This is a guest post by Claire-Emilie Lecocq, Content Marketer at eFounders, a startup studio that turns unique ideas into successful and independent companies, including Aircall, a SaaS startup providing phone support.
Some Software-as-a-Service startups are wary of putting a phone number front-and-center on their website.
This is because SaaS businesses are not always equipped to deal directly with every person who wants to chat. Business leaders are afraid of being overwhelmed and unable to cope with a huge number of inbound calls as they scale up.
This had led some startups to opt out of the phone game altogether. Jeff Vincent, Director of Customer Happiness at Wistia, explained in this blog post why they decided to remove their phone number from their website as they grew.
“A small team like ours simply couldn’t keep up with the volume of phone calls received,” he explained in the post. “We only have 3 phone lines!”
However, other startups choose to make the investment in a phone support line, because the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Price Intelligently, for example, displays its phone number on their front page, and Dendreo implemented Aircall‘s Click2Call solution on its front page.
So what should your SaaS business do? Here are 3 powerful reasons every SaaS startup must have phone support.
1. Boost Customer Acquisition
SaaS businesses face a lot of competition so any kind of differentiation is valuable to your company. You may not need it if you’re Dropbox or Salesforce, but if your potential customers don’t already know you, you need to earn their trust. It’s vital that you build a real, human connection with customers and prospects. Providing a phone number on your homepage makes your company seem more accessible and boosts user confidence.
LessAccounting tested this hypothesis and found a 2% boost in paid conversions, which they were able to correlate directly to adding a phone number to all of their their marketing pages.
2. Improve Customer Loyalty
As a SaaS business, your number one concern should be to increase customer loyalty and reduce churn. A Bain study highlighted this figure: increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
How can phone support increase your customer satisfaction? Talking to clients gives you an opportunity to:
- Better understand satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) – I don’t know about you, but I’m not great at understanding tone over chat or email.
- Calm down a frustrated customer – Customers are more likely to vent their frustrations over email where there isn’t a live person on the other end. When you speak on the phone, customers feel heard, are less likely to erupt, and are more willing to listen to your solution.
- Provide the right solution faster – Vincent Le Hénaff, business developer at Mention, explains that even if most of their customer support goes by chat or email, they still receive phone calls from customers, usually for serious and urgent matters. So if your product demands real-time answers, you know what you have to do!
However, for more complex questions, you should probably set up a support system through email to let you dig in and do background research before talking to your customer on the phone and offering a solution.
A 5% rise in customer retention increases profits by 25 to 95%. (Click to Tweet)
3. Customers Prefer The Phone
Phone support is the channel most preferred by customers. Not providing a phone number at all can send the wrong signal to your customers or prospects, and make them less likely to buy from you or continue working with you.
Made with love thanks to illustrio.com
Phone is still the most preferred support channel for customers. (Click to Tweet)
Of course, chat, social media, and email support also have their believers – and the best companies offer every option. Before opting for one or the other, you should assess the potential cost of each channel compared to your average revenue per user – and maybe keep the phone support for your premium customers. But why limit customer communication when it is so vital to your business?
So tell me, what’s your favorite channel for customer support?