The SaaS business model is one that keeps on giving. Over time, your subscriptions can provide you increasing value (if you have factors like churn rate under control). Long-term relationships are those which provide a SaaS Company with the most value.
What are the most important factors for building and maintaining long-term relationships?
Although an excellent product and intelligent marketing definitely bring more customers in, the keys to forming long-term relationships (and hence the success) as a SaaS company are customer success and great customer service. When done right, customer service works in sync with all the departments, increases the value of existing customers by upselling, reduces possible churn incidents from happening and increases overall revenue as a SaaS.
Let us jump into customer service and success, why they are so important, and how to improve customer service and success for your SaaS brand.
What is Customer Success and Customer Service?
Customer Success, in simplest terms, is making sure that your customers achieve the desired outcome that your product promises through their interactions with it and the company. It involves understanding your customers in a truly “human” way, and providing solutions to specific problems that they may face, before they run into it (preferably) and when they actually face them.
Customer service is the helping out your customers in the various issues/problems they face while using your product. It usually involves the customer raising an issue, and the support team then working to resolve it.
Customer Success can be seen as a proactive “evolutionary” version of customer service, mostly including tracking and solving problems for users before they realise them. Regardless of how proactive you are though, there will always be issues that customers face – and hence your customer service needs to be top notch too. Make sure to read the following article if you are looking for more info on sitecore development.
Why Is Great Customer Service Essential for SaaS Success?
1. It Reduces Customer Churn
Let’s face it, customer come, they leave. It happens with most companies. But do you know what the biggest factor for customer churn is?
The customer bought your product, which means they need the solution you offer, and your marketing did convince them to buy the product. If the customer is unhappy, it means that they are unable to see the value that was promised. This can be due to various reasons.
It can be due to your onboarding process not acquainting the user enough with your product. Or it can be due to a bad website experience or absence of a self-help database.
Whatever the case, great customer service makes sure that the value that has been promised is realised. In fact, good customer service can cover up for negative aspects like a hard to use product.
Imagine a customer having problems using a functionality of the product – but there’s always someone ready to help them out. In such a case, the user won’t be too worried much about the UX since they know that the organization always has an ear for them.
Moreover, this helps develop a much more “human” relationship with them. When the time for renewal comes, they’ve already made their decision.
2. It Keeps Them Coming Back
We’ve all heard the phrase “It is much cheaper to retain old customers than it is to attract new ones”. In fact, according to a study, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.
Think about it – for acquiring every customer, your organization spends at:
a. Marketing/education for getting them to learn about the product
b. Onboarding/Activation, which includes discounts sometimes
Each time you acquire a new customer; both of these costs are incurred, repetitively. In converse, each customer you prevent from churning, you’re saving these costs.
By now you’re wondering what the secret sauce to retaining customers is. It is (you guessed it), consistent customer service and delight.