How it feels to be a SaaS customer in 2016
Updated: Apr 6
Hello there, I’m Mr.Customer.
I have a need. I have time to spare. More importantly, I have money that I can spend on a solution that will cater to my needs. Like most in my breed, I evaluated a few products before deciding on the one that I believed would help me. What follows is my experience of interacting with the people from my chosen product. A SaaS product.
An energetic young gentleman called Mr.SalesRep from the product company was my single point of contact during the evaluation period. If I was stuck anywhere, I’d just email him and he would respond.
He and another smart fellow, Mr.SalesEngineer helped solve most of my issues. They fully understand how my business runs and what I’m trying to achieve.
I just gave him the happy news that I’ve chosen their product. He was jubilant. Now, it’s just the matter of how to get the payment across.
Mr.SalesRep: “Thank you Mr.Customer!! I’m happy that you’ve decided to go with our product. Mr.Billing will be in touch with you regarding the payment.”Me: “Thank you, I’ll wait for that. Can you also ask Mr.Sales Engineer to get back to me regarding the issue I raised?”
It’s no biggie. These guys have been amazing. Mr.Sales Engineer is quick, I’m pretty sure he would already have a solution. I just need to wait for him to get back to me.
I’m so excited to try this new product.
Mr.SalesEngineer: “Hello, Mr.Customer! Mr.SalesRep told me you wanted to discuss that issue.”
About time! I was wondering when I’ll hear back from this guy.
Mr.SalesEngineer: I want to introduce you to Mr.TechnicalAccountManager(TAM) who will be your single technical point of contact from now on. He is dedicated to your account and will be happy to assist you from now on.I’ve documented everything we discussed and passed it on to him. He’s the best, he’s more technically adept than me. It was great working with you”
Ah, understood. It makes sense. Now that I’m a customer, I need a dedicated technical person who can help me whenever I need. Great!
Me: “Good to know. How about that issue, then Mr.TAM?”Mr. TAM: “Hello, Mr.Customer. Mr.SE told me about your issue. I’m going to need some more information on that. Can you please explain it further?As Mr.TAM, it is also my duty to inform you that you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our support number for any issues. We operate on a 24 x 7 model. Of course, my inbox is always open”
Didn’t Mr.SE say that everything is documented? Oh well, wouldn’t hurt to explain again.
Me: “Sure. Well the issue is…”
Ah, it’s been a while since I heard back from those guys. Let’s try calling Mr.TAM. Oh wait, I have only the global support number.
Me: “Hello Support? I’m calling to ask for an update on the issue I raised?”Mr.SupportRep1: “Hello, Mr.Customer. Happy to be of service. Can you please explain the issue to me? I’ll do my best to resolve it”
Ah come on! I’m getting bored of this.
Me: “Oh, can I talk to Mr.TAM please? He knows”Mr.SupportRep1: “Mr.TAM is currently on another call. I’ll make sure he gets back to you soon. Is there anything else?”
Hmmm, it’s not worth explaining again. I’m pretty sure Mr.TAM has a solution ready. Oh, maybe I can talk about that other little snag I’ve hit.
Me: “Oh yes, I have this other issue…”
Wow, a busy week! I’m so happy to see the weeken —
Mr.CustomerSuccess: “Dear Mr.Customer, I’m Mr.CustomerSuccess and I’m very happy to welcome you on board with our product.I would like to understand how you currently use our product and also show you some of the industry best practices. I’ll also conduct quarterly reviews with you and help you improve adoption & usage of the productCan we get on a call to understand how you’re using our product?”
No, I don’t want to get on a call. Who’s this, now? Haven’t I explained everything to enough people already?
Me: “Umm…Mr.SalesEngineer and Mr.TAM know about it. Can you ask them?”Mr.CustomerSuccess: “I’ve already read the document updated by them, Mr.Customer, but I’m more interested to understand your usage from a business perspective.”
Business perspective? Everything I do with your product is from a business perspective! And your guys know everything I’ve been doing right from the start ! One more person that I have to explain this to. Hmph!
Me: “Sure. We use your product to…”
I need to get that issue fixed. Boss has been asking for an update. Good that I have Mr.TAM’s phone number now. I can call him directly.
Me: “Hello, Mr.TAM! Do we have an update on that issue?”Mr.TAM: “Hello, Mr.Customer! Yes, indeed. It looks like we need to build a custom script for you. I spoke to Mr.Developer, who will write this script, and he had a few questions for you. Can we get on a call and talk to Mr.Developer?”
Ah, no! I don’t want to talk to one more person. But it’s fair…Mr.TAM can’t write the script. I wish he could though so that I don’t have to explain myself again.
Me: “Umm, okay. How about that other issue then?”Mr.TAM: “Mr.SupportRep1 is working on that and currently not available. I’ll get back to you with an update after talking to him”
Why don’t these people ever talk to their colleagues? Looks like I got no choice but to wait.
I hope that script is ready. I can’t buy more time from the boss. I wonder when that’ll be ready to—
Mr.AccountManager: “Hello! Am I talking to Mr.Customer? Hi! It’s Mr.AccountManager aka Farmer here. I handle all key accounts for our product and it is my job to ensure that you remain happy. Are there any key concerns?”
Now this is the limit! One more person? There is no way I’m repeating myself. AGAIN!
Me: “Yes, there are too many people talking to me right now. Can that stop? Please.”Mr.AccountManager: “Really sorry about that, Mr.Customer. I’ll make sure this is addressed.Now, I’m interested to see how we can expand the product usage in your organization. When do you think would be a good time to talk?”
I shouldn’t have hung up. But why should there be so many people calling me? Aren’t they all part of the same company? I understand that they’re trying to stay organized with different teams.
It may make sense to them but it does not make any sense to me.
The only person who hasn’t called me yet is their CEO. Haha.
I wonder what’s for lunch. I’m starving.
*phone rings again*
Me: “Hello?”“Hello, Mr.Customer. It’s Mr.CEO and I’m just calling to apologize for the bad experience you’ve had so far.”“…”
I was really lost for words after the last call.
Now, this is purely my experience. I don’t want you all to go away thinking this is how the SaaS world exists. No.
This is how it shouldn’t