The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support
There are a wide range of third-party firms that can become involved in a typical transaction between a software manufacturer and the customer.   In some cases, these companies are part of a product sales and distribution line from manufacturer to customer.  Other types of partners may only sell add-on services such as implementation, training or consulting.  The definitions for the…

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While their Marketing and Support professionals continue to explore the usage and management of social media, there is a much larger challenge to be faced by SaaS/Cloud firms — and all other technology players as well.  The implications of the changes in our general culture over the last 25 years are not limited to those two disciplines in the technology…

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One of the major challenges facing SaaS/Cloud companies as 2011 begins is accepting the reality of the new industry playing field. This contest won't be won by people who insist on playing by the old rules. When the VC/Investor funding well starts to run dry and the competition kicks in, continued survival and profitability is a function of persistent customer relationships. Yet most players in the on-demand world today still do not have a game plan or even a team designated and accountable for profitably retaining their portfolios of customers. The essential factor of the new era is rapidly becoming insistent: If you aren't actively interested in your customers, the odds are very good that another company will be. It's what you don't know about your customer relationships that is most likely to cause you to lose them. The all-too-critical exposure to risk begins simply with the assumption that there must be somebody in your organization that is paying attention to the day to day continuance of those relationships. As The SaaS & Support Project research has revealed, the true answer in most companies is that this assumption is false; there is no one tracking the most important scorecard.

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A consistent theme of this series of articles is that The Best Support Call of all was the one that was never made because the product didn't generate the need for it. I've been advocating that basic reality for all of my career, and yet still encounter obvious examples of companies shooting themselves in the foot, wasting money and reducing customer loyalty. While there are times that you definitely want to talk directly with your customers, forcing them to engage in unprofitable and unnecessary conversation with a support rep isn't one of them. Are you throwing money away and discouraging customers in your company's contact center? Are you sure?

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