“Without Data, you’re just another person with an opinion” – W. Edwards Deming
Technology today has crept into every aspect of business and has become an important part of every unit. As businesses begin to get laser-focused on innovation and agility, taking a data-driven approach to derive intelligent, quantitative and qualitative insights becomes the path to success. In this data-driven economy where software is eating the world, business strategies have to now be backed by data for smarter and faster decision-making. When it comes to staying ahead of the curve from competition and top of the mind for the customer, and to make intelligent decisions proactively, data becomes the ultimate leveler. Given that we are now surrounded by a deluge of data, how can SaaS products leverage the customer data at their disposal to deliver smart customer experiences and make them loyalists for life?
Optimize the Onboarding Experience
Onboarding serves as the first step to customer retention for SaaS products. It defines the kind of relationship that you will have with the customer. A simple and effective onboarding process is key and the first step to creating that ‘aha’ moment in your customers’ journey. Leveraging the customer data, SaaS products can drive more personalized onboarding experiences and help the customers get to the goal that they value in the shortest possible time. Making the onboarding process contextual, ensuring that the customers are not bombarded with irrelevant information, providing them with the resources they will be needing the most, introducing them to the tools and buttons that they are most likely to use etc. are a few things that can personalize this experience for them and make it more impactful.
Intelligent Product Tutorial
Handholding the customers through the initial journey across the product is essential. However, it is also important to assess the kind of journey they prefer. Leveraging customer data, SaaS companies can identify how a customer is using their product, what are her pain points while using the product and can also see where the customers drop off regularly. With this information, they can create more targeted and specific product tutorials, guide them to a knowledge repository that will help them resolve their queries via self-service and in-turn optimize their product journey. Leveraging data, all information regarding the product that is relevant to the customer can be delivered in-product and not via separate emails that a customer is unlikely to open.
Assessing how engaged the customers are with the product is also essential to drive usage and customer retention. With the customer data and customer usage data at hand, organizations can identify how engaged the users are with the product. The level and manner of product usage will also vary depending on the users – a high-level manager and a junior level executive will have different expectations from the product. Using in-product behavioral data, SaaS products can drive intuitive recommendations and provide a ‘Netflix-like’ experience to foster greater customer experience.
Context is gold in today’s competitive economy. When it comes to surveys, leveraging the customer data to create surveys that will generate a high response rate is a smart move. Creating engaging branding surveys and polls that are relevant to each user and delivered at the right time are important to ensure that the polls do not go unanswered. Creating NPS, CSAT and CES surveys that account for how the users engage with the product and ensure that these reach the user at the right time to get more relevant product feedback. And this can be achieved by employing customer data.
Product evolution is a constant in today’s competitive age. But how can SaaS companies make sure that they are making upgrades, updates and product fixes that are relevant to their customers? This is again done by using the customer data. Also, all product-related messaging, updates and surveys have to be delivered directly in-product and in a device-agnostic manner to drive usage. Data becomes a critical contributor of success here as it helps companies assess the changes the product needs, the feature enhancements the users demand, determine the information that the users need to become more productive and provide the same proactively.
In the age of self-service, it is customer data that helps you determine the training needs of the users. By analyzing how the users interact with the product, SaaS companies can guide users in the right direction using highly personalized training experiences that are delivered when the users need it. Tracking the engagement metrics can assist training departments to determine the measure of content effectiveness and its relevance, make suitable changes proactively, and ensure that the users are never left searching for answers.
There’s a saying “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. In today’s competitive age, this is especially relevant as the smallest oversight can lead to the potential downfall of a great product. Data helps SaaS products understand where their weakest link is, and then change that dynamics. There is no guesswork here…no time spent wondering what you can do to attract and retain your customers. There is just data and along with it the numerous possibilities of what you can do more to service your customer better.