Growing a SaaS business is all about high-value customers. Acquiring, retaining and increasing their value are all essential. Sales and marketing may reward themselves for a successful acquisition. Customer support may point to stats on feedback on support tickets.
Yet a database of entry-level customers will not grow the business. Worse still, another provider may tempt them to move on. We know it costs less to retain a client than to win a new one, so it’s worth putting the effort into building loyalty. How? Re-phasing more precisely, growing a SaaS business is all about customer success.
Here we look at 7 strategies to ensure that customer success will pervade the business.
1. Choose the right talent
Recruit staff who want to work with customers and are genuinely interested in their success. It helps if they are experienced in the customers’ domain, but this can be taught. Their attitude is the most important quality.
2. Be particularly attentive with new customers
“You only get one chance at a first impression”. It would very be disconcerting for a prospect, having been sold a vision by the salesperson, to have a negative initial experience with the product. Perhaps a delay in setting up user accounts, or customer support staff who weren’t ready. Develop a template plan for new customers to ensure that they achieve their initial outcomes.
3. Make development messaging about customers, not products
Development staff pride themselves on well-structured, low maintenance code. It’s in their DNA. At product demonstrations, however, encourage them to show “how a customer would do this”. Write product bulletins in language that will engage and inspire customers.
4. Develop an Ideal Customer Profile
Fully understanding the kinds of customers that align with the business’ objectives gives a clear target for marketing. Sales don’t spend time chasing prospects that want something you don’t have yet. Product management can develop solutions that fit their aspirations, turning them into successful, high-value customers.
5. Articulate the value proposition
The ideal customer is facing a particular business challenge. Understand that challenge and define a value proposition that solves that challenge… precisely. This may require product enhancement, but it’s far better to win ideal customers with the right value proposition than to burn resources trying to win round an unhappy customer with the wrong expectations.
6. Make everyone a customer advocate
Teams such as sales and customer support spend their lives working closely with customers. Including some customer contact in other job roles will deepen their understanding of pain points in the real world. This will also benefit the customer, who will get to see strength in depth.
7. Ask for (representative) feedback
It’s easy to trigger a feedback request after a support ticket has been resolved. This doesn’t really represent how the customer feels the product is benefiting their business (or not). Make time to speak with contacts that understand how the product is being used and what might increase their loyalty .
Acquiring the right customers and converting them into high-value recurring revenue means recruiting and building the right talent. It’s one of the toughest challenges facing today’s management teams. Why not contact our team at Clifford Associates and see how we can help to resolve this resourcing challenge?
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