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16 Practical Actionable Ways SaaS Companies Can Better Serve Customers

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Many companies find it much easier and more cost-effective to subscribe to software as a service programs than to develop their own systems. While it’s essential for SaaS providers to develop a product that’s both unique and in-demand, that in itself isn’t enough to create a loyal customer base. It’s also important to provide ongoing, thoughtful customer service and support. 

SaaS customers may range from tech novices to those who are industry experts themselves, so it’s never wise to assume that a “one-size-fits-all” approach will be effective. It’s important to get to know your customers and their needs individually and put in the work needed to continually enhance your offerings and earn their business. Below, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council share practical, actionable ways SaaS companies can provide a better customer experience.

1. Get To Know Each Prospect’s KPIs

During the sales process, whether it’s automated or in-person, take the time to understand what the prospect’s key performance indicators are, and why. No SaaS solution is right for every prospect, and finding good “fits” for your SaaS solution will allow growth and scalability. Otherwise, customer retention will be a problem. – Paul Kirwin, Channel Signal

2. Work To Understand Your Users’ Motivations

The only thing you should care about is understanding a user’s motivation for “X”—in other words, why do they care about a specific aspect of your product, and what would spur them to take any step along the journey you create? If you can anticipate all of their needs ahead of time, be it through a FAQ, a tutorial, a clean UX, a prefilled field and so on, you’re golden. – Heather Wilde, theDifference Consulting

3. Make Sure You Understand The Customer’s Workflow And Pain Points

The key to providing the best customer experience is to understand their workflow and pain points and ensure that your product addresses them. Building something “cool and shiny” appeals to engineers, but if the product does not solve a problem, then it will result in a bad experience, an increased burden on the customer and a rapid falloff in adoption. – Adam Saltman, Eko

4. Conduct Regular Satisfaction Surveys And Reviews

The key is to create frequent, structured opportunities for listening to and learning from customers. SaaS providers can reduce “surprises” at renewal time by conducting regular customer satisfaction surveys, holding quarterly business reviews and facilitating monthly peer-to-peer roundtable discussions. Using a central customer success platform can also help you capture and act on all feedback. – Kevin Hickey, Prevalent, Inc.

5. Establish Consumption-Based Pricing

SaaS companies should lean into consumption-based pricing, which allows customers to buy credits based on their expected usage. This means customers pay only for the value they receive, and it forces SaaS companies to continuously innovate and improve the services they offer. It’s a win-win that ensures customers get value for their money and that the SaaS provider’s offerings remain competitive. – Sudheesh Nair, ThoughtSpot

6. Emphasize Ongoing Improvements

SaaS providers must put more emphasis on ongoing enablement. These platforms deliver new features and enhancements every day. Many users are unaware of opportunities to leverage new features or functions to deliver great outcomes and customer experience. Providers need to transition from passive (such as videos and FAQs) models to more active and engaging models. Clients will be satisfied and subscriptions will grow. – Phil Alberta, Next Phase Consulting

7. Iterate Based On Customer Feedback

Customer feedback and iteration is the No. 1 way to improve on products and services. In a super-competitive world, customers have many options, so SaaS companies that acknowledge, analyze and take action on customer requirements end up providing the best experience. – Poorvi Shrivastav, HubSpot

8. Discover And Create Each Customer’s ‘Easy’ Button

What can you build that acts as the “Easy” button for your end user? That is our approach to the customer experience. We want to provide a holistic solution that automates what should be automated and supports the end user as much as possible so that it feels like they’re hitting the “Easy” button every time they use us. – UB Ciminieri, interviewIA

9. Set Up Forums To Hear From Customers And Industry Experts

One actionable way SaaS companies can provide a better customer experience is to create forums to listen to their customers as well as industry experts. Additionally, SaaS vendors should be “measured” based on the ease of onboarding new clients as well as deploying new functionality. – Mark Schlesinger, Broadridge Financial Solutions

10. Make It Easy To Learn About Your Product

It seems like a no-brainer, but building business ops around a customer-centric mindset is key. Today’s buyers are smart, pressed for time and very capable of finding the information they want. When SaaS companies make it impossible to learn about a product without a demo or gate important information, it tends to be off-putting to customers. Make it easy for them to buy—don’t frustrate them. – Shelly Kramer, Futurum Research

11. Build Complex Examples Highlighting Multiple Features

Create examples that utilize more than a single feature of your platform. Often, there are subtle differences in an implementation when multiple features are used at once. Don’t leave those as exercises for the customer; instead, build a more complex example to show how the various features work together. The easier it is to build their own demo, the more likely they are to stay around. – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket

12. Provide Multichannel Support

The answer is really simple: better support. SaaS providers tend to build these great products without ideating around how to support and secure them. Providers need to build their support and security models up front to drive customer confidence, then provide effective multichannel support to ensure full adoption. When looking at reviews, many of the top SaaS providers have “poor support” as the main complaint. – Endre Walls, Customers Bancorp

13. Ensure Each Client Has A Dedicated Service Rep

As a customer of SaaS, the one thing we need is the ability to reach someone to get something done. As long as we have a customer rep who can serve as our “champion,” we can stick with the vendor. If we are stuck with only call centers, then it’s a non-starter. – Seth Wasserman, Menin Hospitality

14. Demonstrate Your Commitment To Security

In the eDiscovery space, many clients won’t allow their data to be stored in SaaS platforms because of security concerns. Their private data is too important. If SaaS platforms want to compete in this space, they’ll need to be very transparent in showcasing controls, capabilities, and assurances that they have thought through common and even edge case scenarios. – Jordan McQuown, George Jon

15. Keep Tabs On Customer Interactions With Your Team And Product

Proactive measuring of every customer interaction with your team and your product allows you to keep your hand on the pulse. Customers telegraph their reactions and feedback loud and early. All you have to do is to build systems to listen to and address that feedback in a timely manner. – Olga V. Mack, Parley Pro

16. Consider Integrating With Other Platforms

With the rapid adoption of SaaS solutions, companies should be aware that the attention of our customers, and their time, is the most valuable asset we have. One strategy to assist in keeping them engaged is to consider incorporating APIs for other solutions within your console. With more and more innovation, integration with other platforms can often lead to higher value for all. – J. Tyler Rohrer, Remotely


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