In 2009, The SaaS & Support Project research revealed some fascinating insights — and a range of issues that ought to be of serious concern to senior management teams and support professionals alike. The research of the Project continued into 2011 with three concise and focused surveys. The data collection period was extended through February 2011, and augmented with direct interviews and review of a variety of materials from a range of sources.
The Issues survey looked into the importance of specific issues and initiatives involved in SaaS/Cloud customer support. The Strategy & People survey examined how companies define their products and structure their organizations to maintain the ongoing customer relationships. The Process & Technology survey gathered specific data about the process and technology of SaaS customer support departments. .
The Issues Survey:
Participants were asked to fully identify themselves and their companies, and then to rate the importance of specific issues and initiatives in four categories: Strategy, Process, People and Technology. A fifth category was added just for those companies who were transitioning from traditional models of product distribution to SaaS. The final question asked the participants to indicate their level of interest in some specific resource types.
The Strategy & People Survey
There were only 12 questions in the Strategy & People survey, plus two optional additional queries if the respondent had either of two specific roles in their company’s organizational chart. The first two questions asked for company and respondent identification. Questions 3 & 4 asked which revenue channels were in use by the company and which, if any, group “owns” the ongoing customer relationship. The next three questions asked for a self-evaluation of the scope and quality of delivery of the company’s support services, and the utilization level of support team members. The remaining questions were about organizational structure, numbers of people (FTE’s) assigned by role, responsibilities, hiring qualifications and the measurement methodologies used for the overall group. If the company had either a Customer Retention or a Customer Success role in the organization, the last two (optional) queries were about how those roles are defined.
The Process & Technology Survey
What access channels are available to your customers for contacting Support? How popular are they? When is a customer most likely to make the most use of the support resources? What percentage of your total annual support caseload comes in through each channel? What percentage is allocated to which categories of issues? What technologies have you installed (or intend to) to help manage the customer support contact center?
TSSP Survey Methodology
For all of The SaaS & Support Project research surveys, participants are required to fully identify themselves and their companies so that we may provide them with the results of the surveys and to ensure accuracy of the data. Only aggregate data will be used in reporting, and all information will be kept in strict confidence. Neither your identity nor your specific answers will ever be shared with anyone else.