Customer support in Saas companies can be a challenge. Mainly because your product is not tangible, your consumer has no way to feel or touch your product. Moreover, SaaS platforms have a diverse client base with different needs and demands. Customer support for Shopify apps can be even more daunting, yet it is the soul of Shopify Apps.
A customer looking for shoes is only looking for shoes, but a customer purchasing a software may be looking for many more features within that software. Apart from the diverse client needs, there are different types of merchants as well.
Some are well aware of technical issues; some do not possess any technical knowledge; some may have high expectations. This requires you to hire customer support executives who possess specialized knowledge and understand and explain complicated issues in layman terms.
Customer support is what fetches you the most number of reviews. If the merchant is happy with how fast and efficiently you resolved his issue, he is bound to leave a useful review. Most of our reviews are from customers who were elated by our merchant support.
According to Slideshare, 78% of customers leave a product due to bad customer service. Poor customer service means higher levels of Churn. Churn implies the rate at which a business is losing customers.
In this blog, we will cover the following:
- Merchants with high expectations
- Merchants with limited technical knowledge
- Merchants looking for bargain
- Merchants who can be impatient
Types of Merchants in Customer support for Shopify Apps
When it comes to selling apps, finding customers is not the difficult part but retaining them is. Customer support becomes a difficult job as every merchant has a different need and understanding of your app. Hence it becomes important to understand how to distinguish between merchants so as to find a way to help them with issues.
1. Merchants with high expectations
Many times we come across merchants who need more features or functionalities within the software we provide. It happens mostly when they misunderstand the features you provide (this can occur due to complicated language used in explaining features or wrongful mention of features). Merchants may also need a better version or an extra feature within existing features.
In such cases, the support team must figure out if they can fulfil the demand or not. If they can, then they need to figure out the technical feasibility.
If the demand cannot be fulfilled, the merchant should be informed with a valid reason why it cannot be implemented.
Share what the technical difficulties are or if certain features are only for a paid plan. You can request them to upgrade the plan.
It is also essential that the website should mention all the features properly. All the frequently asked questions should be answered in detail so that there is no scope of confusion.
Flits offers a reward program feature, and so do many other Shopify apps. To cite an example, every app that provides a reward program feature has different rules and criteria for giving rewards.
A merchant can be under the impression that all apps may have similar/ same rules. The merchant may get confused while using the app, leading to a negative rating or, worst case, un-installation. Hence it becomes essential to display all the rules correctly.
2. Merchants with limited technical knowledge
Often many merchants who contact you have no or little technical knowledge. They need simple explanations with examples of the features. Dealing with such merchants may require a lot of patience as they may not understand the answers quickly.
You can also share screen recordings with them to make them go through the steps or processes. Even if it takes you as many tries to explain to them, you must give them time and make sure their issue is resolved.
The best part about communicating with such merchants is that they provide you with an opportunity to improve your features. Treat such merchants as a blessing.
Reason being: A. If you can simplify your explanations enough that even they can comprehend them quickly, it’s a guarantee that everyone else too can understand them easily. B. Majority of such merchants will come up with fundamental issues that you need to resolve in your app. You can rely on their problems to find an opportunity to introduce little tweaks to improve the user experience.
3. Merchants looking for bargain/discounts
Many times merchants are just hunting for a discount. In such cases, you need to explain how valuable your feature is and the benefits it will yield will outweigh its costs. If your reply doesn’t satisfy the merchant, you have to evaluate if you wish to offer them a discount and how much discount you can offer them. Reply to them with the offer and the link to make the transaction with the discount code. This prompts them to take immediate action.
Often merchants may need a bit extra time to figure out how to use your app; you can extend their free trial in such cases.
4. Merchants who don’t respond
Often merchants send a complaint, but when you revert, they do not respond. Reply to them with a solution, and if there’s a mistake on your part, you must humbly accept it and shoot them a mail offering them proper assistance.
However, you must consider that they may not have found the time to respond, or your mail may have been lost in the sea of emails. You need to respond to them on all the channels wherever you can. If they don’t answer, you can send them a reminder email after a while.
