With SaaS customers having to pay on a recurring basis, it’s understandable that they expect continued, if not more, value with every payment. Usually, value relates directly to the amount of time customers spend using your service and their level of success. So, to help your customers get the most value over the long-term, you need to make sure they use your SaaS product successfully with even greater frequency and depth as time goes on.
An effective customer success strategy requires that you give your customers all the information they need to be successful. This includes tips, best practices as well as any changes and updates to your platform that may affect them.
These ongoing communications can not only foster good relationships (which are essential in the subscription business), they can also be tailored to the level of the user depending on whether they are new or more advanced. For example, new users likely want to know how to get started while seasoned users may want information on more complex value-added services. As you learn more about how to best facilitate user success, you can begin to adjust your communications to match.
The most common channel for this ongoing communication is email where you can set it up to go out to customers based on how long they have been using your service. Alternatively, you can also link it to usage patterns so that customers receive specific information about features they aren’t taking advantage of. Regular communication from you will help your customers stay engaged as well as enhance your own commitment to customer success.
Directly soliciting customer feedback can be one valuable way to gain a solid understanding of how your customers define their success using your service. This can be done through formalized customer surveys (there are plenty of free options out there) or by having your customer service representatives reach out personally. This will provide you with knowledge that can improve customer success strategies and even provide feedback you can use for product improvement.
Thank your customers for their feedback and let them know that their suggestions resulted in improvements that will help them. This demonstrates to your customers that you are listening and truly care about their success in addition to giving them a sense of investment in your company’s success.
Social media listening and keeping track of clients who have left you can give you important information on trends and what people are looking for. Although individuals may not be talking directly about your company on social, it’s critical to keep your ear to the ground in your industry to understand what customers are looking for and what isn’t working for them.
To go a step further, you can even monitor online feedback of your competitors by their customers. This can give you insights as to where your competitors fall down and how you can deliver a better experience to win over their users. There are many social listening tools out there to help you figure out where you fit and how you can get a leg up in your industry.
In addition to getting direct feedback, you also need to know how customers actually use your service. This includes tracking usage patterns and relating the data to your customer lifecycle, churn and customer lifetime value (CLV). Usage patterns can tell you exactly what features customers are loving and which ones may be cluttering up your product. Feed this information back into product development and your educational communications to help customers use your service to its full potential.
The biggest red flag in terms of customer usage is when users stop signing in. When this happens, reach out to the user to remind them of the value your service provides and give them a link to quickly sign back on.
Make sure that those responsible for monitoring and analyzing customer feedback, usage patterns and social chatter are communicating with your product management team leads. Product Managers need to keep their fingers on the pulse of customer success via all these mechanisms so they can ensure that future iterations are developed accordingly.
With a subscription service, customer value has to be ongoing if not continually improving. To do this, you need to put in place everything needed for your customers to be successful and for you to understand their success (or lack thereof). Giving your customers the right information is initially key. But to stay successful, you need to inform your iterative product development with how your customers define their success and, by extension, your service’s value.