What is SaaS customer support?

By John
May 6, 2024
What is SaaS customer support?

Navigating the world of software as a service (SaaS) can be both exhilarating and challenging. As entrepreneurs and businesses dive into this tech-driven landscape, one aspect stands out as a cornerstone of success: customer support. SaaS customer support isn't just about solving technical issues; it's about building relationships, fostering trust, and ensuring users can make the most of the software they invest in.

But what exactly does SaaS customer support entail, and why is it so crucial for the growth and sustainability of SaaS companies? Let's explore these questions and uncover the significance of customer support in the realm of SaaS.

What is SaaS customer support?

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SaaS customer support is the cornerstone of a successful relationship between your company and its customers. It encompasses the various channels and resources designed to assist customers throughout their journey with your SaaS product. This includes everything from onboarding new users and answering basic questions, to troubleshooting technical difficulties and offering in-depth product guidance.

At the heart of SaaS customer support lie dedicated customer support teams. These teams, composed of skilled customer support representatives and agents, act as the human touchpoint for your customers. They provide technical assistance, answer questions about features and functionalities, and work tirelessly to resolve any issues that may arise.

However, SaaS customer support extends beyond just reactive solutions. A robust knowledge base, packed with helpful articles, tutorials, and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), empowers customers to find answers independently. Additionally, AI-powered chatbots can offer real-time support and basic troubleshooting, further streamlining the SaaS customer support experience.

Why is Customer Support Important for SaaS Companies?

While the allure of innovative features and streamlined functionality might grab the initial spotlight, prioritizing exceptional SaaS customer support is equally important for SaaS companies. Think of it as the missing piece of the puzzle: powerful software combined with exceptional SaaS customer support creates a winning formula that unlocks long-term customer success.

Here's why investing in SaaS customer support is a smart move:

Boosts Customer Satisfaction and Retention: Customers who receive prompt, helpful, and professional SaaS customer support are more likely to feel valued and satisfied with their experience. This positive sentiment translates into customer loyalty and retention, which is crucial for recurring revenue models like SaaS.

Reduces Customer Churn: Inevitably, your customers will encounter hurdles or have questions. Effective SaaS customer support ensures they get the answers and assistance they need quickly. This minimizes frustration and prevents issues from snowballing into churn, ultimately saving your company valuable recurring revenue.

Gathers Valuable Customer Feedback: The interactions you have through SaaS customer support provide a treasure trove of insights into your customers' experiences. By actively listening to their questions, concerns, and suggestions, you gain valuable feedback that can be used to refine your product, improve functionalities, and address any pain points. This feedback loop, fueled by exceptional SaaS customer support, allows you to continuously improve your offering and stay ahead of the curve.

Anatomy of a Successful SaaS Customer Support Program

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Delivering exceptional SaaS customer support isn't simply about having a team of support agents ready to answer questions. It's about fostering a company-wide culture that prioritizes customer success at every touchpoint. This comprehensive approach ensures a seamless and positive experience for your customers, from the moment they sign up to their ongoing use of your software.

A successful SaaS customer support program is built on several key pillars. In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into these essential elements, providing you with a roadmap to cultivate a thriving SaaS customer support system:

Strong Company-Wide Customer Service Culture

A company culture that prioritizes customer needs permeates every aspect of a successful SaaS customer support program. This means all departments, from product development to marketing, are invested in understanding and exceeding customer expectations.

Fast Response Time

In today's fast-paced world, customers expect prompt assistance. A well-structured SaaS customer support program prioritizes rapid response times, ensuring customers don't get bogged down waiting for answers.

Sorted Self-Service

Empowering your customers to find solutions independently is a cornerstone of a successful SaaS customer support program. This is where a well-organized self-service system comes into play.

A sorted self-service system offers various resources that allow customers to troubleshoot issues, answer common questions, and learn about your product's functionalities at their pace.

Strong Product to Offer Service For

In the realm of SaaS customer support, having a robust and user-friendly product is half the battle. A well-designed and intuitive product inherently minimizes the need for customer support.

By prioritizing a strong product, you proactively reduce the need for customer support. This not only enhances the customer experience but also streamlines your support operations.

The Right Mix of Customer Support Tools

Equipping your team with the right set of tools is paramount for delivering exceptional SaaS customer support. This toolbox should encompass various resources that streamline workflows, enhance communication, and empower your support agents to resolve customer issues efficiently.

Top Customer Service Tools for High-Performing Customer Support Teams

Empowering your customer support team with the right software is no longer optional, it's essential. The proper set of tools can dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your support operation, leading to happier customers, reduced churn, and ultimately, a thriving business.

Here are some essential tools to consider for building a robust SaaS customer support program:


HelpSpace is a comprehensive customer support platform designed specifically for SaaS customer support teams. It offers a suite of features that streamline workflows and empower agents to deliver exceptional service. Here's a glimpse into what HelpSpace offers:

  • Unified Inbox: Manage all your customer interactions (email, chat, phone) from a single platform, eliminating the need to switch between different tools.

  • Knowledge Base Integration: Seamlessly integrate your knowledge base with HelpSpace, enabling agents to easily share helpful articles and resources with customers during support interactions. Additionally, add the knowledge base to your website or web app per widget.

  • Teamwork Features: Foster collaboration among your support team with features like task assignment, internal notes, and team messaging.

