The Customer Success Cycle in SAAS…
…Imagine a kid when he is buying a new toy, which he really wants! He just wants to rip the wrapper, cut it out and QUICKLY dig into the mechanism and try it!
That’s how normally customers could feel on new software or product they just purchased, they want to see benefits, start using it and show it off!
Among the products like clothing and accessories, your success is measured easily; if you see that your customer is happily buying your product and flaunting it among his/her social circle, then you know that you have achieved success in your purpose.
But my friends, selling a SaaS product can be tricky. The customers are at a risk all the time for paying that much for the product they don’t understand and can not make the best use of it. Then all the efforts are useless.
So, customer success is a big deal for the SaaS companies. It is a term that works with the revenue stream of the SaaS business. Just like growth hacking and customer onboarding, the companies should take customer success very, very seriously!
This is due to the reason that failed customers or unsuccessful customer onboarding is costing the SaaS companies millions of dollars. This is the harsh reality of the subscription based business model.
So, you got it how important it is to get it right?
But before kicking off you need to answer these questions.
Does Customers ACTUALLY understand the Value of your SAAS Product?
Are your Customers REALLY getting what they need from your SAAS Product?
If not, then there is a serious problem. Now I will tell you how to get to know the Customer Success factors to incorporate it in the customer life cycle.
And believe me it will do wonders for you and take your SaaS products to new heights.
But first, I will tell you what customer success is.
What is Customer Success for SaaS companies?
Tell me one thing.
If you have worked days and nights building something, will you give up on it that easily?
Surely not. That is the case with the SaaS owners. They had worked tirelessly for months to solve of a niche’s problem. So they will try hard to make its target market know what their product is, how to use it and how its users can benefit from it.
You know what?
Acquiring a new customer is 7 times harder and costly than retaining the existing ones.
Customer Success is about saving up on that loss of getting after new customers. It does not means that companies will tie you in long term contract from them. You can stop using the service whenever you want.
What if they will give you a great product solving your biggest problems and keeps on improving on it?
You will stick to them, that is what customer success is all about.
Now I will tell you how to identify the customer success factors. You can use it to make your SaaS product a winner by abiding to the following factors.
The following process of the complete Customer Success Lifecycle, will show how Customers could reach the PERFECT application of your solutions, benefit from it and get referrals too.
Going through the below factors, will actually make Customers happy, increase revenues and reduce DISAPPOINTMENTS!
Read More: The Essential Guide To Customer Success
Here is how you can identify customer success factors for your SaaS product:
1. Identify the ideal customers:
This is critical for any business to identify their ideal customer profile or target market. How can you know what your customers actually wants if you don’t have clear picture of them?
It is about developing customer persona.
Customer persona is akin of how-guide to reach your target audience.
You should include the following points in framing your customers persona:
- Create a broad description of your ideal audience.
- Identify the most important features of your audience and unique user goals.
- What issues they might face?
- Locate and list where you ideal customers can find you.
If you want to know more on framework of customers persona check out this article: How to Create Customer Profiles to Reach Your Target Audience
2. Make customer onboarding easy and quick:
Customer onboarding is the intersection point of customer acquisition and customer success. SaaS owners knows that a weak customer onboarding strategy drive SaaS Churn and making customers getting to the competitors.
The SaaS business which give importance to their metrics will work hard to make the customer onboarding process an easy and quick task.
The SaaS companies should design the onboarding flow to demonstrate how the value will be provided to the customers and in how many steps.
You can take the help of podcasts, webinars, product videos and blog posts to educate your users on how to get to start using the product the easy way.
After signing up the customer wants to get the product quickly. There are not going to wait for you to get them technical support or going through series of your email sequence.
If you make customer onboarding right. Just take my words, half of your efforts are paid off.
Check this out: 6 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Should Avoid
3. Use Customer Support technique:
To provide customer support is essential for SaaS and Ecommerce platforms. You need to solve in the issues which your users are faced with.
Each time the customer opens a support ticket, means there is some issue in your product or website, or just your users need help and can’t figure out what can be done.
After all the effort you invested in onboarding those users you can’t let them go easily. So, you must provide a support to them by making someone from your team to look after the customer support or if you have a budget you can hire an entire support team, given your business situation and your need.
Let me tell you some important characteristics of a winner support team:
- They are totally proactive.
- Take active feedback.
- Analytical mindset
- They repurpose the issues faced and their solutions.
The customer support team should make sure to resolve the issues of the customers and then communicate it with the team to resolve the issues so that it can’t cause a problem in the future.
They have got the direct knowledge of customer success factors and what is demanded by their users.
4. Stay in touch with your customers and interview them:
You need to take care of the customer’s touch points, it can be any, like social media, website, support tickets, forums, group or product pages (everywhere where your product is found).
If you stay in touch with your customers you will get to know their likes and dislikes, and the reason behind it. Then you can use those factors to get incorporated in your onboarding strategy to make user’s experience great for them.
You can also take help of surveys on your website, social media and even ask your email list to fill in the survey.
But handle this task with extreme care as to not annoy your customers and not forcing them to fill in the usage survey form for you. You can ask them like ‘We require your valuable feedback to make your usage experience even better’.
You can do do something like this in the picture below.
By this the customers who are really interested in your product and wants it to be improved will participate in providing feedback through interviews or surveys.
As you get the responses of your customers you can utilize this data to identify what factors help in achieving customer success.
5. Upsell and ask for renewal of your SaaS product:
Upselling the SaaS product is a tricky yet essential element of SaaS business selling strategy. The long term profitability and revenue growth of SaaS companies lies in the upselling model.
The marketing or the Customer success teams have a lot of data which can be used to assess which customers are just triers and which customers are winners for their SaaS business.
Let me give you a pro tip here:
You know what many big SaaS and Online business give out some offers named as ‘Lead Magnet’ for free or at a minimum cost. They just do it to know who their serious customers are and then upsell to them.
You can use this strategy in your business as well for upselling and subscription renewals.
Upselling is itself a customer success factor. Hence you can analyze what leads them to accept the items you are upselling and include it in your customer success factor.
Customer success is an important factor for the growth and sustainability of not just the SaaS business but other online and traditional businesses as well. In this post you have learned how to identify the customer success factors so that they can be used in the formulation of the strategy and helps make better decisions.
This article does not includes the Customer Success Metrics as I saved them for the another post to come. So, just keep reading and make your business a success by making sure your customers are successful in achieving their goals from your product.