While we often talk about software as a service (SaaS) in terms of its strength as a business model, the last word in the acronym (service) doesn’t get enough attention. For digital solutions providers, service can be a differentiation. And so many leading small-business software companies, including Freshbooks and GoDaddy, have built their businesses on customer service quality.
And Facebook’s recent acquisition of Kustomer (for a cool $1 billion) was yet another signal that customer support is a critical business tool. As its name suggests, Kustomer is a customer experience platform. It enables customer interactions across multiple channels. And Kustomer leverages newer communications channels (preferred by younger small business operators) like messaging and chatbots.
So to get some answers on what makes for an optimal service model for digital solutions providers, Localogy and Mono Solutions fielded a small business survey. The survey (n=309), which ran in late October, forms the basis of a new Localogy white paper and webinar.
One key report theme is the gap between how SMBs want to be communicated with and what solutions providers offer. So bridging this gap is key to finding a more effective do-it-with-me (DIWM) service model.
Here are some of the questions that the survey tries to answer.
- How do small businesses prefer to receive customer service?
- What constitutes table stakes in delivering a DIWM service?
- So why do SMBs prefer one service model over another?
- And which tools are customers more inclined to prefer to DIY vs DIWM vs DIFM?
Here are some themes that emerged from the survey results and qualitative discussions with digital solutions providers.
- Of course, COVID has accelerated the need for service and support. It has also accelerated the demand for different modes for accessing customer service.
- Business owners are hungry for more collaboration with their software providers. And they want to learn how to fully engage with and get a greater ROI from the tools they’ve purchased.
- Personal service still matters. This is why many small businesses desire dedicated reps and frequent contact as part of a service offering.
- Yet, there may be a path to a more automated and scalable service model. And one that delivers as much value as having a dedicated service rep for each customer.
- And, notably, there are some gaps between the service modes solutions providers offer and how customers want to be serviced.
“I was most surprised by the delta that we saw in this survey data between what SMBs expect from their service providers versus what they’re receiving. Look forward to sharing the full survey and results next week,” said Mono’s Matt Matergia. Matt, who is Mono’s GM Americas and VP of sales, will be speaking on the webinar.
The white paper will publish on Localogy.com next week. And you can register here for the webinar on Thursday, December 10, at 2 pm EST.