What Happened to Service in SaaS Software?

Good customer service, including during SaaS implementation, can be a difference maker for cleaning and security organizations when it comes to their software.

In today’s world, personal customer service has been replaced by automated software, which sometimes leads to training headaches and organizational struggles.

Twenty years ago, if your small business was facing challenges you’d head to an electronics store and buy a software solution on a set of disks. The software version was usually good for a year or two before you’d head back to the store for the latest and greatest upgrade. Along the way, if you had problems installing or using the software, there were live call centers with people to assist you. And your team’s adoption of the new software and its ability to solve our problems was typically left up to chance.

Today, instead of paying a lot up front to buy new software versions, most Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are pay-as-you-go. Economic pressures have commoditized many applications to the point where users almost expect a free version or trial period before buying in. Unfortunately, “free” really means paying with personal information (your data), a future charge, or facing a complete lack of service infrastructure. As a result, the service often is squeezed out of SaaS software, and you’re left with nothing more than a set of disks.

Understand that software alone rarely solves a problem.

For example, you can download a budgeting app for your phone, but it won’t change your daily habit of buying an expensive coffee. The same holds true in business. It’s common for businesses to identify an operational problem and try to throw software at it as a solution.

Executives can have great intentions, but if operations and owners don’t buy in, the software will fail and the problem will remain. In highly transactional industries like cleaning and security, taking the time to deploy a new software solution may be viewed as a hindrance to employees, not a solution. It can be tempting to fall for a quick solution that boasts low pricing, fresh features and slick marketing. But at what cost?

Shortcuts cost you when it comes to customer service.

If you truly want to solve a problem in your organization and know a software solution can help, make sure your provider has the ability to ensure your team makes it a success. After all, the fundamentals of SaaS are both software and service.

Your software provider needs to have a professional services organization with a proven and structured implementation process in place to help you wrap technology around your people and business operations along with a customer support function to continue service after the sale. A good provider knows your current state and gives you a plan to evolve your organization to its preferred state and will support you as you evolve further. If not, you’re just popping in a disk and taking your chances.

To read more on how successful software or SaaS implementation is driven by your provider’s customer service, check out these additional resources from TEAM Software: