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The State of Customer Support in 2023: Trends and Predictions from SaaS Leaders

Explore the future of customer support with insights from industry leaders in our blog post. Discover key trends shaping customer experiences.
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Last updated
October 23, 2023

In the wake of the pandemic, customer support underwent a profound transformation. Remote operations became the new norm, compelling businesses to embrace and scale digital channels to offer around-the-clock customer service. 

To help you keep on top of these changes, we delved into customer support trends, interviewing 53 high-level executives in the SaaS industry. With over 10 years of experience, 75% of these individuals hold director, senior director, or VP positions.

Our conversations unveiled fascinating data on evolving customer expectations in the customer support industry. A surge in omnichannel support and proactive assistance emerged as clear trends. Moreover, while knowledge bases remain essential, customer support teams desire to better harness the potential of AI tools, like chatbots and virtual assistants.

These AI tools should help battle the common challenges customer support teams face, such as burnout and budget constraints. Our report also sheds light on the importance of integrating customer support teams with other departments in your organization.

To bring these findings to life, we delve into the details, sharing statistics and expert quotes. Join us as we explore the future of customer support.

Customer support as a value

Current perception and its limitations

Today, customers want companies to provide a holistic approach when it comes to customer support — providing a seamless experience across the entire journey. Unsurprisingly our report found that 53% of customers expect more from support now than ever before. It’s safe to say that, as technology advances, customer expectations are skyrocketing. 

But can companies consistently meet these demands across all channels?

Changes on customer expectations
Changes on customer expectations

The harsh reality is that delivering exceptional support across all customer channels is a major challenge in 2023. Our research highlights that customer support teams face numerous obstacles that hinder their efficiency and effectiveness: 

  • 23% of respondents reported their teams are suffering from burnout and turnover
  • 18% of respondents admitted to lacking the necessary tools and processes to offer effective support

But the challenges don't end there. We found that the volume of support queries has increased for 60% of businesses, regardless of their size. These challenges exacerbate each other and hinder companies from achieving their customer support objectives.

Changes in the number of support inquiries
Changes in the number of support inquiries

The changing view: customer support as a differentiator

Our report discovered a recent trend that’s emerging in the customer support industry: companies are beginning to recognize that excellent customer support is a crucial way to differentiate themselves from their competitors and establish a powerful presence in the market. 

This is because excellent customer service improves their overall experience with your brand — making them feel heard and appreciated. And companies understand that customers typically reward brands that provide them with this type of high-quality customer support, with their loyalty and, in some cases, their repeat business. 

Our report also found that rather than seeing customer support as a necessary cost center, top-level executives in customer support working in the SaaS space are increasingly viewing it as a source of value. This shift in mindset has the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses approach customer service, and could lead to a new era of customer-centricity in the corporate world.

Implications for business investment and strategy

In 2023, SaaS brands realize that investing in customer support can lead to higher customer retention rates, increase customer lifetime value, and ultimately drive revenue growth and yield strong ROI. 

This mindset shift has caused businesses to invest more in their support operations. However, budget restraints can pose a challenge for some businesses, with 18% of respondents reporting that they face limitations. But those who overcome this hurdle are poised to reap the benefits of investing in customer support. 

This type of information tells us that companies need to work out a strategic customer support plan that suits their businesses — and will meet their audience's needs in the long term.

The rise of AI in customer support: from reactive to proactive

Overview of AI’s current use in customer support

Our data found that AI in customer support has grown rapidly, driven by the increasing demand from customers for more efficient and effective services. AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants have already become a common feature in many industries, providing round-the-clock support and gathering insights into customer behaviors that improve their experience. 

Narsi Subramanian, VP of Customer Support at Databricks, says that “It is the year when AI and ML will provide new insights into improving the overall customer experience”

These AI and automated systems have proven to be highly effective, like answering queries and freeing up human agents to focus on more complex tasks, automating ticket creation with chatbot widgets, and creating self-service resources using AI writing assistants like ChatGPT. As a result, businesses are turning to AI solutions more and more to provide their customers with the type of support they expect, while also reducing the workload on their customer service teams.

Predictions for AI’s increased involvement

With the growing popularity of AI technology, many businesses are expected to continue to increase their use of AI in customer support. According to our report, organizations are keen to integrate AI-based tools into their workflows, particularly for workforce management. We found that 45% of respondents see improving their workflows and efficiencies as a top priority in 2023.

top priorities for support teams
Top priorities for support teams

This shift towards AI is expected to make customer support an even more seamless and efficient experience for customers. This is because AI-driven tools will not only handle routine tasks like basic queries but also perform more complex roles like predicting future needs based on customer behavior. This will enable companies to provide proactive support, making it easier for customers to get the assistance they need. 

