In the latest webinar of our Acting like a Top 25 Salesforce ISV series, we bring together Sean Hogan and Ron Kiker of CodeScience to discuss one area ISVs often don’t consider until too late — who will support their Salesforce product when end-customers have issues.

Want to see the webinar in full, download the slide deck, and gain exclusive access to our SMEs? You’ll have register here:

Why Support as a Salesforce ISV is Challenging

Newer ISVs launching on Salesforce for the first time often have some misconceptions around the support needed to successfully support their customer base.

Every ISV confronts 3 layers of complexity when providing support to a client. While you control all aspects of your app, both the platform and the client’s org are out of your control and can be updated in ways that can cause issues.

Ron shares how he often explains this to ISVs, “Unlike your web app, there’s no easy root cause analysis you can do on Salesforce. Because the tier 1 team is picking up an issue, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bug. And you have to vet that through a very different process than you would for your tier 1 team for a web app. Because of that, (Salesforce) domain expertise is critical — especially since it is now client-facing.” He goes on to call out, “if it is client-facing, it is revenue-facing.”

“If it is client-facing, it is revenue-facing.” — Ron Kiker, Commercial Services Manager at CodeScience

As Ron and Sean continue to talk through the traps ISVs face in providing support, Sean challenges listeners to consider this question, “Do you have the team in place to identify and work through the root cause of the problem?”

Why Tech Support is a Strategic Function for ISVs

All ISVs and SaaS businesses understand fundamentally that delivering tech support is a function of customer success — and exceptional customer success drives renewals, which is the lifeblood for SaaS organizations.

However, within the Salesforce Ecosystem, there are two additional channels ISVs must be aware of when assessing the impacts of tech support on their business — AppExchange Reviews and Org 62.

We see the AppExchange tends to aggregate reviews that focus on how well customers interacted with your company or as a last-ditch effort to get support for the app. AppExchange reviews not only impact prospect impressions of the quality of your app but also have an impact on your visibility on the AppExchange.

Org 62 is the name given to the org instance that Salesforce itself uses. Within Org 62, Salesforce employees will communicate about partners and regularly monitor how ISVs are doing. Particularly for PAMs and AEs, they will keep a close eye on the apps their accounts install and assess whether they add value or cause issues.

Don’t Wait to Create a Plan

The best thing any ISV can do is be proactive and have a RACI in place for providing support on Salesforce issues. We’ve heard numerous stories of ISVs that have gone live and scrambled days later once a new customer has an issue. Without knowing where to send clients or even how to diagnose where the problem originated creates unnecessary friction for customers which ultimately impacts their satisfaction with the app.

Having a team that is dedicated to your Salesforce product is critical. With a minimum of 3 platform releases a year, many ISVs accrue tech debt, which can cause apps to break down in unexpected ways. Beyond the 3 large platform updates, Salesforce publishes small fixes, which in some cases require apps to be patched to accommodate these changes.

Want to learn the best practices in getting support from Salesforce, how to address the problem of your AppExchange listing becoming a support channel, and understand how the best ISVs have built and incentivized their support teams to deliver Salesforce support? You’ll have to register here:

CodeScience’s Commercial Services team enables ISVs to deliver unparalleled results. Having built 10% of the apps on the AppExchange, we can quickly diagnose issues, provide updates, and ensure that platform updates don’t bring your app to a halt. Contact us today!