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SaaS Churn Rate

28. 03. 2017

How to Retain SaaS Customers With 7 Steps (and why retention matters)

Why do you have to retain your customers? Isn't it better to acquire new ones all the time and increase the number of people you have bought from you? No, of course no. Closing more and more customers is probably one of your top business priorities but believe retention deserves being at least in the top 3. Maybe you have already read that acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining the existing ones, your current customers will become the "ambassadors" of your brand by recommending it others (who doesn't love free marketing?) and they are more likely to use your news services or products as you already share common memory together. 

7 SaaS Customer Retention Strategies You Need to Know

Retaining customers is crucial in SaaS product sales. To succeed, you'll need the ability of keeping in touch with people who are already using your products. That's the only way to achieve long-term and sustainable growth for your business.

Customer retention is much cheaper than generating new leads. Finding new customers takes up plenty of resources which you could allocate to maintaining your relationship with the existing customers. Grab them, wow them, and keep on wowing them.

Here are 7 solid customer retention strategies to help you do just that and boost your bottom line in the process.

1. Get Back to Basics

How did you get your customers in the first place? What drew them in? You already know that approach worked, and there’s no need to fix something that isn’t broken. Retain them by continually offering the same value – it’s what they already liked about you.

It's smart to conduct customer surveys and directly ask people why they have become your customers. That's how you determine what the leading factor that influenced their big decision.

Crafting a customer survey that gets you all the information you need can be tricky. Have a look at this post by Gregory Ciotti from HelpScout to learn how to create a customer survey that brings you plenty of valuable feedback.

2. Stack it Up

Upselling is the best way to make the most of any transaction. If you price upsells affordably and offer more of what your customer needs for a reasonable price, you’ll be raising the dollar amount for each transaction.

If your customers feel as though they’re getting a deal, why would they go elsewhere? An upsell that’s a great deal will incentivize their loyalty. They aren’t going to find what they’re getting for a better deal with your competitors.

If you're having doubts about the benefits of upselling, read this post from Neil Patel where he dissects Amazon's upsell strategy.

3. Guide Them

Now that they have your product, how are they going to use it? If they find that they don’t understand how to work your software, there’s no reason for them to continue their relationship with you.

That's why you should start working on your content marketing strategy. That's right – marketers and sales people need to unite when it comes to customer retention.

Provide a lot of useful tools and tutorials to walk people through the process. They’ll get used to your product and appreciate it a little more once they’re able to fully benefit from all its capabilities.

That's especially important if you're in a B2B sector. Leads generated as a result of content marketing efforts are more sales-ready than leads from paid ads and the majority of customers feel closer to this or that business after engaging with their content. So take these realities into account as your competitors are probably already doing it.

7 SaaS Customer Retention Strategies You Need to Know

4. Provide Great Support

According to Forbes, financial losses that come from poor customer service reach $75 million. Huge amount, right? A rude response, unresolved problems or even a late reply are signs of bad customer support.

When someone has a comment, complaint, or question, who is there to respond to them? If customers find that your support isn’t as responsive as they’d like, they’re going to want to switch to a competitor who can walk them through the process.

Work on cutting down your response time, but don't forget about quality – this study showed that in email responses, quality is just as important as timeliness.

No one should have to wait more than a day for a response. If you can enable live customer service chat on your website and provide instantaneous solutions, that’s even better.

5. Listen To Your Customers

Customer feedback is extremely valuable. Make sure to accurately track complaints and fix them in a timely manner. If someone takes issue with your software, don’t spend your time explaining a workaround.

Make it easy for customers to give feedback and tell you about problems they are having. Collect all of your feedback and listen to what your customers are saying. It takes time to sift through feedback, but its value makes the effort worth it.

If your customers have an idea that they believe will improve your software, put that idea to good use. You’ll be allowing your customers to shape the direction of your future. People know what they want – all you need to do is make it easy for them to get it.

6. You’re More than Just Your Product – Let People Know That

The thing about software as a service is that it’s both of things at once – it's software and service.

The problem with pushing the software angle is that you’re marketing yourself as a program. Who is behind it? Why is this software working for your customers? You need to fix this point before beginning to think about service.

And that's the most important part of your sales strategy. Your biggest selling point is the service you offer. Don't forget about that. Always lead with that foot. You’ll inspire more confidence among your customers by frequently acknowledging that there are real people behind the scenes who are working to make it all work.

You're more than your product. Your customers should know that your company is made up of a fantastic team of passionate people. Use social media to post updates about your team, show behind-the-scenes footage, and share short videos of company events.

If you're short of ideas for communicating your company culture on social media, here's a brilliant post you should check out.

7. Don’t Annoy People

Aggressive marketing tactics usually don’t work because many people find them intrusive. Don’t spam the email inboxes of your customers. Don’t constantly send out surveys. Don’t send a long string of follow up emails when they aren’t necessary.

Most customers will interpret these tactics as strong-armed spam. Keep generalized emails to a minimum.

There's no point in trying too many strategies at once – you need to track your progress and know exactly where it's coming from.

You achieve customer retention in baby steps. When something isn’t working for your customer base, change the course as soon as you notice the problem.

Don't forget to regularly gather feedback from your customers. That's how you make sure that they have a good experience with your product and everything is right on track.

The article was published by Tess Pajaron from Open Colleges.

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Tess Pajaron
With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.
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