Most SaaS companies sell their software on its features. And that’s one way to choose your Affiliate Marketing network. But once you’re on board, you have to learn to use those tools and implement them. Without great SaaS support, great software is useless.
The third biggest reason SaaS companies lose customers is lack of support, following closely behind engagement and usage. That tells us that users care most about the product’s usefulness, and then how engaging it is (i.e. is it useful but tedious, or is it fun and effective?). So if the software passes those two tests, the user is going to look at support. If support is lacking, or nonexistent, the user is likely to try something else.
Once you join an affiliate network, you’ll quickly find out whether support is up to par when the rubber meets the road on your program. But why wait until you’ve signed on the dotted line?
Support from the Top Down
The first thing you should look for are signs that the support team on your network has as much investment from higher-ups as the engineering team does.
“Our department is empowered to handle anything that comes our way, with the express backing of our leadership. In my 10+ year career, never have I worked for a company where my boss, my boss’s boss, and my boss’s boss’s boss are all on my side — and not on my back — enabling our department from the top-down. This, in turn, allows us to do what we do best: helping our clients.” – Owen Owens, Support Manager at AvantLink
“As a company, one of our core values is providing the best support possible to our clients. We aim to set the bar for how good support can be, not just for an affiliate network but for software as a service as a whole.” – Scott Kalbach, CEO at AvantLink
Engagement and Partnership
Look at the reviews from merchants and affiliates, and see if there are signs of relationships founded on support. You should see examples of support leading to better use of the network’s tools.
“Avantlink provides excellent service for Goodshop. They take time to help us understand new features, updates, and reporting. They never fail to introduce and connect us with our merchants which have led to great partnerships. In the world of affiliate marketing, where so much is automated, Goodshop loves the in-person support and engagement that Avantlink provides. This partnership mirrors the relationship that Goodshop values with our advertisers.” — Jillian Rodrigo, Associate Affiliate at Goodshop
“Affiliate marketing is all about relationships. AvantLink does such a great job at helping me when I need it and I get a lot of support in a really friendly way. The more I get familiar with the AvantLink platform and support resources, the more I find it great to use.” — Thomas Hung, Affiliate & Influencer Marketing Manager at Just Fab
Success of the Client at Heart
If an affiliate network puts the success of their clients as the top priority, you will see signs of flexibility. The network should be less concerned with how the software was intended to work, and more concerned with making it work for their clients.
“Whenever we talk with Avantlink, it really feels like they’re listening to our concerns. They are wholeheartedly committed to our success, not pushing their technology. They don’t interrupt, or tell us we’re doing something wrong; they take feedback sincerely and work hard to find solutions. It is clear that the entire organization is committed to the success of their merchants and affiliates/publishers.” — Alison Dennis, Founder of WeighMyRack
Great Support Documentation
Studies show that a majority of software users prefer to help themselves, first. So research your affiliate network’s technical documentation, FAQs, and tutorials. It’s highly important that these resources are available for both merchants and affiliates. If the information is too one-sided, then a critical part of your business will be lacking what it needs to drive sales.
At AvantLink, we know that everyone learns in their own way, so we provide multiple channels. Our support page is a hub for accessing information about technical integration, account setup, tools, legal guidelines, news, articles, and features a shiny red button that gives you access to our real, human support team themselves.
On top of that, our blog has articles about optimizing affiliate content, growing your affiliate program, interactive tool tutorials, and more. And our YouTube channel features videos on every network feature for both merchants and affiliates. We invest in our documentation because we believe in the value of our software features, and we want anyone from any background to be enabled to use them. You should expect the same from your network.