Churn happens to all businesses but, you know what? Churn sucks. And you know what else? There’s something you can do about it.
You don’t have to accept high levels of churn in your SaaS business. By upgrading your customer’s experience, you will inspire loyalty, improve retention, and actually grow your business (through word of mouth marketing). This is because a good experience impacts customer sentiment. Positive customer sentiment, not price, is tied to retention. You can have the cheapest product on the market, but if your customers have a negative impression of your brand, they will churn.
In this post, we share essential tips on how to enhance your customer’s experience. Let’s get started.
Be an Educator
Even though you’ve successfully converted your prospect into a customer, your job isn’t done. You can extend the lifetime value of your customers by continuing to nurture them after they’ve purchased from you. Your goal shifts from selling to engaging. If your product is sticky enough, it can become a part of your customer’s routine. And that’s the secret to retention.
[tweetthis] Positive customer sentiment, not price, is tied to retention. You can have the cheapest product on the market, but if your customers have a negative impression of your brand, they will churn. [/tweetthis]
But how do you make a product sticky?
You show your customer practical ways to use your product. Don’t just hand it over and assume that your customer understands what they’re doing. They’re probably overwhelmed by your product and its features, and can use some guidance.
When I want to learn more about a product, I often hunt for tips and tricks videos on YouTube. But it’s even better when a business proactively educates its customers on the product.
You can offer tips in-app, via email, on social media, or through blog posts. You can also create multiple (free) workshops throughout the year that each tackle a common issue. Invite your customers to participate in these exclusive workshops. These extra resources show your customers that you care about their success with your product, and not just about their money.
Take a proactive stance by educating your customers.
Develop a Knowledge Base
Piggybacking off of the last tip, be sure to create a thorough knowledge base for your SaaS customers. Your knowledge base is like an FAQ page on steroids, and will empower your customers, especially those who like to self-help.
Knowledge bases also take some of the burden off of your customer support team. Instead of answering the same questions over and over again, you can direct your customers to a library of written documentation. This saves time and sanity.
Knowledge bases also demonstrate to your customers that you’ve anticipated their problems and created solutions. This makes your customers trust you more.
Create a Customer Success Team
You’ve heard of customer service and customer support. Now let’s talk about customer success. If you want to seriously reduce churn, you need to develop a customer success team. Their job isn’t reactive. In other words, they don’t put out fires that have already started (that’s what customer service and customer support do).
Instead, customer success prevents fires. They proactively look for opportunities to help your customers succeed.
Ideally, your customer success team should build customer personas to represent each segment of your customer base. Then, they should draw roadmaps for each persona. This allows your team to identify key milestones during the customer journey where the customer will need your guidance to succeed. (These milestones also indicate when customers are most vulnerable to churn.)
Plan to intervene at those milestones by offering a well-timed email where you tell the customer quite literally what to do next (i.e. sign up for our workshop or perform a specific task in the app).
In addition to guiding your customers, your customer success team can also show how your customers have benefitted from your product within the last month, 6 months, 1 year, etc. Tell them how much money or time they’ve saved. Get specific with hard data.
Encourage Customers to Engage
You can have an incredibly high-touch nurturing campaign for your prospects but then go silent once they become customers. Your post-purchase disengagement can cause your customers to do the same thing—disengage and then eventually churn.
What’s the best way to protect against this?
Invite your customers to engage with you. We’ve already discussed the importance of educating your customers post-purchasing. But that doesn’t require much action on your customer’s end. What happens if they dismiss your in-app tips or don’t read your educational emails?
It’s not good enough for your customers to passively consume your content. You also want them to actively participate. This will make them feel more connected to your brand.
How can you get customers to engage with you?
- Ask for feedback frequently. Do this in-app, via email, on your website, and over social media.
- Offer rewards for feedback to prompt future participation.
- Gamify the customer onboarding process. Rewarding your new customer for their engagement increases positive sentiment.
Constantly Improve Your Product
Once you receive feedback on your service, it’s essential that you act on it. Show your customers that you listen to them (your customers are paying attention and will notice if you act on the feedback they’ve provided). For this reason, it’s important to only bring up issues in your feedback surveys that you’re prepared to act upon.
After you’ve acted on the feedback, don’t be shy. Tell your customers about it. While they probably already know that you’ve made changes, it’s still important for you to talk about it. Explain how your changes benefit the customer. This also gives you an opportunity to show that you’re implementing customer feedback.
Your customers won’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling for your brand if they feel like you don’t know them or care about them. This is why personalization is the key to a positive customer experience.
How do you personalize your customer experience? Let’s revisit the idea of creating customer personas. We talked about customer personas earlier when we discussed the importance of mapping out the customer journey. You can also use personas to personalize every interaction with your customers.
The best way to personalize your customer interactions is through email.
For example, you can segment your email list based on your customer personas. Then, you can send out more targeted emails based on that customer’s pain point, behavior, job industry, etc.
You can also personalize little things in emails, such as adding the customer’s first name to the email, or sending from an individual (instead of your business). These small touches can improve your customer’s experience, and make them feel more connected to your business.
Show Your Appreciation
You can say thank you, or you can show your thanks, but don’t leave your customers guessing on whether or not you care.
I recommend demonstrating your appreciation through thoughtful gifts and surprises. Resist the urge to offer coupons and discounts as a show of appreciation. Let’s be honest. That’s selling your product, not investing in your customer. Instead, delight your customers with unexpected, small-value gift cards or handwritten letters (in the mail!) to celebrate special events, such as their birthday. Small gestures that cost next-to-nothing can extend your customer’s lifetime with your brand and even inspire them to tell others about you.
By improving your customer’s experience, you’ll also improve your retention rates. Customers who feel cared about are more likely to stick around. Use the above tips to connect with your customers and show them that you’re invested in their success.
Before you go, check out these related posts:
- The SaaS Guide to Personalization (It’s Easier Than You Think)
- Use These Customer Research Tips to Build a Better Product
- How to Build the Ultimate User Experience in Your SaaS