Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Definitive Playbook for the Best Customer Experience by SaaS Companies



          Healthy SaaS businesses show a consistent ability to upsell the product to their customers every year.  The cohort analysis which divides the customer base or the dollar net retention both measures the fantastic understanding the health of your business. The health of any SaaS company is directly tied to its churn rate - the percentage of customers who cancel the product or service after a certain period of time. When your software isn't providing enough value, customers take their business elsewhere. When the churn rate is high, your business is at risk. The customers churn because of poor service that could have been entirely prevented. The potential indicators of the need to transform customer experience include,
    * Customer retention efforts that aren't working
    * Difficulty of cross-selling and upselling to existing customers
    * Declining Customer Life Time Value (CLV)
    * Low or declining Customer Satisfaction Score or NPS
    * Low Employee Engagement
    * Thread of new entrants that disrupt the established industry
   Transforming customer experience requires a strategy  - a vision for what the organization wants the experience to be and a plan to make it happen. The lack of clear strategy is the biggest obstacle to customer success. Customers leaving your business can crush your revenue. The four most common causes of customer churn are,
   Bad Customer Service: If you don't prioritize support and work to deliver excellent service to your customers, then it is only going to cost you money and customers. The study found that almost 9 in 10 customers have abandoned the business because of poor customer experience. The bad customer service can be a huge loss for your business and the great customer service can be a huge win. The customers are willing to pay for better customer experience.
   Bad Onboarding: Two of the most important milestone in the life of the customer are,
       * The moment they sign up for your product, and
       * The moment they sign up to achieve their first success with your product
 A disproportionate amount of your customer churn will take place between (1) and (2) which can crush your retention rate. It is your job to make that transition as fast and smooth as possible for your customer, and that is where great onboarding comes in.
  Lack of On-going Customer Success: While onboarding gets your customer initial success, your job isn't done there. The changing need, confusion about new features and product updates, extended absence from the product and competitor marketing could leave your customers away. If your customers stop hearing from you, and you stop helping them get value from your product throughout their entire lifecycle, then you risk making that lifecycle much shorter.
  Natural Causes: Not only the customer abandons you because you failed. There are some other reasons like,
       Sometimes,  customer go out of business
       Sometimes, operational or staff changes lead to vendor changes
       Sometimes, they simply outgrow your product or service
  These may happen in all the businesses. So, Here are the things to do to reduce the churn,
1. Point out the red flag metrics so that to catch the natural churn before it happens
2. Do constant customer development to help you understand the customer changing needs and goals so that to shift your strategy to address them
3. Conduct customer exit surveys to get an idea of exactly why natural churn is occurring and anything you can do to prevent it
4. Learn how to get more survey responses to get to know your customers better
        High touch Saas companies that experience a lot of churns or non-renewal aside from misleading sales practices, the main culprit is the customer onboarding process. Regardless of whether it's a high touch or low touch scenario, 100% of the time, the problem is that the SaaS vendor either doesn't know what the customer wants or the prospect's desired outcome is.
Definition of On-boarded Customer:  Even though, there is no universal definition of onboarding, prefer to consider a customer "on boarded" as one of the following potential states,
    1.  They have achieved the initial success with their product ( consider the First value delivered -FVD)
    2. They haven't gotten actual value yet, but for the first time outside of your sales and marketing, they see the real value potential in this relationship with you. The proverbial "Aha" moment everyone speaks of.
        So, What initial success does my customer need to achieve when all parties understand that the breadth and depth of use will continue to evolve and expand over their lifetime as a customer? that's is the important question to keep the top of mind as you go through his process.
Successful On-Boarding:  Successful onboarding does not revolve around your company goals. Instead, it focuses on meeting the company's goals. It is all about communicating value early on. SaaS companies have short amount time to show their customer how to get most out their product. In-app messaging is the great tool for SaaS startups to communicate value to their customers, specifically pointing out the most valuable features. It can be used to deliver the message at strategic times like "did you know about this feature?
      SaaS companies need to monitor closely how on-boarding is going? If customers aren't using certain features because of they don't know about the product or they don't understand how to use them, these customers need to be targeted. 70% of the churn could be avoided if businesses solved the customer problem during the first interactions. Another important part of onboarding is to gain feedback. SaaS companies have to remember that communicating their value doesn't end with onboarding. It is a continual process. Here are the things to keep in mind for the best customer experience,
 1. Attract the Right Prospects to Signup:  When it comes to conversions, making the signup process as seamless as possible is typically given. Make it mandatory to include business email, name and phone number. This can go long way to ensure that you are attracting the qualified prospects from the get-go.
 2. Keep the Engagement Level High for SaaS Customer: It provides the strong foundation for lowering the churn rate over time. Engagement means SaaS customers finding value from your product. It is important to conduct a bi-annual survey to your customer. Talk to your customer support team and get their feedback. Adding integration also provides more value for your product. Consider sending the customer summary email that tells how your business has benefited them. It serves as the direct reminder of the customer benefiting from your service.
 3. Monitor the Usage: A lack of usage is the leading predictors of future cancellations, so users must monitor closely.  SaaS companies need to be proactive and reach out customers directly whether in the form of an automated email or even phone call.
 4. Improve the Software's Most Important Features Continually: SaaS companies eventually find that customers will not use your product in a way that you anticipated.  You will come to learn that some features you didn't think were important. So, it is necessary to get feedback from your customer so that you can continue to refine and improve your software's most important features.
 5. See-Think-DO-Care Framework: Customer are classified by journey stages were based on the way users engage with the company website. Those are,
    See Stage: In this stage, users are absolutely new to the website.  They are not showing any commercial intent but might respond to an engaging message
    Primary Goal:   Brand Awareness
    Target Metrics:  Incoming Traffic, Conversion to Registrations, Cost-per-lead, Visit-per-depth, bounce rate and traffic acquisition cost
    Think Stage: In think stage, user visited the website but left without registering. These users are ready to buy but at the moment they are looking around and choosing between several products.
     Primary Goal: Showing Positive/Bright Side of the product
    Target Metrics: Conversion to Registration, Cost per lead
   Do Stage: In do stage, users are registered on the website.  At this stage, prospects are within an inch of purchasing. To make the last step, they need a unique product and favorable purchase conditions.
     Primary Goal: Purchase
     Target Metrics: conversion to first payments, Customer Acquisition Cost, conversion to paid users
  Care Stage:   In this stage, customers become paid users. Loyal customers are the most valuable asset of any company and their motivation should be properly maintained.
   Primary Goal: Retention and upsell
   Target Metrics: Retention Rate, Number of account upgrades
  Overlapping the Customer Journey stages and buyer personas profiles give you the following matrix


