The SaaS & Support Project is about enhancing company Profitability and Customer Retention as a practical matter in the SaaS / On Demand / Cloud era. It’s about the answers to the most vital challenges and questions faced by every CEO and C-Level officer. What are SaaS/Cloud companies actually doing about defining and providing Support for their customers? Past the hype and the theory, who really “owns” the ongoing relationship with the customer, and is accountable for the results? How are those owners to be compensated? What are the “Best Practices” in satisfying and retaining customers over the years? Which approaches have other companies tried, and with what results?
The Project Research
In late 2009, data was collected from a single survey that included questions about what software vendors, both SaaS and those transitioning to SaaS at that point, were doing in the areas of the Strategy, Process, People and Technology of customer support. The data was supplemented and enhanced by online research in ongoing interviews with senior executives. Sponsored by the Association of Support Professionals (ASP), the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), TechAmerica Org and OpSource, the first Report was published in late December.
In 2010 and early 2011, three separate surveys were conducted. The Issues survey examined the concerns of SaaS vendor CxO’s and Support execs. The Strategy & People survey questions focused on the role and definition of Support within the company and how it was organized and staffed. The third survey, Process & Technology, asked about access channels, volumes and categorization of submitted cases, and what technologies have been installed to help manage the function. The data collection was extended through the end of February 2011, and enhanced with supplemental research in the form of direct interviews and review of published materials from a range of sources.
Moving forward, the research will continue to explore what SaaS/Cloud vendors are doing about the ultimate goal of all support & service activity: increased profitability through optimum customer retention.