As many companies are discovering, the growing popularity of software-as-a-service (SaaS) dramatically transforms the role of software support. With a SaaS business model,
customers can pull the plug on their subscriptions with almost no notice if they’re dissatisfied or unsuccessful. Revenue streams, renewal rates, subscriber growth, add-on
services—they all go poof! if support fails.

Often, the natural response to the SaaS support challenge is simply to throw more bodies into the equation. More bodies presumably equal faster response times, more cases closed, more time on individual calls. What more could a customer want? Well, apparently customers do want much more. There’s no single demand that support managers always hear, but many of the new expectations address aspects of the customer experience. SaaS implementations typically move the actual software away from the customer’s computers, which eliminates many hard-to-solve technical issues. But that still leaves—and in fact expands—the potential for a wide range of support-related usability problems, how-to questions, and general hand-holding.