It’s no secret that artificial intelligence is transforming the way we work and live. And the AI industry is predicted to keep expanding, growing by 33% between 2020 and 2027.
Over the last decade, various industries across the economic spectrum have integrated conversational AI into their tech stack, modernizing various aspects of the customer experience. One industry that has seen a massive impact from conversational AI is software as a service, or SaaS for short.
But what exactly is conversational AI and why is it important for SaaS companies? How can it improve customer experiences? And how can you implement it in your business?
In this guide, we’ll cover 4 ways conversational AI can transform the customer experience for SaaS organizations and provide some simple tips for getting started.
Why Is Conversational AI Important For SaaS?
Conversational AI is important for SaaS companies because it can assist organizations in attracting, obtaining, and retaining customers. For a SaaS company to compete in any market, continually growing your customer base while retaining current clients is paramount.
In fact, one of the essential metrics used to judge the health of SaaS companies is churn: the percentage of customers that cancel their subscriptions in any given time period. Investors, employees, and competitors all keep a close eye on this figure.
And one of the largest contributors to an increased churn rate is poor customer service, which is where AI tools can save the day.
How Do Companies Leverage Conversational AI For SaaS?
In today’s digital-first world, SaaS companies are leveraging conversational AI and natural language processing in multiple ways. One of the most common utilizations is in customer support. Here’s why.
1. Improve Customer Satisfaction
First and foremost, SaaS companies are utilizing conversational AI to improve customer satisfaction. In today’s crowded software environment, customers have more choices than ever and the modern consumer doesn’t shy away from leaving a company due to a poor customer interaction.
So as a company, how can you avoid losing customers due to poor service? One tactic leading organizations are implementing is utilizing AI to improve the customer support experience, driving higher rates of customer satisfaction, while not deflecting customer requests or wasting customers’ time.
Some of the most common issues for SaaS customers include:
- Forgotten passwords
- Reporting issues
- Billing questions
- Team member access problems
Let’s say your customer success team gets 50 password reset requests a day, and in total, your team receives 150 tickets daily. If you could automate those password reset requests, how would that impact your team? What additional projects could they complete if they had 1/3 less tickets to deal with on a daily basis? And most importantly, how would the satisfaction of your customers improve if their concerns were quickly and accurately addressed thanks to AI?
Based on real experiences from Forethought customers, the results are both noteworthy and positive. For example, by implementing Forethought Solve and Assist, B2B SaaS company PDQ expanded their product support operations while cutting their average customer response time by 45%.
2. Leverage Data to Better Understand Your Customers
Detailed data gathering and analysis is a key component of most major business processes. Consider finance for example. Before making a large investment decision, finance leaders pour over meticulous accounting records and in-depth financial reports.
In many organizations, however, customer support hasn’t historically enjoyed that same level of detailed performance reporting and analytics. But this doesn’t have to be the case any longer. Say hello to the second major benefit of conversational AI for SaaS companies: leveraging data to better understand your customer base.
With a tool like Forethought, comprehensive reporting is available to your entire team, at any time–all right at your fingertips. And the best part? The reports are simple to use with little to no training.
This will give your organization crucial insight into the performance of your customer success teams. Trackable metrics include:
- Total Cases Solved
- Time to Resolution (TTR)
- Average Handle Time (AHT)
- First Response Time (FRT)
Having access to these metrics will allow your customer support team to operate more efficiently while proving value to C-Suite level executives through quantifiable, trackable metrics.
3. Reduce Customer Service Costs
It’s a simple equation. The more customers you obtain, the more customer success agents you’ll need to support them. The issue? This isn’t very scalable.
One popular solution is to utilize conversational AI technology. This way, customers who need help with simple tasks can resolve their issues quickly without help from a human agent thanks to AI. This allows your customer success team to focus on more difficult and time-intensive tickets, providing better service to those with more complicated requests.
The result of all of this? An improved bottom line. By allowing more tickets to be solved by self-service, not requiring attention from customer support agents, you’re reducing your organization’s average cost per ticket. With this reduction in cost and increase in efficiency, your customer support operation will be more scalable than ever before.
4. Improve Customer Retention
It’s a phrase every customer service employee has heard before: “it’s cheaper to keep a current customer than find a new one.” And the data backs this up. Depending on what industry you’re focused on, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one according to the Harvard Business Review.
This is definitely true in the software as a service industry. With thousands of new tech companies emerging each year, every niche of the SaaS world is becoming increasingly competitive–and negative customer interactions will cause your clients to leave. A recent study featured in Forbes found that 96% of customers will leave a company due to poor customer service (and no, that’s not a typo).
Simply stated, you cannot afford to deliver poor customer service in today’s economy. By implementing a conversational AI tool like Forethought, you can resolve common cases in an instant, predict and prioritize incoming tickets, and assist your support agents with relevant knowledge—all from one integrated AI-powered platform.
Implementing a Conversational AI Platform: What’s Next?
In today’s crowded SaaS marketplace, it’s imperative that you find ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. One of the most effective ways to do this is through implementing a conversational AI platform to elevate your customer service operation.
And the best news? It’s easy. Contact us today for a free demo and we’ll create a customized package for your organization. We look forward to chatting soon.
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