Apps every SaaS company needs

Apps every SaaS company needs

July 31, 2014
Apps every SaaS company needs

WHO YOU ARE: A SaaS Company

You’re a company who believes in, and lives in, the cloud. Your customers do too. Although SaaS isn’t synonymous with “startup,” Software as a Service (SaaS) companies are often lean, and everyone wears a few hats. The unique thing about SaaS companies is that everything happens online: software development, sales, product use, and support. This means your customers are already online when they encounter issues or have questions, and they reach out to you with immediacy. As a result, you’ve learned to be nimble.

WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT

As a SaaS company, you know better than anyone else how intertwined sales and support can be, particularly if you offer a free trial. How your support team fields questions from prospects evaluating your product can secure—or cost—a sale. Then, once the prospect becomes a customer, you’ve got to keep them active and renewing their subscription. Again much of the load falls to support. After all, you’ve positioned your software as a service. Are you holding up that end of the bargain?

How can you differentiate your service? It’s got to be easy for customers to get support, and they want it to feel personal. Yet relationships take time and require nurturing, and you’re spread so thin. You’re also trying to develop software, and you need to handle the quick fixes and make progress down the product roadmap.

KILLER APP COMBO

The good news is that there are tools that make accessing and sharing data easy. You’ve collected lots of customer data in other SaaS tools, as well as on-premise systems. The more you can integrate to improve workflow, the better. You might actually know more about the customer than they expect.

We’re assuming that a CRM and an integrated VoIP system may already figure into your support as a SaaS company, so we’re going to tell you about some other great integrations.

Totango, FullStory, Woopra
Customer insight and engagement tools give you a better idea about who’s on your site, and what they’re doing there. Totango, FullStory, and Woopra all capture customer engagement data and present the data in different ways. What’s especially cool about FullStory is they let you play back videos of user sessions from your website, giving your support and product teams unique insight into what happened before, during, and after a user filed a support ticket.

Glance
Glance allows you to launch co-browsing or screen sharing sessions for Zendesk tickets. You can instantly connect with customers on any device and guide them through the troubleshooting process. Co-browsing can help decrease ticket resolution time, and when the issue is outside the browser, you can move right into screen sharing.

ScreenSteps, Editorial Calendar
SaaS customers often want easy access to self-service options or FAQs, and more than likely, your marketing strategy is content-driven. There are a couple great tools to help publish content to your Help Center. The ScreenSteps app makes it possible for agents using Zendesk to search a hosted KB and copy links to articles into tickets. ScreenSteps also helps you to author and publish content into your Help Center. The Editorial Calendar app ties into the Marketing.AI Content Marketing Framework and can help you create and manage content for your Help Center, keeping content consistent with messaging and more relevant for your customers.

Flowdock, Slack
There are so many collaborative tools out there—wouldn’t it be nice to wrangle them into a single feed? Different communication channels are used by different teams, but many of these teams need a direct line to support—and support benefits from easy access to product and engineering teams. Enter Flowdock, a group chat tool with a shared inbox, integrating email, Twitter, GitHub, and other tools. When you integrate Flowdock with Zendesk, tickets become visible to everyone, and support can get quick, more in-depth answers from product or engineering in real-time. Slack also brings your team’s communication together in one place, and offers real-time messaging, archiving, and search.

JIRA OnDemand
Sometimes more than quick collaboration is needed. The JIRA OnDemand integration allows support to escalate and link tickets to engineering to be worked on as JIRA issues. The integration keeps JIRA and Zendesk in sync, helping keep your SaaS company running like the tight, agile operation it needs to be.

Zapier, Kevy
Zapier and Kevy are global cloud connector tools, making it easy for Zendesk to talk to just about any application. They enable you to automatically sync data between cloud apps without writing any code or relying on 3rd party developers.

Okta, OneLogin
Okta and OneLogin are great options for SaaS providers to help manage end-user single sign-on (SSO), and to eliminate user-managed passwords and the risk of phishing.

We’d love to hear from other SaaS providers. Tell us about the impact customer service has on the growth of your business in the comments.

This is part of a series focused on extending Zendesk to meet your company’s most fundamental needs. Check back next month to see what apps or integrations we recommend for the small business.

In previous installments we covered:
The Contact Center
The Midsize Business