The following is a guest submission from Teresa Millard, a passionate marketing strategist at Job Application Review. She loves crunching numbers and reading about the latest digital trends. If you want to get in touch with her, you can reach her on Twitter: @thea_millard.
Did you know: just by increasing your customer retention by 5% can improve your profits by 25% to 95%? There’s high reward for little effort. The challenge becomes finding ways to get that 5% increase…
The last couple of years have seen a boom in SaaS companies, with numerous startups competing with big brands. It’s a blooming industry that will continue to evolve and increase in popularity in the coming years for one simple reason: accessibility and reliability. With only a few clicks, clients can have access to incredible tools that mostly take care of themselves. SaaS software enhances business productivity and has an exquisite ease-of-use that makes lives easier for employees.
However, there is a downside to popularity, and that is the fierce competition it brings.
It’s no longer about luring in new customers, but keeping them. Customer retention is of paramount importance, and maintaining that loyalty is progressively more difficult.
Loyal clients will become your brand ambassadors who will speak highly of your products or services in a crowded market where everyone is fighting for each one of them in turn. The first step to standing out is using smart tools to turn at-risk customers into your biggest assets.
MailChimp for rescuing lost customers with email
Email is still a powerful tool that shows its prowess daily. When it comes to customer care service, around 44% of customers claim that they prefer it as a means of communication with a company. Unfortunately, only 33% find it to be an efficient marketing tool, which opens a window. It means that there’s room for improvement, and there is an audience that will respond to email strategies that will help you both acquire and retain your most loyal customers. All you have to do is find them, perfect them, and apply them to your business.
MailChimp is an excellent tool to start off with, one that is considered the best email marketing platform by numerous experts. One incredibly efficient way to use it is to remind your clients of your value proposition. Email automation is an excellent help for retaining customers because it proves ongoing dedication. It’s crucial for sending regular newsletters, announcements of discounts, or other significant events that improve the relationship between your business and your customer.
More importantly, you can create special retention emails that encourages those lost customers to come back. It’s exceptionally easy and has exquisite value. Send emails to clients who have gone a longer than average since the last time they logged in, and make valuable offers. Never forget the three golden rules for retention emails:
Lure them back with reminders of the benefits of your product or at least encourage them to leave honest feedback through surveys, like a restaurant would, for example. It’s quite a similar practice. Think of yourself as if they had lost the taste for your SaaS products and find ways that might draw them back. The important thing to always keep in mind is that inactivity should not be ignored. If a customer has not been inactive on their account for a few weeks, they might soon cancel the subscription. You need to react before that happens.
Chargify for retention-focused SaaS billing
Billing solutions are one of the most useful tools you have at your disposal in the digital era. Plenty of services are now either automated and taken care of by a piece of software that can make your life easier. More importantly, it can assure a smooth experience for your customers. Chargify is one of the optimal solutions for improving the relationship with your clients, by providing fast services that overall enhance your business’ quality. And it’s made to last. Everything from your activity to your cash flow will remain under scrutinizing attention.
Chargify is an excellent tool, and even though its packages range from $40 to $1,000 depending on the number of customers you have, the average value of a lost client is $243 around the world, so it’s a wise investment.
It handles free trial periods (which are crucial for most SaaS models) refunds, one-time fees, promotions, and reminders of failed attempts to extract funds from credit cards. It’s a useful tool for the company managing expenses and subscriptions, and it can ensure a smooth experience for your customers, which will ultimately help retain them.
Google Analytics for future-proofing your retention strategy
While it’s a must-have tool for all websites out there, Google Analytics has quite a few features that are crucial for SaaS. It can provide you with endless information about a particular client’s activity or lack thereof. In order to increase customer retention, you need to understand what they like, want, and need. By knowing their activity, you will be able to tell when you should react and prevent a customer from being lost.
By understanding the preference of each of your viewer, you can further predict what their future interests will be. For example, a subscription cancellation. According to research from 1 million SaaS customers, nearly every cancellation was preceded by a “period of non-use.” And it makes perfect sense. If the client realizes they are paying for a service they are no longer using, they will cancel it. It’s normal. That is why it’s crucial to master Google Analytics to track customer engagement and usage.
One simple way to use it is by looking at their login regularity. How often they log into their account can be potentially invaluable information regarding their future actions. That way, you can specifically encourage engagement, know who to target, and personalize adjustments according to each client in part.
ZenDesk for simple and snappy support
In this day and age, some smart customers want and expect dedicated customer engagement, and it needs to be instant. An average of 9.5 minutes are spent waiting for a human to respond to a call, which can ultimately lead to a lost client. However, it can be avoided by using tools such as ZenDesk that assure problem-solving are your top priorities. As a SaaS company, you always have to keep selling because every single day, you need to stop a client from hitting the cancel subscription button. That is why a killer customer service is essential. After all, it is called ‘software as a service’.
ZenDesk offers customer care on nearly every channel existent, and it will be paramount for retaining them. It’s a useful support system that thrives on one-on-one discussions that will resolve any issues quickly. One solved conflict can lead to a lifetime customer who appreciates your fast response to their problems. You can engage with clients in real-time, which creates a stronger connection that ultimately may lead to their loyalty and your long-term success.
One unhappy or confused customer can turn into a loyal client through an effective support system. Know the moments of truth that could ultimately propel you ahead of your competition by designing an excellent customer experience.
Big Door for customer rewards
Customer retention is tied to customer satisfaction and your ability to keep them interested and engaged in your services. Around 82% of companies claim that customer retention is cheaper than gaining new customers, so this solution will be cost-efficient in the long run. Loyalty programs can be an excellent way to maintain clients by creating a sense of surprise and expectancy. These small pleasant surprises can increase customer satisfaction not only because it’s free, but it’s also a story they are eager to tell others. Thus, your loyal subscribers can become your brand ambassadors. SaaS companies need to sell every day, so they need to delight customers regularly.
BigDoor is an excellent option that will help your business deliver an engaging and rewarding experience. Whether on web or mobile, it aids with loyalty programs by promoting the beautiful concept of loyalty marketing. That implies the introduction of non-dollar backed currencies that efficiently reward both purchases and soft actions. It’s not solely about prize money. You can offer anything from free features, free month subscription, free storage (for cloud solutions), or perhaps even a discount for the next year.
If customers know your brand and connect with your business, they will come back to renew their subscription. Your most loyal clients will become your ambassadors. And, as your ambassadors, they will have the inherent duty and pleasure of spreading the word about your excellent SaaS services and recommend them to others. Never lose sight that customer retention opens doorways to new subscribers.
This is a great list of retention resources, Teresa! I think it is more common to think of Google Analytics for customer acquisition, but there are a number of features that assist with customer retention as well so I’m glad you brought that up. And special thanks for including Chargify 🙂