  • Canned Responses: Create pre-written responses to frequently asked questions, allowing agents to respond quickly and efficiently.


LiveAgent is a versatile customer support platform that caters to businesses of all sizes, making it a great option for SaaS companies. LiveAgent offers a robust set of features to provide exceptional SaaS customer support:

  • Omnichannel Communication: LiveAgent allows you to connect with customers through various channels, including live chat, email, social media, and phone, ensuring you're readily available wherever your customers need you.

  • Ticketing System: The integrated ticketing system helps you centralize and manage all customer inquiries, ensuring no issue gets left behind.

  • Reporting and Analytics: Gain valuable insights into your SaaS customer support performance with comprehensive reporting and analytics tools.

Google Collaborative Inbox

While not a traditional customer support tool, Google Collaborative Inbox can be a valuable asset for your SaaS customer support team, particularly for smaller teams or those with limited budgets. Here's how:

  • Centralized Communication: The Google Collaborative Inbox allows your support team to manage all customer emails from a shared inbox. This fosters collaboration, ensures all agents are aware of customer interactions, and eliminates the risk of duplicate responses.

  • Real-Time Collaboration: Multiple agents can work on emails simultaneously, streamlining communication and allowing for faster resolution of customer inquiries.

  • Internal Notes: Utilize internal notes to share information and updates with other support agents within the email thread, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Top-Level KPIs for SaaS Customer Support Departments

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Measuring the success of your SaaS customer support department goes beyond simply counting the number of tickets resolved. To truly understand how your support team is performing and identify areas for improvement, you need to track key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs provide valuable data-driven insights that allow you to gauge customer satisfaction, assess the efficiency of your support operation, and ultimately, optimize your SaaS customer support strategy.

Here, we'll delve into some of the most critical top-level KPIs for SaaS customer support departments:

Questions answered within 4, 8, 16, 24 hrs

This KPI measures how quickly your support team responds to customer inquiries. Ideally, you should strive for a high percentage of questions answered within the first 24 hours, with a significant portion being resolved even faster (within 4-8 hours). Industry benchmarks suggest aiming for at least 97% of inquiries answered within the first 24 hours.

Specific benchmarks can vary depending on your industry and the complexity of your SaaS product, but here's a general guideline for the percentage of questions answered within different timeframes:

  • Within 4 hours: 20-30%

  • Within 8 hours: 70-80%

  • Within 16 hours: 90-95%

  • Within 24 hours: 97-99%

It's important to set your own internal goals based on your specific customer base and support channels. While striving for faster resolution times is always desirable, focus on achieving a balance between efficiency and providing thorough and high-quality resolutions.

Median Response Time

The median response time measures the average number of minutes it takes your SaaS customer support team to respond to a customer inquiry across various channels (email, chat, phone). It provides a clearer picture of your responsiveness compared to a simple percentage.

Why it matters: A lower median response time indicates faster initial contact with customers, demonstrating responsiveness and a commitment to resolving their issues promptly. This translates to higher customer satisfaction and reduced frustration.

Median number of hours to resolve an issue

The median number of hours to resolve an issue is a crucial KPI that measures the average time it takes your SaaS customer support team to fully address a customer's concern. This metric goes beyond initial response time and considers the entire lifecycle of a support ticket, from the moment a customer first contacts your team to when the issue is definitively resolved.

Here's why this KPI matters:

  • Customer Satisfaction

  • Identifying Bottlenecks

  • Prioritization

  • Resource Allocation

  • Industry Benchmarks

Number of Tickets Solved per Support Agent

The number of tickets solved per support agent is a KPI that measures the individual productivity of your SaaS customer support team members. It reflects the average number of customer inquiries each agent resolves within a specific timeframe (usually per day, week, or month).

Why this KPI matters:

  • Productivity: Tracking this metric allows you to assess the overall workload and efficiency of your support agents.

  • Workforce Optimization: By analyzing the number of tickets solved per agent, you can determine if your team is adequately staffed to handle the current support volume.

  • Performance Evaluation: This KPI can be a factor when evaluating the performance of individual support agents.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer loyalty metric that measures how likely your customers are to recommend your SaaS product or service to others. It's calculated based on a single survey question asking customers how likely they are to recommend your company on a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely).

Why this NPS matters:

  • Customer Satisfaction: NPS is a strong indicator of overall customer satisfaction with your SaaS customer support.

  • Benchmarking: Industry benchmarks allow you to compare your NPS score to competitors and identify areas for improvement.

  • Actionable Insights: Analyzing this qualitative data can provide valuable insights into customer experiences and areas where your SaaS customer support can improve.

Note: While benchmarks can be helpful, it's important to consider your specific industry and customer base when setting goals for these resolution speed KPIs.

Final Thoughts

By prioritizing exceptional support, you invest in the very foundation of your business – your customer base.

SaaS customer support is a philosophy, not just a department. It's about fostering a culture of customer-centricity within your organization, where every touchpoint reinforces a commitment to user success. When you prioritize clear communication, efficient issue resolution, and a user-friendly product, you empower your customers and cultivate long-term loyalty. Remember, happy customers are not only more likely to stay subscribed, but they become vocal advocates for your brand, propelling your SaaS business to new heights.

Cover Photo by Deivids Vasiljevs on Unsplash