How to ensure customer success for your SaaS
The success of customers fuels customer retention. Customer retention is the basis for your monthly recurring revenue as well as your revenue growth.
The faster your team can ensure customer success with your product, the faster you can secure revenue and continue to grow month over month.
Churn is when customers don’t find value in your product after subscribing and end up unsubscribing fairly quickly. SaaS companies lose work hard to bring on new users that will bring recurring monthly revenue. When customers churn out, you lose that long term potential revenue and potential for growth. When you fix the reasons for churn, your SaaS can grow exponentially.
“You can focus on adoption, retention, expansion, or advocacy; or you can focus on the customers’ Desired Outcome and get all of those things.”
- Lincoln Murphy, Author Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue
Your SaaS product is like a leaky bucket and customer success is a water-tight solution. If there are problems with your UX or product market fit and your product doesn’t work for your users’ needs, they will churn out like water leaving your bucket. Focusing on and ensuring customer success patches any problems that lead to customers leaving.
That’s where focusing on customer success saves you. Customer success is where your team ensures (through a number of methods) that customers:
- Understand your product
- Find value in your product
- Stay engaged
Customer success is simple: when customers achieve what they want with your product and find the right support in your team.
How do you make it happen? That’s more complex but we’ll break it down for you and include some of our tried and true experience:
Here’s how to ensure customer success for your SaaS:
Start early: make signing up easy:
Customer success starts as soon as your sales and marketing team does their job and they become a customer. Sign up is the first step to acquire long-term clients and customer success plays an important role here. There are a lot of different factors that can influence how users feel about your product and if they experience the value of your product.
Here are a few factors to consider in your sign up process that could impact customer success:
- How easy sign up and adding team members is
- Whether you offer a free trial of all features or not
- If you offered tiered access to features or not
- What is included in your free trial and free version – is it enough?
Free trials of the full functionality of your product may help to show how valuable your product (at full price) can be. If your free trial does not offer access to the full extent of your product’s power, users may be quicker to leave or not see a benefit to them. If your free version is not powerful enough or includes useful features, you may face a similar problem.
This is definitely an area to be tested and depends on each individual SaaS product but it is worth considering. This is the first impression for users; that always lasts. Read more about offering a free trial vs a demo for SaaS products for more information on this in particular.
Onboarding should leave no stone unturned for customers to ensure customer success. When they “graduate” from onboarding, they should be able to successfully use your product to create the desired outcome. They should find it awesome right away. If your onboarding doesn’t create that, it’s time to improve it. Sometimes as the ones who created the product, it’s hard to see it from an outside users’ perspective. You need to put yourself back in the users’ shoes.
Exceptional onboarding includes:
- A progress bar to show where you’re at
- Step by step instructions on how to perform key actions
- Walk throughs where the users do it themselves
- Feature discovery – showing users features and how they work
- Adequate information available in context
Really the biggest thing is that customers should be entrenched in your product once done with onboarding. They should already be using features, inviting other users (if applicable), entering their data, etc.
The more they start doing, the more ‘successful’ as users they will be.
Stellar customer support:
Customer support not only helps to clear up the little issues users are facing but also helps build your team a better reputation and ensures customer success. When they email and you respond in good time, that’s the point for your product. When customers feel supported, they’re more than likely going to forgive that bug. It’s about presence. Additionally, when customers are not understanding something and your team can step in and explain, your team can learn where there is friction. This helps in improving your product.
Ensure successful customer support with:
- Support chat
- Easy contact information available
- A strong FAQ
- Help center: check out ours as an example
What is feature discovery? Have ever logged into a product and been directed by a little bubble or popup directing you to take a look at a new feature?
That’s feature discovery.
Here’s why it works: every user has their own learning process and their own processes outside your product they’re working with. You’re consistently improving and adding to your product. Users are likely missing key elements of your product that can help them be successful. Feature discovery helps to show them new or existing features that may be helpful for them. Feature discovery is the key to engaging and retaining users through product marketing. Feature discovery helps ensure customer success and full usage of your product’s capabilities.
You can do this by adding bubbled, pop ups, etc. or you can use Beamer to highlight new features and make the feature discovery process easier.
Beamer is an interactive changelog that sits within your product. Beamer opens up as a discreet sidebar where users can scroll through updates from your team.
You can post updates for anything:
- New features
- Bug fixes
- Company news
Because it sits right within your product, you can present features in a way that is in context. It makes it easy for users to explore updates right away.
To make your Beamer updates more engaging, you can include:
- CTAs to features or content
You can also use segmentation to show specific users different feature updates. Additionally, you can enable push notifications to bring users back when you present a new feature or update. This can be an effective tool for preventing users from churning out. Read more about feature discovery specifically and how you can use it to improve engagement along with Beamer.
Ask for feedback and put it to work:
Customer success is not a one time task. It’s an ongoing process that every member of your team is on. Listening to your customers is a big part of that. Asking for feedback consistently and in the right place and at the right time, can get you insights to direct your team towards ensuring customer success. You should ask new users for their initial feedback of your onboarding process so that you can improve this for the future. You should ask existing users for their current satisfaction with your product so you know whether they are likely to churn or not. You should always try to have an “exit interview”, so to speak, with churning users to understand what went wrong.
With Beamer, you can gather ‘indirect’ feedback with the right channels of communication with your users. If users repeat the same questions in a chat all over again, it is possible that your process or UX needs a redesign. It’s the job of the customer success team to identify this need and work with your product marketing team to improve this.
You can also use Beamer’s NPS to better track users’ satisfaction throughout their use of your product. “NPS” is your Net Promoter Score, a score based on ratings that lets you know how likely users are to recommend your product. But it can tell you so much more than that when you put it to work.
Beamer NPS displays a quick 1-10 survey to users within your product. On the backend, you’re able to see results and get a better understanding of users’ overall feeling towards your product and also who is likely to churn. You can follow up with surveys or reach out personally to help customers use your product better. Learn more about NPS with Beamer.
Customer success seems straight forward but it’s a lot of moving parts. It includes support and consistent work from all members of your team to ensure that users are happy and engaged. It’s all hands on deck to keep the bucket full! For an easy way to kill a few birds with one stone like boost engagement, share new features, and get feedback, try Beamer.