The poet Maya Angelou once shared, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The same is true for your SaaS customers. You play a direct role in how your customers feel about your business. But you have a choice: Either stumble your way through your customer interactions or meticulously plan out how your customers will experience your brand.
Here’s a key takeaway: Memorable customer experiences don’t happen by accident. They are intentionally cultivated by your brand. If you want to make a positive impact on your customers, you must design it in advance. In this post, we’ll discuss exactly how to do just that. Let’s do it.
What Goes Into a Memorable Customer Experience?
Customer experience is not the same thing as customer service. It’s the next step in your relationship with the customer.
While providing quality customer service is about being accessible and meeting the needs of your customers on a somewhat reactive basis, providing a quality customer experience is about carefully crafting the customer’s entire interaction with your business.
If your priority is to cultivate positive and meaningful interactions with your customers, you won’t adopt a “wait for them to come to us” approach. Instead, you’ll ensure that every interaction they have with you, from awareness to decision and beyond, is noteworthy.
The impression that you make on your customer is so important that it can’t be left up to chance.[tweetthis]The impression that you make on your customer is so important that it can’t be left up to chance.[/tweetthis]This is especially true in the SaaS space where there’s always a newer, fresher-faced competitor (with lower prices) that’s waiting to steal your clients away. You can’t afford to squeak by with an okay customer experience. You must inspire loyalty in your customers by offering one of a kind experiences that they’ll never get elsewhere. This leads to conversions. This leads to brand loyalty and, ultimately, this leads to an energized referral base.
Empathize With Your Customer
The first step to cultivating a high-quality customer experience is to identify with your customer. View every potential interaction from your customer’s perspective. At every point, what are they hoping to gain? Answers will definitely vary.
Some customers already know what they’re looking for and need you to point them in the direction of those standalone educational resources. These independent customers want to consume information at their own pace without much direct interaction with your team. Other customers are looking for a beginner-friendly, step-by-step, hold-my-hand experience.
Which type of customer do you have? Have you set up the right experience for that customer type?
If you have both types of customers, it makes sense to create and make available two different experiences.
Anticipate Your Customer’s Problems
Anticipate what roadblocks your customers may encounter on their journey with your brand. Forethought is key to designing a memorable experience for your customers.
Think about every wrong turn that your customer may make during their journey, and be prepared to help them correct course. You can even use a 404 error page to turn disappointment into delight.
Make a list of all the potential problems that a customer may experience with your SaaS. Start by researching your support tickets and ensuring that those issues are completely resolved and will never be faced by future customers.
Also, consider how your can guide your customers step-by-step. Which resources can you provide throughout their journey to ensure that they stay on course?
Map Out Your Customer’s Journey
Speaking of customer journey, let’s discuss exactly how to map one out.
Start by outlining every major stage in the customer’s journey. Then, map out every likely touch point in the customer’s journey. Here’s a very basic map so that you can get an idea of what to include on your own:
Awareness and Interest
- List the keywords a prospective customer may use to describe their problem
- List how a prospective customer may become aware of your solution (i.e. Facebook or Google ads, blog posts and SEO, guest posts, etc.)
- Create a list of lead magnet ideas that you’ll use to woo a prospective customer onto your email list
- Define how you’ll use your content to educate a prospective customer about your product
- Explain how you’ll invite a prospective customer to sign up for a free trial of your product or service
- List out which case studies, white papers, and testimonials you’ll use to convince the prospective customer that you’re the right option
- Offer a series of welcome emails to properly onboard the new customer
- Study their data to inform your future communication with your customers (i.e. setting up behavioral triggers so that if a customer doesn’t log in for a specific number of days, you send out a personalized re-engagement email)
Make Customer Communication a Top Priority
Communication is at the heart of everything you do as an SaaS. You’re always communicating your brand values, whether you’re intentional about it or not.
To convert leads, you must make clear communication your top goal. Give them an abundance of content (whether written on blog posts and knowledge bases, or articulated via video, or visualized through infographics). This content should make it easier for your prospective customer to make an informed decision about their future.
Furthermore, your prospective customer should always know the next step to take, even if they don’t immediately take that step. Make your calls to action easy to understand and just as easy to follow.
Invest in Your Current Customers, Too
One of the worst, but also most common, things that brands do is forget about their current customers. Don’t be the SaaS that takes your customers for granted.
While you may be the only SaaS option now, that won’t always be the case. Some folks will continue using your SaaS because you’re their only option, but that’s not true loyalty, and it’s certainly not customer satisfaction.
Do everything you can during the customer’s lifecycle to ensure that your customer continues to have a favorable opinion of your brand. Here are a few ways to delight your customers:
- Check in on them quarterly.
- Provide customized resources to help them excel with your brand.
- Offer freebies “just because.”
- Upgrade them unexpectedly.
- Mail them a handwritten “thank you” note.
- Celebrate a milestone with free swag.
- Automatically enroll them into a loyalty program that offers gifts for milestones.
Continue to look for opportunities to offer specific value to all of your customers. This is how you elevate their time with your brand. Also, keep in mind that different customer personas are motivated by different incentives. Make investments that align with the customer’s intended goals.
It’s said that the easiest way to provide a memorable customer experience is to under promise and then over deliver. However, you can use the above tips to go beyond that vague platitude and deliver something that truly amazes your customers.
Before you go, check out these related posts:
- 10 Critical Elements of an Effective Onboarding Process
- Using Surprise to Delight Your SaaS Customers
- Here’s Why Your Customers Don’t Trust You, And How to Fix It