How to optimize your SaaS business for customer experience

The tech scene will never really stop adapting to changes. Customer expectations are growing and shifting as time passes, so there will never be any point where your SaaS company may feel like customer experience optimization is complete.

However, there are some great ways to ensure your efforts are not in vain, allowing you to be consistently reliable.

Refining your customer experience (CX) is always a good idea. Many companies can set themselves apart in customers' eyes by providing good CX. In turn, this is noticed by new customers who are more likely to spend on businesses that have a streamlined CX model.

If a customer is a fan of your CX, they are 37% more likely to recommend your company to friends and family.

How does customer experience optimization work?

Because customer experience is an area focused on giving your clients personalized interactions that address their needs, customer experience optimization is how companies deepen their understanding of the customer journey across every stage. With optimization, your organization can finally begin to showcase a customer-centric business model that leads to loyalty.

In a customer's eyes, optimization will often feel like your organization is consistently going the extra mile for their needs.

The customer journey is an essential thing for CX experts to get right, and customer experience optimization makes that journey more understandable by honing in on a few things:

Website experience

Creating a better customer journey starts with the main part of your business that customers will interact with first, your website. This page must not be clunky, hard to follow, or boring to use.

Instead, it should have everything a new customer needs to start, all in a few scrolls. Navigating a website should be seamless.

While it might be somewhat hard to determine the value of your website UX, there are tools online capable of analyzing a website and determining the areas that need improvements. Such tools include Google analytics and the use of personal surveys across the board.

Communication channels

At various points during your CX journey, the communication channels used by your organization will need to be reviewed and analyzed for validity.

Getting customers to interact through your available channels comfortably is worth prioritizing as their voices will inform you on what works and what doesn't. These channels are also responsible for helping your company to inform and educate users better on the value of your services.

Why should you invest in customer experience optimization?

CX teams and leaders are becoming more prevalent as SaaS organizations begin to realize that quality customer experiences are a large chunk of the work required to succeed. It does not matter how excellent your services are; if you are unable to let each individual customer make the most out of it, then there is basically no success gained.

When customers feel heard, especially during contact points, they are more inclined to keep doing business with your organization; that's why the communication channels are as important as we highlighted earlier.

Providing something like omnichannel support helps ensure that customers feel heard at every step in communication. Platforms should not limit the voice of a customer. After all, you are talking to an individual, so that should be accounted for.

How to optimize your SaaS organization for customer experience

To optimize your SaaS organization for customer experience, consider the following tips:

Create a strong feedback loop

When thinking of CX optimization, you've got to start from the top, right at the peak. In terms of SaaS, that's your customers.

Without them, your company will not be able to present its services as a worthwhile experience. Therefore, you should be ready to hear what these customers have to say. There are a few ways to collect customer data, but you should be looking towards this in terms of structured and unstructured data.

Structured data: These pieces of information are generally quantitative and provide a basic rundown of customer information such as age, ethnicity, geolocations, and spending patterns. It gives you a good idea of customer demographics by looking into customer data.

Unstructured data: This is usually based on how customers express themselves both in terms of complaints and praises. The way they use messages and emails, social media, and other communication channels to help achieve their goals. If a customer is someone with strong communication skills, they may be more relevant in terms of feedback as their opinions can help inform internal departments of your organization.

Learn how to measure customer optimization

There are lots of ways to solicit feedback from your primary customers, but you should use methods that measure whether or not optimization is working.

For example, using metrics and events. Suppose you have access to how often users are on the platform and their level of engagement. In that case, you can use the retention and engagement data to inform your behavioral analytics for customer experience. This data is usually super insightful for learning how users tend to utilize your service. If they use it in unprecedented ways, there is a learning curve to be appreciated and acknowledged.

Your metrics should be designed to align with your main business goals. As a cloud company, you will probably need metrics based on customer retention rates far more than something like purchase patterns for bonus services.

Customer pulse surveys are especially great as they can be sent out via email or on your website, giving customers the chance to provide feedback within a moment's notice. You can quickly gauge their satisfaction levels and understand if any pain points need addressing.

In the area of pain points, customer feedback allows you to know the touchpoints of your customer journey that affect user experience. There may be some bugs that you were unaware of, and feedback will inform you about them. You'll need to speedily address these problems and avoid creating a mess as a company. When users find these pain points, they are more likely to move on to your competitors, so proactively addressing them gives you an upper hand.

Visualize your customer journey with a map

A customer journey map is a relatively recent idea that has gained traction due to its simplicity and effectiveness at prying into the customer's side of your user experience. While the term 'map' is used in the name, a customer journey map is more of a chart that breaks down the customer journey into different stages.

The stages of a customer journey are an essential part of this map. These stages allow your customer experience team to dive into the headspace of a customer at various levels of interaction with your organization.

Five basic stages include the Awareness Stage, Interest Stage, Purchase Stage, Experience Stage, and Loyalty Stage. These stages are great to learn about as you can begin to structure your CX team to account for customers at each stage rather than in a general sense.

Without a customer journey map, your team may be treating newer customers with the level of expertise used for clients at the loyalty stage. That creates a whole host of problems that might not have been anticipated.

Familiarizing yourself with the stages isn't the end goal, and as we explained earlier in this article, you'll need to reiterate customer experience optimization constantly. Things like your touchpoints can make use of improvements over time.

Relevant departments can also focus on each stage. Your marketing team is more likely to be proficient at the interest stage, gaining a new set of eyes on your company.

An excellent way to visualize this is by summarizing each stage according to its touchpoints, pain points, relevant departments, and growth opportunities.

Solidify the value of your customer journey

Your customer experience journey map has to be established in a great way. Once that is done, you'll also need to ensure that you are always on the right track. Here are a few tips to help with that:

Break down silos

Isolating the departments of your organization is never a good thing if you're looking to introduce new ideas. Gather representatives from various departments to help with creating an ideal customer journey.

Observe and keep track of any patterns

Your cross-functional team with members from every department will only ever be valuable if you can identify what tendencies seem to occur and how often they happen. Significant milestones in a CX journey should be separated from the lesser interactions to maintain a good level of personalization.

Always be open to new opportunities

Once you've got all the information on customer experience optimization, there's only really one thing left to do: acknowledge the new opportunities for improvement. The value of data analytics and insights will make any new opportunities receive proper scrutinization to know ahead of launch if it has a good likelihood for success.

Optimizing SaaS businesses for a great customer experience

As a SaaS business, you know that customer experience is key to your success. But providing a good customer experience can be difficult when dealing with so many different channels - phone, chat, email, social media. It's hard to keep track of all the interactions and ensure each customer gets the best possible experience.

Author

Emma Bakh

CX Manager

Contributor