I recently wrote on the QuickSchools Blog on why QuickSchools doesn’t really have online help files, manuals or documentations. And it’s something we get asked about a lot. And to mitigate this, QuickSchools offers live chat support to all its customers. I thought I’d elaborate on this a little bit here, particularly since I think this approach is quite different from other SaaS companies out there.

For the longest time, I felt that live chat was something extra, that customers should pay extra for. Although many companies use live chat in their sales initiatives, for most SaaS companies, live chat is only offered as an add-on support tool. It usually goes like this: The basic plan has no support at all; the medium plan has email support (response within X number of hours/days); and only the highest plan has live chat or phone support. QuickSchools offers live chat on all its plans, even the free Iris plan (although it’s not yet offered 24×7).

I think this sets us apart from our competition. Don’t get me wrong. It certainly costs money to provide this level of support. But there is an added benefit (other than not needing to put together documentation that constantly requires updating). And that is, to get to know our customers better and what they truly need. Anyone can get a bunch of engineers together and build something for schools, but unless you’re in the school environment, how would you really know what they need, especially smaller schools, because their needs are quite different from larger schools with big budgets and complex requirements.

The live chat feature is a window into the lives of our customers, not their personal lives (though many of our customers are very personable), but their day-to-day lives on the job. What works? What doesn’t work? How can it be improved? What flows aren’t we thinking about? And after listening to many schools, we can get a feel for what small schools need and want. And with a pulse on this need, we’re able to prioritize and develop features that really make a difference.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on live chat. It’s been working well for us so far, especially in the area of product marketing. And hopefully, it’ll continue to benefit us. So if you’re a small school and thinking of using a system to manage your students, sign up for a QuickSchools account, and chat with one of our live chat agents. They/we are always happy to hear from you.