For SaaS companies, customer churn spells doom. Customer retention is essential because it is much easier, much cheaper, and much more time-efficient to work on retention rather than new customer acquisition. In fact, if you do not focus on customer retention, you will actually lose more money as you acquire new customers. If your users churn before you have recouped your acquisition cost, all growth strategies you employ will prove to be ineffective.
Needless to say, customer retention is vital for a SaaS company. But you must be aware of the usual strategies that are recommended for customer retention like provide adequate onboarding and make sure you listen to the customer. Here we outline __ strategies that are often ignored by companies when thinking about customer retention.
Follow up after the follow-up
Every SaaS company responds to service requests from the customer. But if you truly want to retain customers, you should go the extra mile after the customer’s problem has been solved. After the customer support team has fixed the customer’s issue, another follow-up after a few weeks can be done to make sure the customer’s problems were truly solved and they’re not facing any additional issues. This will truly ensure customer satisfaction which will lead to customer retention.
Shorten customer surveys or remove them altogether
Often after a customer’s issue is solved, they are presented with a long survey to fill out in regards to the interaction. Although these surveys gather important data about the customers, they can be a double-edged sword because they can lead to the customers feeling annoyed rather than satisfied. The solution to this can be a quick survey which just asks whether the customer’s problem was solved or not. Or one can get rid of the survey altogether and gather data automatically through customer usage.
Get your customer to engage as soon as possible
The most useful way to avoid churn is to drive engagement. And to engage a customer, the customer has to use the product. So it is essential that the customer uses your SaaS as soon as possible. Because without using it, he will not see the value in it. And if he does not see the value, he might quit.
Send targeted tips
Automate your system in such a way that as soon as a customer completes a significant action in the SaaS, an email is sent to them. For example, if they complete creating an invoice, automate an email to ask them if they need tips to complete similar actions. You can even send blog articles or helpful YouTube videos. This will ensure longer customer engagement.
Create a robust social media presence
Creating social media profiles creates multiple touchpoints where your customers can interact with you. The more likely they are to see you on social media platforms, the more likely they are to reach out. Your presence on social media will create awareness among your customers and this awareness will in turn drive customer engagement.
Follow your customers on social media
If your customers follow you on social media, follow them back. This will not only make them feel values, but it will also enable them to reach out to you quickly if they are facing any issues. Monitoring your messages and responding instantly to queries, even if it is with an email to direct their problem to, will make your customers feel more engaged and make you seem more active.
Brand yourself as a service, not a software
Although SaaS companies are both software and service, the latter is what adds more value to a customer’s life. The service is the reason that customers will pay you a monthly fee, so be sure to make them feel like they’re getting a tangible service from you. If they can feel like they are being serviced by you, they’re more likely to keep subscribing to the service in the future.
Iterate new versions
Boredom is the first sign of customer churn. If the customer gets bored by using the same software every day, he has plenty of other options in the market to choose from. To retain the customer’s interest it is important to keep releasing new versions. Even if there are no major changes to the software or the changes are purely cosmetic. It will make the customer feel like there is a dedicated team behind the scenes working hard to give them what they want.
Make it easy for customers to leave
This may seem counterintuitive, but making the process through which customers leave easy, is going to benefit you in the long run. No one wants to see customers go, but the inevitable truth is that customers are going to go. Making the process to delete their account will only serve to make them more frustrated and they might talk ill of this hassle to other potential customers. Instead, make sure this process is easy while letting the customer know that you value them and are sorry to see them go.
Raise your price
This also seems counterintuitive, but bear with us. A higher price automatically makes something seem of higher value. This works because when a customer spends a large amount of money on something, they tend to want to see the positives more than the negatives. So it automatically becomes of higher value to them. And because the customer spends a larger amount, they are more likely to engage with the product. More engagement will automatically drive customer satisfaction.
Upselling has the same effect that raising your price does. If the customer pays more for a service, they will engage with it more. This will ensure that the customer stays your customer for longer. It will also deepen the relationship between you and your existing customers.
Provide free training
Free online training can help your users get more from your SaaS. The more complicated your SaaS, the more training they may require. This has several additional benefits. Firstly, if your user puts in time and effort to learn your SaaS, they are less likely to switch to another service. Secondly, you are increasing the value of your product for your consumer. And thirdly, you’re creating a deeper relationship with your customer instead of just being a service provider. These kinds of engagements will make your customers come back to your product again and again.
A quick look at some of the most successful companies across industries will yield a simple insight: customer retention is the key to long-term success. Without retention, the customer acquisition funnel will be long, expensive, and inefficient since you’ll be spending more time and effort wooing the same client pool; successful businesses have client advocates that make this journey easier for them! If you follow the above-listed strategies you will not only increase customer retention, you will increase your value in the eyes of your customer. If the customer develops confidence in your brand, they are less likely to look for alternatives and maintain loyalty.