|By Business Wire
|February 6, 2013 04:00 AM EST
According to global research from The Enterprise
Strategy Group (ESG) released today, businesses increasingly value
SaaS applications, but many enterprises are facing significant customer
support challenges with their SaaS vendors, leading to low customer
satisfaction and poor retention rates. The “SaaS
with a Face” report, which surveyed 2481 global companies
currently using SaaS-based e-mail management software on their usage and
service satisfaction with these applications and providers revealed Mimecast
to be the stand-out leader in SaaS email management performance and
Mimecast customers surveyed in this research noted higher customer
support approval, including 86 percent being able to connect with a live
Mimecast customer service representative, compared to the 61 percent who
said they could reach live support with other SaaS vendors.
Additionally, respondents called out shorter wait times with Mimecast,
with only eight percent experiencing long waits.
The remainder of the “SaaS with a Face” results demonstrate a
significant discrepancy between Mimecast customers and users of other
SaaS-based e-mail management services in terms of the benefits realized
and levels of satisfaction with customer support, with the latter
representing a huge opportunity for vendors to address. Of the
non-Mimecast customers surveyed, more than half (57 percent) reported
slow and unresponsive customer service, ultimately resulting in only 58
percent of these respondents remaining with their current SaaS provider.
Comparatively, 85 percent of Mimecast customers confirmed they will
remain with Mimecast’s SaaS email management platform.
Finding the right customer service options, including dedicated support
and training, are also major challenges. Among respondents, only 37
percent confirmed they have a dedicated customer service manager for
their organization, 27 percent cited difficulty with finding the right
person to solve the problem at hand, just 25 percent said their SaaS
provider offers dedicated online training, while 18 percent noted their
SaaS provider missed service level agreements (SLAs) entirely.
“The results of this survey show that inadequate customer support has
the ability to quickly negate all of the promise offered by SaaS-based
applications,” said Bill Lundell, Senior Research Analyst, Enterprise
Strategy Group. “Businesses are crystal clear on the benefits of SaaS,
especially for business-critical applications like email, but many
providers appear to be providing inadequate levels of support. With more
businesses potentially turning to SaaS applications and other hosted
services in the coming years, providers will need to offer dedicated
support and increased transparency around any product updates or issues
in order to improve customer satisfaction.”
“The statistically significant differences in terms of service and
support experiences between Mimecast customers and the rest of the
sample were quite noticeable. Mimecast is clearly delivering superior
support based on the testimony of the majority of its customers, which
simply cannot be said for the market at large.”
SaaS offerings are critical to success with more than half (51 percent)
of enterprise organizations currently using SaaS-based applications and
an additional 38 percent of respondents planning, or interested in
SaaS-based solutions within the coming year. The top three benefits
respondents attribute to SaaS-based email management applications
include the reduction of IT infrastructure costs (55 percent), the
elimination of IT environment complexity (52 percent), and improved
compliance capabilities (46 percent).
Based on this report, some key customer service recommendations for SaaS
vendors are as follows:
Strong SLAs – More than half of respondents (57 percent) found
service was slow and unresponsive or completely inaccessible due to
outages. Comprehensive SLAs are critical to ensuring consistent
performance of SaaS applications and core to achieving reliable
business continuity within a SaaS model.
Dedicated support – With only 37 percent of businesses surveyed
confirming they have a dedicated support engineer to assist with
implementation and 32 percent said they were able to speak with the
same support individual when needed, there is an opportunity for SaaS
providers to improve customer satisfaction and reduce wait times by
offering devoted and available support resources.
Consistent customer communication – With only 40 percent of
respondents confirming they receive regular communication from their
SaaS provider, SaaS providers must offer consistent customer
communication including any information about product updates, changes
of support personnel or the addition of new support services.
“Based on this research from ESG, it’s clear many SaaS providers are
underestimating the power of the human element,” said Lynda Murphy,
Director of Customer Experience, Mimecast. “Without equally strong
customer services available, SaaS providers miss the opportunity to
offer ‘SaaS with a Face’ and will encounter significant customer
retention challenges, severely impacting their bottom line. Providing
more personalized attention, such as comprehensive help features,
offering dedicated support and consistently meeting service level
agreements has helped us achieve a customer churn of less than three
For more information on the ESG “SaaS with a Face” report, please visit: http://www.mimecast.com/saaswithaface
delivers cloud-based email
management for Microsoft Exchange, including archiving, continuity
and security. By unifying disparate and fragmented email environments
into one holistic solution that is always available from the cloud,
Mimecast minimizes risk and reduces cost and complexity, while providing
total end-to-end control of email. Founded in the United Kingdom in
2003, Mimecast serves more than 6,000 customers and 1.5 million users
worldwide and has offices in Europe, North America, Africa and the
Mimecast social media resources
1 109 are Mimecast customers, while the remainder are
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