What do Netflix, Uber, Spotify and RedTie have in common? I’m sure Netflix and Spotify have
you thinking about streaming, but you don’t stream taxis and you don’t stream web to print.
Need a hint? It’s right there in the title of this blog. Everything as a service. It’s about charging
for the usage or the output of a product instead of selling the product. Netflix and Spotify
charge a monthly fee. Uber, Lyft charge using a pay as you go model.
When it comes to software as a service, or SaaS, there’s an additional benefit. Companies do
not have to outlay capital for servers, and staff to manage this business. Making capital
purchases means the potential of purchased technology becoming obsolete pretty quickly.
In all cases the user experiences are the things that can make or break any of these businesses.
So it’s not enough to just supply a service. You order a car, and it’s supposed to come in 7
minutes. 10 or 12 minutes go by and the car hasn’t shown, and the next thing you know a few
things can happen.
First, the customer calls the car service and complains.
Second, they choose a different car service going forward, and you’ve lost a customer
potentially for good.
And third, probably the worst response to a bad experience, sharing that bad experience with
friends and family and on social media. Ouch!
Customer service can make or break any business. I have a friend who actually signs his
business email with “At Your Service,” before adding his name. I thought it interesting because I
had never seen something like that before. It also made me think that this person really was
going to pay attention to the needs of his customers!
Less than a dozen years ago, no one knew what SaaS was. People heard “in the cloud” and they
were scared. Who controlled this “cloud”? They wanted to touch and see the hardware. They
wanted to own the software. Now, you look at the apps on your phone and where do you think
they are hosted? In the cloud! The minute apps were born, cloud computing took off quickly,
and now those same people who wanted to wrap their hands around their hardware and keep
it, are jumping on the SaaS band wagon!
But remember, as you embrace this technology, don’t forget that customer service has not
disappeared. You need to make sure that element of your business not only continues to exist,
but needs to excel in this “in the cloud” world.
Now, can I get that door for you, sir?