 6. User Engagement Strategies for SaaS Product:   SaaS businesses must aim to educate and entertain their users to boost satisfaction and retention. Customers are the lifeblood of your business. To retain your users, experiment with different engagement strategies to improve retention.
  Send Triggered Messaging: Communication plays important role in customer relationships. So, email to customer welcome messages, product updates and occasional thank you note. Triggered messaging takes advantage of customer behavior to automatically deliver a personalized experience.
  Engage with In-app chat: It is an effective tool to provide one-to-one help to your customer. You will learn what features users find difficult, and you can ask users specific questions about their engagement. Some in-app platforms offer the capability to segment the users. You could identify key behaviors hindering customers from achieving full product adoption.
 Grab the Attention with Tutorials: After customer make a purchase, it is important to provide continuing education. An informed customer is more likely to find success with the product, as a result increasing your return rate. Blogs, ebooks, and guides are the most common form of educational tools used by businesses. It is a cost-effective tool and gets the job done.


  

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

How to Optimize SaaS Product and Service Page for Customer Success?



      Successful SaaS businesses figured out how to quickly establish themselves as an authority through effective digital marketing techniques including the utilization of content marketing and the best SEO software for startups. Brands that are able to introduce their product and educate the audience first are the ones who rise to the top, while the rest slowly fizzles out. Build a rich educational content around the core aspects of your product, and most importantly, show how it delivers value to prospective users.
Illustrate Knowledge of your industry:  Create valuable content that answers your customer needs. SaaS startup needs to emphasize why they are an authority in the industry. The great way to showcase brand's value is to illustrate the brand's knowledge in their field. Blogging improves your website's relevancy for improved rankings and will educate your audience that helps your readers to customers. Let the journalist in your industry know about your SaaS product and if it offers an unique value, people should know about it.
Co-ordinate Low touch, High-velocity Sales, and High touch, Lower velocity Sales: Customer retention starts with on-boarding. Understanding where customers encounter issues helps you improve the processes and allows you to resolve problems. Many SaaS companies have a variety of daily signups. It is crucial that sales and marketing are able to identify high potential leads to offer those leads best fit onboarding consultation and to deliver the right level of support during the on-boarding process.
General Tips and Myths for SaaS Success: 
1. Create Sales Presentation focused on customer Success: When you love the product you are selling, it is easy to fall in love with different features. Your customers want to know how your product can help them, not how many features it has. Share success stories from customers who have been able to achieve goals similar to your prospect's goals and it will increase your conversion rates. To successfully share the stories, follow the situation, solution, success formula
     - Tell a story about a satisfied client using the client own words to illustrate the situation. Imagine one of your client asking for help; how would you articulate their challenge or problem
    - The solution can be delivered in your own words. For ex, This is what we did to help client X.
    - The success has to be in the client words. This is because only your client words can adequately express how wonderful your product/service/solution is.
2. Create your ideal customer profile for B2B SaaS Leads: An ideal customer profile is the description of an organization which gets significant value from using your product/service and provides significant value to your company. It is how to create an ideal customer profile to attract high-quality-sales-leads.
3. Give Product Demo that Sells:  Structuring successful demo is something you will get better with the experience. When you are demoing the feature, always give your prospects the big picture first. They should never watch your demo something and not know what the purpose of it is. So, here are the best ways to automate your sales pipeline management and achieve these things,
  - You give them the context of what it is you are about to show them and help them to understand how they will benefit from this.
 - You have engaged them by making them say something,
 - You've confirmed that the feature you will demonstrate is actually relevant to them, ensuring you make the best use of the time you have with your prospect.
    An effective demo as much an art as a science. You must have the competency and passion. As Maya Angeloy stated, "People will forget what you said,  People will forget what you did, but People will never forget how you made them feel". Make your prospect feel great about you and your product.
4. The product doesn't Sell itself: If you want to sell successfully, focus on creating a desire for your product and deliver the value.
