The Key to Customer Success in SaaS
Show me a successful business, and I’ll show you one that knows how to key in on customer success. And nowhere is this truer than in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry. While some industries might be able to thrive and prosper with a high rate of customer turnover, SaaS success is often dependent on building long-term relationships with its client base. Without that loyalty, most SaaS businesses would be hard-pressed to maintain their revenues, much less grow them. But what does customer success look like in SaaS? And how much support do you need to offer customers after purchase to ensure that you maintain that brand loyalty?
What Does Customer Success in SaaS Look Like?
Customer success in SaaS is one of those things that might seem difficult to describe. For some business owners, the expression conjures images of happy customers gleefully purchasing their software. For others, customer success is a means to an end – that short-term goal you need to reach to fuel your long-term growth plans. The fact is that customer success is all those things and more. Customer success is the fuel that powers your growth, the glue that binds your company together, and the reason your team does what it does every day.
In short, customer success should be central to everything that you do. At the same time, though, it is important to remember that customer success is an investment that you make on a daily basis. Your company needs happy customers to survive and grow. That happiness breeds loyalty, which translates into long-term business relationships. Your company needs to invest in its customer success if you want to drive growth through repeat sales, upsells, and other critical revenue-enhancing strategies.
What Level of Support Do You Need to Provide?
How much support you need to provide to any given customer is a matter of intense debate. For some customers, basic instructions are sufficient to enable easy use of your product. For others, it can sometimes seem as though no amount of guidance is ever enough. To better predict the amount of support any given customer might need, you should have a strategy to help you understand your clients.
Yes, “know the customer” is an old mantra, but it is one that is essential in SaaS. You need to understand how your customers use your software. You should try to learn their frequency of use, and whether they’re using it enough actually to solve their specific problems. You also need a system to track the amount of time it takes them to get up to speed on its use. Infrequent use, inefficient use, or a slow pace of integration can all signal a lack of satisfaction. After all, if your clients are pleased with your software, they’ll likely be using it a great deal.
The bottom line is simple. You need to provide as much support as your customers need to be truly happy. That means that your support emphasis should go beyond troubleshooting, and focus on educating clients so that they are comfortable with your products. That comfort level will help them to get the most out of your software solutions, which will, in turn, increase their happiness levels – and build brand loyalty that will keep them using your products for years to come.
What is the Key to Customer Success in SaaS?
If there is one key to customer success in SaaS, it is this: limit customer turnover by ensuring customer happiness. You need to keep your customers, build brand loyalty, and develop long-term relationships that result in increased reliance on your solutions. It’s been a well-established fact for some time now: it is always less expensive to serve existing customers than to locate and attract new ones. With SaaS, that dynamic is even more pronounced. After all, just consider all that you have invested in each of your customer relationships:
- There are the marketing and customer contacts needed to locate, attract, and sell that customer on your solutions.
- There’s the onboarding process – an effort that can sometimes require weeks or even months of work to help get that client up-to-speed on your software solution.
- Finally, you have the support time invested in helping that customer and his team overcome any difficulties that they experience while using your software.
Given that investment, can you afford not to keep those customers? Remember, that investment in time and effort has an actual cost attached to it. Success for your SaaS firm will in some measure depend on your ability to maximise your return on that investment. Naturally, the least amount of return occurs when customers only purchase your products once. The good news is that you can increase that gain by focusing on customer success since that will enable you to:
- Get renewal business. Second, third, and subsequent orders represent one of the easiest ways to grow your revenues. The initial investment in time, cost, and service can be leveraged into huge returns when you can retain old customers and keep them reliant on your solutions.
- Upsell to those customers. In addition to client retention as a revenue-growth strategy, you can also increase revenues by upselling to those customers. Develop a plan to identify additional solutions that your existing customers could use to grow their success.
Customer Success is More Important than Sales
Yes, you read that right. Customer success in SaaS matters more than sales. And customer success only occurs when you provide your customers with the right products, the right amount of support, and solutions that they know they can trust to make their lives and businesses more successful. When you can achieve those critical objectives, and identify each customers’ required level of support, you can optimise your customer success efforts and maximise revenue and growth potential. And that can help your SaaS business achieve the success that it needs to meet your short and long-term business goals. Make customer success your company’s priority today and every day!