Magazine Article | October 1, 2018

Ask The Board: How Does Customer Support Help Your Software Company Win More Business?

Source: Software Executive magazine

Software Executive Editorial Advisory Board

You’ll never hear a software company say, “We offer mediocre customer support.” Everyone claims to have the world’s best customer support team. Yet so many software companies look at support strictly as a cost center. According to ProfitWell’s Support Benchmarks, retention is 15% better for companies perceived to have good customer support.

Q | How do you view customer support, and how does it help your software company win more business?

A | CUSTOMER SUPPORT IS CRITICAL and often misunderstood. For CBOS it is a chance to take care of the customer and demonstrate that they made the best purchasing decision. It also gives us a chance to see what other services the customer may need to improve and grow their business and then upsell that service offering. So you need good listeners in customer service and folks who like to solve challenges. During the sales process we highlight what our existing customers are saying about our service, and this helps the buyer understand that we’re here after the sale as well. Our CBOS platform has a CRM module which allows our customer service team to see everything about the customer, and because we use the same SaaS platform as our customers, we know how to help them resolve their issues much more effectively and efficiently.

JOE MEYER is the founder and CEO of CentralBOS, a cloud ERP software company based in Atlanta, GA. He is a serial entrepreneur and a retired U.S. Army major who has worked with large and startup enterprises for 25+ years.

A | CUSTOMERS WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS after they buy. Especially in a commodity-driven industry it’s essential that you build trust in the implementation and support process. After we’ve won the deal, it’s essential we stay on top of the key customer success metrics, especially during the first 30 days. We have the support team broken down into two departments. One department handles the customer through the first 30 days to ensure consistency in implementation and message delivery (no one likes to speak to a new support rep every time they call in). The second team handles inbound service questions after 30 days. On a daily basis we look at metrics such as accounts graduated/setup within 30 days, accounts which have had their first welcome call within 48 hours, and answer rate – all of which have targets of 100%.

Every company has room for improvement, including ours, but we have definitely set the customer success team up the best way possible with the right processes and metrics to have the highest-rated support in the industry.

DAVID DUNCAN is the VP of Sales at Epos Now, the award-winning POS software company which earned 156% annual growth for 5 years in the UK before he spearheaded US expansion in 2016 with 1,700 percent organic growth.

A | KNOWBE4’S SUPPORT IS FREE. It’s provided at no cost and included as part of the price of the platform, making it an easy choice. It’s also fast because we are fanatical about giving fantastic service. We let our prospects know how great the support is and that our average response time is typically less than an hour. We also encourage our prospects to see what customers have to say about the whole process and support on Gartner’s Peer Insights Program. In measuring the effectiveness of our support team, we look at median response time and customer satisfaction survey percentages. When it comes to tools that our customer support team relies on, our Knowledge Base and internal communication channels like Slack are the most important.

STU SJOUWERMAN is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4, Inc. Sjouwerman’s fifth startup, KnowBe4, debuted on the 2016 Inc. 500 list at #139, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 at #50, and #1 on the Tampa Bay Best Places to Work for 2017.