The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support
What is the SaaS Support Model? is a question that brings visitors from around the world to The HotLine Magazine every day.  There are several variations seen in the search strings:
  • SaaS Support Structure
  • Tracking SaaS customers
  • saas customer support
  • support model for a SaaS product
  • customer advocacy and support saas
  • A complete answer to the question must address several…

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    For generations of customers and customer support representatives alike, the experience of trying to work together to resolve a problem over a phone line has often been extremely frustrating and unsatisfactory even when ultimately successful.  I remember countless episodes from my own days many years ago as a support rep, telling customers “Now enter this command, and then tell me…

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    More than ten years ago, Ken Shevock, then the VP of Worldwide Support Operations for Cisco, commented “Nobody is really "winning' at Support. We're all doing the same things to try to keep up, but to get to the next level, we're going to have to do something new.” From the beginning of the technology industry, Support / Service — Customer Care — whatever the name — has been about reacting to problems reported by customers in their use of technology products. If ever we are to win, we need to recognize that how the industry has defined Support is inherently flawed. Invited to speak to a consortium of Support & Service executives in Bellevue, Washington, about The Redefinition of Customer Support, my presentation focused on why winning, under the current definition of the profession, is impossible -- and a vision of that something new.

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    Thinking that the act of restoring lost functionality in exception situations is somehow of the same stature as the value-purpose for buying the product in the first place is unfortunately all too common, but it's still flawed. No one buys a product in order to experience a breakage and then getting it fixed. Business products are purchased because they offer the potential for increased productivity and profitability to the purchaser. The real economic value exchange is: I give you an amount of money so that I can use the product to make much more money for myself. If Support is to become a true profession, it will be found in being perceived as a necessary component of that value expression. The new Mission Statement for Support needs to be: “We directly contribute to making more sustainable profitability faster/better for our company and yours -- and we can prove it.”

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