The success of your business hinges on the success of your customers. The two are permanently connected. If you want your business to thrive, you’ll need to invest in your customers— not just in acquiring them but in delighting them and helping them reach their goals.
Far too many SaaS focus on customer acquisition. While generating and converting leads is essential for any business, customer retention is even more important.
That all starts with a strong commitment to your customers’ success.
In this post, we’ll share the top customer success strategies to implement in your SaaS.
Here’s Why Customer Success Is Important
At first glance, customer success sounds an awful lot like customer service. How are the two different?
Customer service reacts but customer success acts. Instead of waiting for a problem to present itself before responding (which is the job of customer service), customer success creates systems to ensure that the customer reaches their desired outcome with your product. While it’s important to have a prepared customer service team in place for the inevitable problem or hiccup, don’t underestimate the power of customer success.
Investing in customer success will reap the following benefits:
- Increased happiness – When you actively help your customers meet their goals, they’ll be satisfied with your solution.
- Decreased churn – Happy customers are less likely to seek out new solutions.
- Higher revenue – It’s cheaper to keep your current customers than it is to attract and convert new ones.
- Greater loyalty – Customers who find success with your solution will stick around and also be willing to buy more of your products in the future (such as upsells and cross-sells).
- Better customer insight – By engaging with your customers, you’ll learn more about them, including their challenges and goals. This can help you refine your product and create a better experience for future customers.
- More renewals – Keep customers coming back by showing them how to continue extracting value from your product.
- More referrals – Advocacy is a natural reaction to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of investing in your customers’ success, let’s discuss how to do it.
Strategy #1: Focus on Onboarding
Once you’ve successfully converted prospect to customer, the real work begins. You must build a relationship with your new customer and that begins with onboarding.
Onboarding is what happens immediately after the customer buys your product.
How do you welcome new customers on board? Do you send them a welcome email? Do you take users on a guided, interactive tour of your app? Do you gamify the process? Do you share a series of videos?
There are several ways that you can welcome new customers. Choose a process that will set your customers on the pathway to ultimate success with your product.
Strategy #2: Monitor Customer Behavior
Continuously monitor customer behavior to determine if they’re finding success with your product. Ask these questions:
- How does the customer use your product? (Are they more focused on one feature?)
- How often does the customer log in over a specific period of time? (Has this number increased or decreased?)
- How long is the customer’s average session? (Has this time increased or decreased?)
You can answer these questions by using a behavior analytics tool like HotJar or Google Analytics. Depending on your goals, you can track your customer’s activity through session recordings, heatmaps, and just good, old fashion data crunching.
While these tools can’t tell you everything about your customers, they can help you understand how people use your product, including what’s normal and what’s abnormal. You can also use these tools to set up a warning system for customers who, based on their behaviors, are most likely to churn.
[tweetthis]How you handle failed payments can sour the relationship with your customer and negatively impact their experience with your SaaS.[/tweetthis]
Strategy #3: Celebrate Important Milestones
A lot of SaaS forget about their customers after conversion. Don’t be that SaaS.
Be the SaaS that celebrates your customers every step of the way. To do this effectively and repeatedly, you’ll need to create a customer journey map. Your customer journey map should account for every step, from awareness to adoption to advocacy.
How will your customers move from one step to the other? Have you provided the necessary resources to aid your customers on their journey? Do your customers feel supported along their journey, or are they sorta lost and not sure what to do next?
Customer success is about being a guide for your customers. They shouldn’t be expected to go from one step to the next without your active guidance. After all, you’re the expert so you know the problem and solution better than they do.
But don’t just show them the way. Make every step special. This is especially true when they’re making big steps (such as from onboarding to daily use). Celebrate their achievements. For example:
- Send an email that provides positive affirmation for using your product.
- Show them how much time or money they may have saved since using your product.
- Enroll them in a customer loyalty program (and let them know about it).
- Send free swag just because.
- Offer a discount for a future purchase.
Strategy #4: Check-in Frequently
In addition to celebrating important milestones along the customer’s journey, be sure to check-in periodically with personalized emails. Ask your customers how they’re doing with your product and offer your individual help.
Make sure to send this email from a person and not your general email address. Be sure to sign it. Also, strip down the HTML to make the email more personal. Your customers should feel like the check-in email was written by an actual team member. This presentation will make your email more effective.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t automate the process. You absolutely can. But implement these tactics to make your email look individual.
Plan to check-in with your customers at least twice a year. But depending on your average customer’s lifecycle, you may need to schedule your check-in emails more frequently.
Strategy #5: Survey Your Customers
Check-ins and surveys may sound similar but they’re not the same thing. With a check-in, you offer your help to customers. With surveys, you ask your customers to help you.
Surveys are important for helping you grow your business. For the purposes of customer success, surveys can help you understand:
- What your customers expect from you
- How they use your product
- How often they use your product
- How they would improve your product if given the chance
- How likely they are to recommend your product to others
Don’t just collect their answers. Act on these surveys to improve your product and refine your customer success strategies.
Strategy #6: Give Tips and Tricks
As part of your guide responsibilities, offer tips on how to use your product effectively. Even if you’ve already shared these tips during your onboarding campaign, don’t hesitate to share them again at a later date. Onboarding can overwhelm a new customer so they may not catch everything when initially presented.
After onboarding, continue to drop knowledge on your customers by periodically sending a “tips and tricks” email. You can create tips that pop up in-app when triggered by the customer’s behavior.
Strategy #7: Avoid Involuntary Churn
How you handle failed payments can sour the relationship with your customer and negatively impact their experience with your SaaS. If you want to keep your customers happy, pay attention to payment issues.
Have a plan in place before a customer’s credit card expires. Use Stunning to notify customers in-app and via email when their card is about to expire. Stunning can also attempt to update your customer’s billing information automatically.
When payments fail, don’t settle for lost revenue or involuntary churn. Don’t surprise your customers by locking them out due to a failed payment either. Use Stunning to recover failed payments quickly through smart retries or trying a backup payment method so that your customer isn’t inconvenienced and shut out.
When your customers succeed, so do you. Invest in making their experience with your SaaS memorable, delightful, and valuable with these tips.
Before you go, check out these additional resources:
- Use These Tips to Increase Customer Satisfaction Without Spending a Fortune
- How to Find Out Even More About Your SaaS Customers
- A SaaS Guide to Providing Top-Notch Customer Support