The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support
SaaS/Cloud company management teams have always recognized the economic necessity of spending a certain amount of money to acquire a customer.  Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a standard part of the business plan.  What is not so readily acknowledged is that spending money to retain customers is also a necessary aspect of the new business model.  It’s unfortunately very common…

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Before a SaaS/Cloud vendor establishes a Customer Success Management group, it’s vitally important to set the foundation for winning by clearly defining how the performance of that team is to be measured in both of its purposes.  The first purpose of the CSM group is the real benefit experienced by the customers.  The second is the value brought to the…

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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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SaaS enthusiasts claim that support necessarily must be better in the SaaS world because the customer could switch vendors at any time. But where's the proof of that superiority in support quality? Failing to properly set customer expectations can be costly, but there's a huge competitive advantage waiting for the SaaS vendor who can prove their right to the crown of quality customer support.

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