KPIs. Is it customer satisfaction? Increasing the speed of ticket resolution? Improving operational efficiency? Reducing tedious or repetitive agent work?

Once you have a clear idea of these goals, you can start to focus on your customer service funnel to understand what points customers can solve their own issues and when they will need to escalate to a representative. 


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Three Common Self-Service Challenges For SaaS Companies

# 1 Governance: With the massive amount of knowledge existing in your company across teams, it’s tricky to determine the right person to take ownership of the knowledge base and all that comes with its management. 

To combat this, begin your strategy with a clear idea of a high-level, possibly C-suite individual who, from day one, is tasked with taking care of the knowledge base and oversees self-service operations.

#2 Tech: Companies sometimes struggle to implement self-service tools because the tech is complex, clunky, or requires development work.

Before implementing AI, chatbots, or other automated tools, make sure that they fit into the right place in your self-service funnel. Avoid the temptation to force a hyped, trendy app into the customer experience too quickly. Take tech implementation one step at a time, at a realistic pace for your business.

#3 Motivation: Motivation is the secret sauce to your team’s self-service efforts, and without it, things can fall apart. Team members might feel discouraged or overwhelmed by the sheer volume of customer success challenges.

Create attainable goals and KPIs for your team to focus on and ensure they understand the critical impact they have on creating customer satisfaction. 

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s never too early to think about your self-service strategy.
  • Break down your business goals and align your customer success and self-service strategy to help you achieve those goals.
  • Ensure your tech tools work with your self-service strategy and help rather than hinder your customer success goals.

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