How much does a SaaS customer support cost on average?


For subscription-based B2C SaaS businesses where the business is not charge for the support, but for the subscription. How much does on average customer/visitor support account to?

In other words, for those in the business, could you tell me what

customer support 

# paying customers (or total visitors)
computes to? For customer support staff time on live (phone/chat) assistance and answering tickets.

Cost Metrics Saas Market Research

asked Apr 27 '11 at 15:13
198 points
  • This question is a great question -- but in the current format seems un answerable. It is way too dependent on your market, the customers -- and the quality of your product. Obviously a hard to use technical product will cost more per paying customer -- an online application for making crossword puzzles by up loading a list of words presumable would be less. There is no rule of thumb -- there is insufficient information. – Joseph Barisonzi 13 years ago
  • @Joseph - Well, let's get the available data, prefixed with what kind of SaaS product. Then I (and readers) pick the most suitable /average / mean/ min/ max... – Simpatico 13 years ago

1 Answer


The question How much does on average customer/visitor support account to? is quite general but I could suggest one way you can estimate and then find it out through experimentation:

Support staff is usually a fixed cost you could estimate, e.g. 1000 USD a month.

How many of your paying customers are likely to request support? There is no rule of the thumb, perhaps ask someone who is working in the same or a similar market niche. The hole idea is to estimate some ratios, let's say per month:

#paying customers needing support / #paying customers

Even if you just started, and have 2 customers you could figure out how many need help.

Then, how many customers could 1 support person handle per month? Again, you have to estimate.

Ok, so far you have the %of customer needing support and the crew of supporters that can help them, e.g.: 30 of 100 customers, could be handled by 2 supporters.

Since your Product is a Saas, you should have estimated the churn rate and sign up rate, so you are likely to know how many customers there will be next month, and consequently how many would need support, thus having an estimate of the size of the support staff.

As you start getting customers, you should always measure that %, because if you improve the software and documentation it is likely that the % should fall. If you do not improve it, it is likely that more customers would be in need of support.

Another tip: Consider including selfservice support software, such as which allows you to redirect most obvious questions to

answered Jan 20 '12 at 23:25
532 points

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