Design Issues of SaaS Application: 
        There are four important aspects of your website design. Those are,
Layout: User Interface has a lot of things, how you put them together in a way that makes sense is what we called layout. With new trends, new user habits and multiple devices to consider, nailing good layout crucial to the usability of your app.
Product WorkFlow: It is what we get something to get done. How do I do it? The less time it takes the more UX points we win.
Visual design: It is not enough that products just work. It is important to look attractive too. If it is attractive, it will be used very frequently.
Forms: It is important for generating the leads from your website. Every UX designer needs to design the form that is easier to fill. We can't live without them.
     There is a product feature that brilliantly drives growth or there's a feature that's so on-point with the needs of the target user that buzz becomes inevitable. SaaS development pretty much goes hand in hand with agile methodology. Rapid iterations make constant opportunities, as there's always an upcoming development cycle to aim for with new feature that can change the game. Here are the best methods to develop the features in your SaaS product,
      1. By compiling the feedback and data identifies the features that will drive growth. By truly understanding your users want that eventually find useful and drive SaaS growth.
     2. From other product users, you can get a lot of incremental ideas and use the tool in your business or your customers, to validate that the product really solves what it's supposed to be. After implementing the product feature, make sure you have analytics in place to see if the feature really drives growth in your business.
    3. SaaS features that help user to perform a specific task easily and quickly. Ideally, this will be the task the user does regularly. It is often better to focus on small improvements than to chase new feature.
   4. Send them a survey including three to five of the features you are thinking about building. But, you haven't gotten around yet, it is a great way of validating something people actually want. This process works if you don't have ideas narrowed down.
   5. The best way to go SaaS product is by closely monitoring your users to understand the behavior and identify the gaps. Look your users who signed up in the last four weeks and identify where they get stuck and drop out or differs from what you expected. These gaps become the foundations for new feature ideas that lead to prototypes and validation.
   6. An excellent way to identify the growth driving features for your SaaS product is to reverse engineer your ultimate goal. Identify your desired KPI to measure your success and make sure it is realistic and achievable.
Designing a SaaS Product: It does not just require an idea for the SaaS Product on the Web. It requires a clear plan of how it will work and which features you will support. It also means a lot of UX planning from the wireframing to detailed mockups. Here are the best ideas to keep in mind during your build of a website,
 1. Above the Fold Value Proposition: Value proposition communicates what makes your business unique? What do you do better than everyone else? It is the one-sentence selling point to the visitor that sums up your entire product. In other words,
      What you do + Why you do it best = Value Proposition
FreshBooks described the Value Proposition as,


2. Call to Action: It tells the user to do some action. Most call to action in SaaS websites to tell the user to sign up. It asks for an email address, which leads to a free trial. Others ask users to login using facebook or twitter. You can also see that "Get Started" button. Do some testing and see what call to action message works best.
3. Product Pictures: It is important that your website has the pictures of your software so that your user can see each feature of the product along with its screenshots. Some people want to read about the features, while others will want to see them. But most people want both of them. So, write about the features that look with your software.
4. Easy to find Contact Information:  Typically, Contact Us information posted at either at the top or bottom of the website. Wherever you decide to post yours, make it visible and clear. Visitors should be able to find your telephone number quickly. If they cannot find contact us right away, they will simply leave your website. It is best to highlight your telephone number on the homepage. It increases conversion and sales.
5. Product Demo: Some visitors want to try your product right away without having to sign up for a free trial. Visitors want the ability to try out a product without having to go through the technical work. Generally, demos are best served when they are just a click away. Make it easy, clear and simple. For users who use your demo, try upselling them by having a small text box reminding that they can sign up for a free trial.
6. Free Trial Offer: Free trails are those who want to use their data and test your product with businesses. The trial period could be two to four weeks that don't require a credit card. Some company's offer their product for a month before they decide to continue the subscription. So, it is common for all Saas companies to offer a trial.