One of our report's respondents, Esther Disbot, said “Customers expect far more sophisticated automated and AI-driven features. (ChatGPT anyone?) And speed has always been the name of the support game, as we continue to hurdle toward the future, customers are expecting faster and faster responses, of course with unfailing accuracy”

All things considered, the increasing involvement of AI in customer support is a trend that is sure to make a positive impact on your brand and customers alike.

Understanding the impact of AI on customer satisfaction and business efficiency

AI impacts business efficiency in many ways, which in turn improves customer satisfaction. With its ability to mimic human communication, for example, AI enables more sophisticated and personalized interactions with customers, providing a better level of service and efficiency that businesses offer. 

On top of that, our research found that enabling self-service support is the second top priority for 30% of top-level executives in 2023. Translation: investing in AI-driven support isn't a choice; it’s a must. This is because self-service support reduces incoming support requests with the help of tools like a knowledge base or Q&As that allow users to find answers on their own. 

Bettermode makes it easy for companies to build and provide self-service support to their customers. For example, it offers customizable pre-built templates for both knowledge bases and Q&As. Its knowledge base template has features that include intelligent search functionalities — allowing it to understand user search queries and retrieve relevant information. Bettermode also lets you create your Q&A landing page, which can include features like upvoting, pinning popular Q&As to the top of a post, moderation capabilities, and more. 

MacBook mockup
Knowledge base powered by Bettermode

Cross-functional collaboration: integration of customer support with other departments

The historical siloed approach and its drawbacks

Customer support teams have always been an essential part of any company — but are commonly in a silo between the rest of the organization. This siloed approach in customer support teams has been prevalent historically, where information about customers, their behavior, feedback, and issues remain confined to specific teams. 

Often, higher management is oblivious to the valuable insights being gathered, leading to a lack of transparency and collaboration. The result is that information is not adequately shared throughout the organization, which leads to redundant work, longer resolution times, and inconsistent customer experience. It's time organizations start breaking these silos and adopt a collaborative approach to customer support.

The new approach: collaborative and interdepartmental support

To truly excel in customer support, our report found that it's essential to break down departmental barriers and foster collaboration with other critical areas of your business. By working closely with sales, marketing, and product development, teams can align their goals and metrics to achieve shared objectives, creating a more unified and customer-centric approach.

Indeed, whether it's sharing customer feedback to inform product development, collaborating on campaigns to drive new business, or working together to streamline processes and improve customer satisfaction, a joined-up approach can yield significant benefits for both the customer and the company. 

Potential benefits and challenges of this integration

Integrating customer support with other departments allows companies to deliver a seamless and consistent experience — while harnessing valuable customer insights to drive informed decision-making across the business.

Businesses have embraced this approach — significantly impacting overall customer satisfaction across diverse organizations by connecting with various touchpoints throughout the customer journey.

However, this integration does come with its fair share of challenges. Our report found that:

  • 46% of respondents admitted that their customer support team utilizes between 4 and 6 tools, regardless of team size
  • 23% of respondents reported that their customer support team uses between 7 and 10 tools, further compounding the difficulty of integration

This creates a significant hurdle when attempting to integrate with other departments. 

Tools used by support teams

Since Bettermode is a centralized platform, it provides a solution to this challenge. The software makes it easy for teams to collaborate on projects and tasks by giving all departments visibility into what teams and customers are thinking. This is made possible with its ability to host events, Q&A, resource library, and help centers — removing the need for your team members to wait for answers, send endless emails, and switch between tools to find the data they are searching for.

Additionally, it also comes with integrations that will connect with your current tech stack such as HubSpot, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Intercom.


Ultimately, our original research found that customer support is becoming more critical than ever. This is because customers can accurately compare and contrast businesses based on their customer service experiences with them. 

We found that leaders in the SaaS industry are already beginning to realign their strategies as customer support moves from a cost center to a value center. This will likely contribute to the rise of implementing AI-powered solutions for streamlining customer support processes and increasing efficacy.

In addition, successful organizations need to adopt cross-functional collaboration between customer support teams and other departments, like marketing and product development. 

To learn more about the customer support trends and predictions from SaaS leaders, we encourage you to download our report here. Reading the report in full will allow you to discover the trends in customer support today and the SaaS leaders’ predictions for its future— helping your brand provide better customer support experiences and stand out amongst your competitors.

CTA support trends report
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