The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support
There are vital clues and indications in the search strings that bring readers to The HotLine Magazine from around the world every day. “What is the Definition of Customer Support?” “What is the profitability of customer retention?” “Define the SaaS support model.” “Usual customer retention rate for a SaaS company?” “How to profit from SaaS support?” All of these are indicators of the same fundamental problem. Every so often, an inquiry comes along that goes to the heart of the issue and begs for an immediate reply. “Fixing a broken customer support group” is a perfect example, prompting two immediate questions in return. What do you mean by “broken?” And how would you define “fixing?” Almost invariably, the source of serious problems with a customer support group is external to the group itself; they are inevitably strategic errors. Until the senior management team and the support executive or manager understand each other, and work together, producing a truly effective and lasting resolution for the broken group is unfortunately unlikely.

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There is a tendency for some SaaS/Cloud vendors to think that Customer Support is the same as it was in the traditional sector, only with less demand and therefore a significantly lower staff. The core of that mis-perception is that Support is an unfortunately necessary evil, the group that only deals with problems resulting from breaks and interruptions in service…

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Since the beginnings of the software industry, Sales has claimed to own the customer relationship. Under the traditional premised-based model, the connection between company and customer is almost invariably transactional in nature, an exchange of up-front money for software licenses. Sales gets their commissions, and has but little interest in the customer afterward. The burden of extracting value from their…

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For SaaS companies, where the application and its data resides out on the web instead of on the local PC, the support burden is less -- and that means lower headcount in the customer contact center. Why? Because the shift to the webtop promises to sharply reduce the impact of the Windows operating system and lower the volume of support requests. What will this mean to companies and support professionals?

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