How to be a Customer-Centric SaaS Business

Customer-centricity in SaaS is an important focal point for growing your business. With the way businesses operate today, there's a lot of emphasis on the quality of the software delivered. This is usually a trade-off for a less fleshed-out customer service model. In turn, your company may experience a general disconnect between customers and the quality of the experience.

Today, finding the sweet spot between good service and attentive customer awareness is essential. This growth in relevance can be somewhat attributed to the pandemic. Most customers wish to have a quality interaction in every avenue possible, including moments of contact with your company.

Being customer-centric isn't just beneficial for the reviews alone. According to reports, customer-centric companies can be 60% more profitable than their counterparts who don't prioritize customers. So if you're looking to increase your company's success while also gaining public trust, customer centricity is the way forward.

Why you should earn loyalty from your customers

Customers that are satisfied with your services are more likely to give your company repeat business. In fact, according to research, loyal customers have a fourteen times higher likelihood of making a purchase again than new customers. This level of turnaround is tremendous and can catalyze astronomical growth.

Poor customer service is never a good thing, especially in SaaS, where most of your profit is generated from return buyers. It is never worth it to risk losing these paying customers with poor service. There is always room for improvement, and low retention rates are the equivalent of a sinking ship.

Customers that are no longer trusting will jump ship and choose your competitor as a lifeboat. You don't want these results, so a positive customer experience should always be something you must strive towards.

One thing might not be obvious, though. As much as your customer experience (CX) reps have information on customers, they cannot read their minds when the trigger is pulled, and a bad experience has been delivered. To mitigate this lack of foresight, you should have a few rules of thumb regarding poor customer experiences.

A bad experience could include the unavailability of an agent when a customer attempts to make contact. Also, a lack of data on the customer leading to a lack of information to address their problems in a personalized way generally gets on the nerves of paying customers looking to resolve their problems.

The customer journey is a template that informs a lot of the decisions made regarding customer retention, so keeping that in mind when setting up your customer service tools helps you avoid detracting from your original intentions.

While you may be seeing great results with chatbots related to engagement with support, that doesn't automatically imply customer satisfaction, which could bite you back in the long term. Awareness of how your methods work and their general responses from customers will be what fuels your future decisions.

A customer journey map can't be stressed enough as a major player in your long-term success. This tool has been noted to have reduced the cost of service in companies by 15-20% over time.

Using technology to create a better customer experience

Customer service today has many avenues that can be used to increase its success. Technology is at the forefront of the tools utilized by companies, and as a SaaS business, your organization is definitely not technology averse. Still, there is a lot to learn even with your proficiency, and in the area of customer service, there are some valuable ways to increase trust between you and customers with the clever use of technology.

Your company's main areas of technology may be channeled towards measuring the strength of your network, latency, uptime, and other factors which are undeniably important. However, in addition to those, you'll also need to keep track of things like technical metrics, customer experience metrics, and customer service metrics to measure the level of connection your company has with its customers.

Ultimately, a business with a robust database of customer experience-related metrics will be more informed on the best steps to take for future-proofing your business model. Sure, your service may be the latest and greatest thing to come out of SaaS and the tech industry, but having a genuine connection with customers poses many more opportunities than it may seem at first.

Reaching out to customers for up-selling and cross-selling will be much easier when your company has a good level of trust with its users. You'll have a better sense of when to engage customers with your new ideas and other incentives that they may be interested in.

The insights gained from your customers are an important way to structure your customer journey map over time. This will be needed as times are constantly changing, so your user base might not be interested in the same things they cared about in previous years.

Align your marketing and customer service teams for better leads

Your company is best equipped to succeed when every part of the organizational structure clearly understands the direction they are headed.

Therefore, your sales and marketing teams will be able to generate better leads by creating customer personas based on the data from your customer service metrics. Customer personas are very useful for tailoring your content to specific people and helping your sales team members develop a better idea of your customers before even reaching out to them.

Being a SaaS business, your primary forms of marketing will require you to be extremely convincing to your target customers as a need rather than a want. Therefore, your teams must know the pain points these potential customers are experiencing. They should be able to appeal to those feelings in a way that addresses those points with transparency and reliability.

Challenges of being a customer-centric organization

Pivoting toward customer-centricity is not an easy task to perform, but it is well worth the time and effort. There are already pre-existing silos structured around your current business model for most companies. For a customer-centric shift, many of these structures will need to be remodeled.

Customer-centric companies are supposed to have seamless communication between the departments, so there will need to be more communication between the teams in your company. This also implies that managers who have never operated in a customer-focused sphere will have to adapt to the company's new model.

The shift also implies that your company's culture will need to change and be aligned around the needs of customers first and foremost. Resources might need to be spent on re-education of some employees, management changes, and most importantly, technology platforms that will be used to manage data related to customers.

Further down the line, you may also begin to face issues with translating the data gained from customer service metrics into actionable steps that your company can take advantage of. This will require further investments into data analytics experts who will model new customer journey maps and communicate their intentions in ways that are acceptable to the rest of your organization.

Best practices to apply as a customer-centric company

As a customer-centric company, it's essential to focus on delivering the best possible experience to your customers. By following these best practices below, you can ensure that your company remains customer-focused and delivers the best possible experience.

Hire with customer success in mind

As a customer-centric organization, your employees should align with your vision for the future, so hiring must also be focused on talent that can adapt to customer-centric thinking and how customer experience shapes your business strategies.

Prioritize relationships

While having all the metrics and analytics is always worth doing, it is crucial not only to hone in on the figures, but also your company should have a strong sense of community with the customers. You should have a mutual understanding and see past the revenue performance reports. After all, customers are still people. People who trust your organization can ultimately be of great benefit when you have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Use a central CRM database for customer data

Collecting the data is essential, but actually having it all in a digestible format is also valuable. A customer-centric strategy should also come along with a centralized way to access the data and metrics received from customers. Going on the profile of a single customer should have a page that has all you need to see in a simple user interface.

Bridge customer success with your company's culture

As explained earlier, when the employees of a company are also in on the importance of customer-centricity, you'll be able to see immediate results when your company begins to shift its strategies.

Creating a customer-centric SaaS business

It's tough to be a customer-centric business in the SaaS world. You have to innovate and evolve while also keeping your customers happy constantly. Most companies struggle with this delicate balance, often choosing innovation over customer satisfaction. As a result, they lose customers and fall behind their competition.

In order to be successful, your company needs to focus on the customer experience and put them at the center of everything you do. This can be a challenge, but with the right technology in place and aligning your marketing and customer service teams, you can make it happen.

Author

Emma Bakh

CX Manager

Contributor