5. Merchants who can be impatient
Many times merchants come up with issues and want a solution right away. In such cases, you need to prioritize.
By prioritizing, we mean there is one merchant who needs to change the button’s color, and there is another whose customers are unable to add products to the cart. If these two cases come up simultaneously, you will have to immediately solve the one that needs more attention. In these two cases, the latter issue needs immediate attention.
You need to focus on those issues first that may heavily impact the business of the merchant. Issues like technical errors and other backend issues. It does not mean that you don’t tend to the other ones, but you have to make the best of the time you have at hand.
The ideal time to respond to all issues (even those which are not urgent) is 24 hours.
Few tips for customer support
Customer support is the lifeline of any Shopify app. You don’t need to offer exceptionally high-end features or significant discounts to find customers. Good customer support can fetch you many clients, even with a simple feature, which means that your customer support channel should be very smooth and should get a lot of attention because that’s where you communicate with your clients.
- Easy to locate customer support options: The contact us button should stand out on every page of your website. It is a possibility that many merchants may return without taking any action on your website. But provide them with a channel to contact you on every page of your website. You can take advantage of the opportunity of establishing ‘Contact.’ Once the contact is established, you can convince the merchant how valuable your app can be for their online store.
- In-depth FAQs: FAQs save not only merchants time but also the customer support executive. Detailed and maximum possible FAQs should be easy to read and locate on your website. You must add links to the FAQs of the related feature wherever possible. Customer support executives can also use them to brush up their knowledge or use them in replies while solving a merchant’s doubt.
- Focus on common queries: There will be certain doubts or issues that might be coming up again and again in your support channel. It is essential to focus on them because
1. Common queries can serve as a database for your FAQs.
2. Common issues can serve as a basis for the improvement of your website/ feature/ app.
Common issues are the gaps in your software. Solving them can drastically lower the levels of queries in the customer support channel.
- Prioritize customer support based on the issue: When there is a flood of customer support requests, it may be unclear for the support executive to approach them. Should he/she solve them one by one or based on the issue at hand. In such times it is essential to prioritize the issue as per the severity. However, the customer support executive must try to resolve all problems within 24 hours.
- Provide 24/7 live chat support only if you have resources to support it: It may be tempting to display 24/7 live chat support to grab the merchant’s attention, but it can backfire. Unless you have the resource and workforce to support this, you should avoid displaying such options. Merchants will feel disappointed if you can’t fulfill the promise of 24/7 customer support.
- Provide multiple channels for the customer to reach you: Try to provide various platforms text, mail, live chat, etc. to contact you. The merchants can choose whichever option seems comfortable to them. Though you may have to find ways to see all the queries/tickets in one place, it may not be easy to keep a check on all the available mediums.
- Efficient support staff: What is worse than having no customer support? Answer. Inefficient customer support. All of us have faced those harrowing phone calls where we were made to wait for hours, or the support executive kept transferring your calls. You don’t want your clients to go through the same experience, which is why you must have a knowledgeable and efficient support staff.
Apart from this, they should be polite, patient, and enthusiastic about attending customers. Saas platforms should have a customer support staff with basic technical knowledge and immediate replies to basic common queries. There should be smooth communication between the customer support staff too, so there is no overlap while attending the questions.
- Request them to leave reviews: As mentioned earlier, efficient customer care experience=Great reviews. There is another aspect to having a great customer support channel, and that is requesting reviews. Once you have solved the merchant’s issue, you must ask them to write a review. At this point, clients will be more than willing to leave a review, especially if they are happy with the support service. (But it would help if you were careful not to request them to leave a positive review or 5-star review. This can come across as aggressive. Also, Shopify may delete reviews from your site if they find out you specifically asked for a 5-star review.)
Here are a few screenshots of 5-star reviews for customer service on our app.
There is no end to what you can do with customer support. It’s a platform for communication, a tool to determine what your customers want, what you lack and can improve. Which is why investing time and human resources in customer support is vital to any business. Check reviews of any Saas company; you will find that most reviews are related to how incredible customer support is or how quickly they solved the issue.