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.