You know what sucks? Losing customers to the competition.
The solution to this leaky bucket isn’t to acquire new customers. That’s too expensive. Research shows that it costs five times more money to convert a new customer than to retain a current one. So, if you already have customers, the goal is to keep them around for as long as possible. You’ll do that by figuring out what makes your customers happy— and doing more of it.
But what makes customers happy?
It starts with a solid product, which you already have.
The next step is to implement some of the tips on this article. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to boost your customer satisfaction scores without spending a ton of money (or time). Let’s get started.
Create Customer Personas
The first step is to create customer personas. Customer personas are important because they help you understand who’s using your product and what they’re hoping to gain. By deeply understanding your customers’ pain points, motivations, and goals, you can create a better customer experience.
There are several ways to develop a customer persona. My favorite way is to start simply, by figuring out which types of people would benefit the most from your product. You can use your current, best customers as a template.
Then, create a fictional person to represent each type of customer. Fill in their basic demographics (such as age, location, job title, marital status, etc.). Then, dig deeper by describing their frustrations, goals, and fears.
Personalize Your Interactions Via Segmentations
Now that you have customer personas, you can begin to personalize each interaction. To do that, immediately develop a survey for the purpose of grouping, or segmenting, your current customers into personas. The survey should be short and sweet, especially if you’re hoping for maximum buy-in. A one-question survey is a perfect solution.
Here are two possible questions to ask your current customers:
- Why did you choose us over our competitors?
- What problem do you solve with our product?
The answers to these questions can help you forge a stronger bond with your customers. This is because you can customize your messages to each segment based on what you’ve learned about their needs/goals/motivations.
Reduce Wait Times
Long wait times kill customer satisfaction. Whether it’s to ask a question about a failed payment or to troubleshoot a faulty feature, no one wants to wait for a response. They have a problem now and they need a solution now.
Research shows that 8 out of 10 customers expect a reply within the first 24 hours. Don’t ask your customers to wait for days (or longer).
Not all SaaS have the budget to hire extra people for customer support. I get that. If you’re budget-challenged, take advantage of automation to reduce customer wait times. Here are a few examples:
- Create and maintain a knowledge base. A knowledge base should contain a large library of self-help articles and videos that allow the customer to find a solution before opening a support ticket. Your knowledge base should act as the first line of support when the customer initiates a question or concern.
- Institute a chatbot that helps customers find their own answers. Your chatbot can guide the customer back to your knowledge base or escalate a service request to your team.
- Optimize your staffing. If you can only afford to hire a small customer support team, consider staggering the hours when they work so that you have coverage for a longer amount of time. One example would be to hire 3 customer support members to cover a 24 hour period (at 8 hours each).
Offer Multiple Ways to Reach You
Is there only one way to reach you, and that way is via email? That may not be enough.
Your customers may want to reach you in different ways. Email is one way. But don’t forget about social media. Many SaaS offer customer outreach through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. Some customers prefer to engage with businesses over social media because responses are quicker. And for customers who prefer self-service, the ability to look at past questions/customer interactions on social media is a bonus.
Another option is to create a community for your customers to hang out and get to know each other. You can do this with Facebook or Slack. If cultivated the right way, this type of community can enable your customers to support each other (and rely less on your customer support team).
Stay in Touch With Your Customers
When a customer signs up for your service, they’re initially excited about the possibilities of solving their problem. However, that initial excitement dulls after a short while and then, the worst thing possible happens: The customer drifts away.
That’s known as passive churn, and it’s a real problem, but it can be avoided simply. How? By keeping in contact with your customers.
Many SaaS fail at this because they’re focused on getting more customers. New customers are nice, but happy customers are better.
Continue to forge a relationship with your customers even after they’ve signed up. Mission: Customer Retention and Satisfaction starts immediately after you’ve collected their payment information.
Begin with a thorough onboarding program via email that introduces your new customer to your product. Share easy-to-follow tutorials that help your customer squeeze the most out of your product. Include testimonials and case studies in your onboarding program that offer different ways to use your product’s features. Make your customer support team available and easily accessible for any questions from your new customers.
After onboarding is done, be sure to stay in contact with your customers periodically to make sure that they’re still in love with your product. You can automatically reach out to customers who haven’t logged on in X amount of days. Or you can reach out to customers with tips, tricks, and product hacks to keep them excited about using your product.
Remember to personalize in every way that you can to make the interaction more meaningful to your customers.
Rescue Failed Payments
Imagine logging into your account only to find that you’re locked out due to a failed payment. Not the best feeling in the world.
But countless SaaS do this to their customers. Without prior notification, they lock out their customers because of a declined charge. The customer is confused and embarrassed, and now they’ve got to reach out to your support team to figure out what happened and why. They’re also frustrated because they’re blocked from solving their problem because you’ve locked them out.
This isn’t the road to customer satisfaction.
Avoid this by implementing a dunning system. A dunning system can do a whole lot for customer retention and satisfaction, for example:
- Before failed payments happen due to an upcoming expiration, your dunning system can reach out to customers with a quick email or text that says, “Hey, your credit card is set to expire next month. Can you hop over on the payment settings page and update?”
- If a charge doesn’t go through the first time, your dunning system can automatically retry the credit card in smart intervals to ensure recovered payment.
- Your dunning system can prevent churn by asking customers to add a backup credit card. It will then charge the backup card if the payment fails with the default card.
- Your system can also send a series of emails with unique content to let your customers know that a charge did not go through.
Failed payments are a guaranteed part of doing business, but you can increase customer satisfaction with a proactive approach. There are many reasons why payments fail. Credit cards can be lost or stolen or limits can be reached. Instead of immediately and aggressively blocking access to your SaaS, keep your customers happy by partnering with them to solve the issue.
Check out these related posts to help you improve your customer satisfaction rates:
- How to Use Facebook in Your SaaS Customer Retention Strategy
- How to Use SMS to Retain SaaS Customers
- How to Find Out Even More About Your SaaS Customers