Want to sustain growth?
Want to increase customer base?
Want your customers to stay lifetime with your business?
I think this is the right place for you!
If we look at the sales process,it not does not start with direct pitching,it starts with research about the customer to provide him the best possible solution and finally it never ends with customer onboarding,it continues till the customer becomes a brand advocate.
Retention of any customer is very important as research indicates it is viable and profitable to retain a customer than getting a new one.
For all this to happen it is very important that your organization not only focuses on the core product but gives equal emphasis on customer engagement and experience.
Before we embark on this journey of customer engagement in SAAS,it is very important that we understand the actual meaning of customer engagement.
Paul Greenberg (for HubSpot) has perfectly defined customer engagement as:
“Customer engagement is the ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, chosen by the customer.”
According to the definition it is clear that how we communicate with our customers will definitely affect our future growth.
Let’s take a look at some of the statistics showing the relevance of customer engagement.
- Gallup research shows that a fully-engaged customer represents 23% more revenue than average.
- According to a study by Hall and Partners’ “Engager” shows that up to 2/3 of a brand’s profits may rely on effective customer engagement.
- Another customer engagement study by Ray Wang of Constellation Research found that “companies who have improved engagement increase cross-sell by 22%, drive up-sell revenue from 13% to 51%, and also increase order sizes from 5% to 85%.”
Now the question arises -How? But before that it is imperative that we know the few metrics that let us know how engaged our customers are
- Customer Retention score- If your customer is coming back it means you’ve been successful in hooking them to your product and they see a value in what you’re providing.
- Net Promoter Score(NPS)– This is one score every founder should measure.The purpose of NPS is to track your customer loyalty to your brand and how likely they are to recommend your product to their peers.
- First Contact Resolution Rate(FCRR)- FCRR means,the customer issue should be resolved in a single interaction- could be a phone call, in a single response via email or social media or single live chat session.He doesn’t need to follow up.
- Customer Churn Rate– If your churn rate is high, you are very likely doing something wrong in terms of customer service. Customers are generally loyal,only an unhappy customer goes hunting. It is very important that you understand customer needs, sort out any issues, notify your customers about any new releases and even do feedback to understand where you’re lacking.
- Daily Usage- Its very important to monitor whether your customers are using your solution on a regular basis and how it is trending over time.Things like NPS, LTV, query resolution rate are all important but knowing how frequently your customers are using your product is the most important metric in SaaS. This is what will ensure stickiness to your product.
- Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)– It will let you know how much growth and expansion is happening within your existing client base. If MRR is increasing , without adding new clients indicate your customers see a value in what you’re providing.
- Engagement– Along with your product you also need to monitor how effectively is your customer engaging with your content/materials surrounding your product.
After you make all the above calculations for your business then definitely you should move forward with different strategies to increase customer engagement for your SAAS Company.
Most importantly at the very basic level,all SaaS businesses must aim to educate and entertain their users to boost satisfaction and retention.The aim here is that the customers feel compelled to login to your platform in the morning, during lunchtime, and even before bedtime. You want the stickiness factor to retain every time.
Some of the strategies that we can apply to gain customer engagement.
- Sending triggered Messages: For any business to run smoothly, timely communication with the customers plays a vital role. Everytime you will have to make the customer realise that you are there for him and ‘his preference is your priority’
For maintaining the same you must definitely be sending different types of messages to them be it welcome messages,product updates,thank you messages or even emails,but here to stand out in the competition you should definitely take the help of data to make your message more relevant and valuable to the customers. Herein triggered messages direct the business towards personalization which is one thing which interests the customers every time.
For Example, a triggered message can have a push effect on the customers who signed up but didn’t log in for 3-4 days continuously. A personalized message delivered to his inbox will definitely nudge him and therefore with a little more effort from the business’ might help in reducing the churn rate.
- Engagement with in app chat feature:For ones imagine you went to a store to buy a shirt,you see everyone in the store is busy with their work and are not paying attention to you.There is nobody to help you out with sizes of the shirt,nobody to direct you to the trial room,and nobody to help you solve queries.
Now the first thing which comes to your mind is Let’s Leave!
Do you want your customers to feel the same frustration? If not then the chat bot feature is very important for your SAAS business.
If a customer lands up on your platform it is very important all his queries are immediately resolved!
- Free Training: After investing money in a new software if a customer is not aware as to how to operate the software he will definitely feel that he has committed a blunder and he would never come back to your business.Provide free training to the new customers of how to operate the software and navigate through the same. At NeoDove, training is a mandatory part of our onboarding process irrespective of whether it is an enterprise account or a just single user.
- Prepare Video Tutorials: After the purchase has been made by the customer there are many things to divert him from your software ,there is work,family and many such external forces which take away his attention from your software.
So while these external forces are doing their work you also don’t stop your work,keep on providing the users the reason to stay back to your software.
While blogs,e books guides are common ways which have been used to get customer engagement,here it is important to state that video format is the best format to get the attention of anybody,therefore creating engaging and knowledgeable videos which have a stimulating effect on the customers should be prepared and timely delivered to the customers.
To prepare good tutorial videos the most important step to be taken up here is learning storytelling techniques which will always have an engaging effect on customers because who doesn’t like stories!
- Provide Incentives:In very simple terms,who doesn’t like gifts?According to all the motivational theories, incentives drive the customers to stay with the businesses for the long run.Timely recognition of the customers,telling them that they are always in our mind is very important and to show them the same you should provide them incentives which add value to them as well as to our products.
Rather than going up for superficial incentives every business should try to provide incentives which have real time value!
For example,the incentive can be as simple as letting the frequent customers try out our new features before anybody else,this creates a positive impression in the customer’s mind and in turn helps us to improve the retention period of the customer and get his loyalty. At NeoDove we run a quarterly Best User Contest to drive stickiness to our product. More the customer uses the product more he is aware of the value that can be achieved.
- Gather feedback from customers: It is rightly said that change is the only constant. No matter how good your software is, the customer will eventually get bored if you don’t bring in new improved features in your software .Therefore rather than letting your software depreciate in the eyes of customers, bring out features that the customer is longing for. Periodic customer feedback and surveys will let you know what customer is looking for.
You can also follow popular SaaS blogs to know the best practices across the Industry.
All SaaS companies need to measure if not all at least a few metrics to measure the customer engagement and use the result data to improve trial conversions, prevent churns and improve the product usage.