In SaaS companies, retention of customers requires more effort than onboarding a customer. These are the customers who were your active subscribers for a time and then resubscribed for the next period expecting quality services from your company.
SaaS companies usually consume their quality time and money in working with the sales team and in creating new marketing strategies giving the least importance to the existing customers. You must understand that your existing customers can exit anytime if their expectations are not met. It has the potential to hurt not just your customer retention but also your brand image and perception among new customers.
The following are some of the most important customer retention points followed by SaaS companies.
The most common mistake made by a few startup companies or SaaS companies is overpromising in order to gain customers only to face the customer's wrath after onboarding. Your sales team may have achieved their sales target, but those customers, based on their first impressions, are unlikely to return to you in the future, regardless of how much goodwill you have built in the market. So, make sure whatever features and functionality you are promising to your customers are available in your product. You can, however, mention some features as upcoming, and instruct your sales team to not give any false promises.
If you are intending to attract new customers, instead of making false promises, show them how well your product can perform proficiently compared to the current contemporary products. This is the major factor to any customer in interesting them to subscribe or buy your product.
Your targeted customers are inevitably using the products to meet their needs, but when they are signed up for your product it is not for the same services that their old product can also provide them, it is the value proposition you stated that ignited their interest in your product.
Your value proposition shouldn’t be phrased equivocally, since it will deliberately lead your customer to ambiguous thoughts or possibly they may misinterpret your product functioning complex rather than acquainting the proposition, so be advised to make it crisp and clear.
Follow up with your existing customers on the delivery of the value proposition because you can't afford to take a chance on it, the moment your customer feels that it is under-delivering compared to the value proposition made, they may hold their subscription in the subsequent period. The advantages of following up are you can rectify the issues, and in a way, it works as your customers' validation.
Don't hesitate to apprise your customers about how they will benefit from your product in comparison to their old one, this will not only make them your long-term customers, but it will also allow you to upsell your product by explaining to them how much they will benefit from subscribing to additional plans. There is a high chance if your customer is unfamiliar with the cumulative advantages of other subscription plans, they may opt for an alternate product seeing the future needs that your product can serve them in full capacity.
Make your customer onboarding process as seamless as possible. Don’t get indulgent in proving how good and different your product is by deviating from the universal onboarding process unless it is required. In case the onboarding process is mandated to be different from other products, help your customers in every step. You can even outsource customer service to broaden your availability.
Give localized user guides, installation manuals, instructional videos, tutorials, etc., and make sure the information should be clear and concise in the aforesaid list of guides. Assign some customer service executives for their assistance.
Your responsibility doesn't end by onboarding a customer and addressing their queries. Your priority should be to engage your customer while they are using your product.
Post some required blogs on your website which can guide them or provide information on the current trends, and additionally, you can post the link to your customers highlighting the topic in an email informing them.
Follow your customers' official social media profiles & pages and publicly congratulate them officially on their accomplishments whenever they post them.
Start some discussions on your official social media pages like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc., which allows your customers to share their experience which will aid others and your company in molding your product, and branding your service.
Your sales team may successfully persuade the customer in onboarding, but how long they are going to be your customers entirely depends on the customer service you provide.
Offer 24/7 customer services via calls, chat, emails, etc., and ensure that your customer service executives are well-trained in interacting with the customers with empathy. They should be completely knowledgeable about your company’s services, service level agreements (SLA), customers’ domains, and market trends. In fact, the very act of writing an SLA can be improved if you have support team members involved from the get-go. Doing so will imbue them with an innate understanding of what it involves, and how this will then apply to the work they do in conjunction with clients, cutting customer confusion out of the equation as a result.
Conduct some training sessions and certify them which will help in improving their customer service skills. Boost your customer service team with reward programs whenever they get maximum CSATs (Customer satisfaction). Working with a demotivated customer service team is as dangerous as getting into a war without proper armor.
Analyze your customer service team’s average response time, audit their calls, and work on your turnaround time. Prepare case studies from it and train your team accordingly, so that they can handle the customers effectively or act proactively.
Your customer should feel prominent and special with your service, nevertheless, you have to treat all your customers the same.
Customer feedback is an important factor in the retention of your customers. After the customer has been onboarded for a specified period, such as a week or a month, take your customer feedback, this will help your company determine how effectively your product can serve them, and you can rectify the service gaps.
Companies in the same domain may operate differently depending on their company standards, thus feedback can help you understand their specific needs and keep you informed if any customization is required mainly for a company for them to use the product to its full potential.
Some customers may post their feedback on the internet, so keep a watch on it so that your customer service team can respond promptly and act accordingly.
Make a practice of asking for feedback occasionally or after every new release. You can involve your creative team in making the feedback appear as engaging as possible. If at all it is allowed, make professional friends with your customers' admin team or concerned team and ask them to have their employees offer feedback as well because they use it more than the management. This will help to a great extent in decreasing the churn rate. Use creative means of taking feedback - you can print a QR code on shipped products if you're an e-commerce company. These codes can be made easily using a QR code maker.
In this evolving modern world, it is highly important for any SaaS company's products to be upgraded regularly. You can't exist with the features you provided to the customer whilst their onboarding which will affect your customer retention.
You must update your product regularly, if you are late, others will upgrade their product, changing your customers into their customers and meeting their needs.
Regardless of future needs, your target customers will undoubtedly verify how frequently your product is upgraded, inevitably no one would choose a product that underperforms in comparison to the trends. In some instances, few long-term customers may switch to other products finding it monotonous, so change the user interface appearance too.
Conduct market research, anticipate future needs, and upgrade your product with new features. This will make a strong statement to the market about how well-versed your company is and how proactive your product is, this will not only bring you new customers but also establish your company as one of the best SaaS companies.
Building an online support community on your website or on your official social media pages is a proven social media strategy, where your customers will interact with each other in the process to find the answers.
Publish FAQs, and informative blogs allowing your customers to comment on it, or you can create a forum allowing customers to post their questions leading to discussions. Due to such a community, customers wouldn’t turn up to customer service often because in their perspective they got the prolific answer from the professionals who are very well experienced, with that said you have to constantly check the discussions posted in it to maintain the decorum. These forums will help your company to interact with the users directly and they will serve as feedback.
Loyalty programs will prevent long-term customers from switching to alternate products. Certainly, they should be recognized and acknowledged for continuing your services for such a long time and you should consider taking a few extra steps in thanking the customers who chose your product in the early days of your company.
Wish your customers on occasion by sending an automated email or card, sending gifts to your long-term customers on their birthdays or companies’ anniversaries, or at the least, you can give some discounts, additional features, or exclusive access to them.
Such actions will leave a lasting impression on your current and prospective customers.
A customer exits for their own best reasons whom you cannot retain but at least you can find out their reasons. With the given association for a certain period, you may have established some professional relation with them so using it to find out what exactly persuaded them to go for an alternate product
Make the exit survey as simple as possible for them, don't complicate things by giving them unprofessional reasons to make them return, take the feedback, and act on it. Analyze whether your current customers are having the same issue and if so, make a quick decision to fix it as soon as possible.
Be professional and treat them with the same respect you showed them throughout their onboarding, despite their unpleasant responses.
The ultimate success of SaaS companies will be determined by customer retention rather than new customer acquisition. Surprise your existing customers by reviving the policies, and upgrading the product with new features in their best interest. Find ways to delight your existing customers. Make every effort in improving customer retention and reducing the churn rate.