Personalization – The Key to Success Across the Customer Lifecycle

If we were to look around, we’d find that some of the most successful companies that have shown incredible growth are those that have focused on customer experience. Uber, for example, would have just been another taxi service. But the company focused on driving better customer experiences and ended up reinventing the way people think of a taxi service. With SaaS products, success is not about finding a user. It is about acquiring new users and keeping them hooked on your product. Retaining SaaS customers can be tough since, with the rise of the digital economy, these customers are spoilt for choice. With so much competition in the SaaS environment, can more features and lower prices be the drivers of user adoption? To stand up in this overcrowded market, SaaS products have to provide elevated customer experiences. And this journey begins with Personalization. While SaaS products have to be designed to solve customer needs, they have to be driven to satisfy the customer by providing an almost Amazon-like experience. In the customer experience era that we live in, for SaaS products, this personalization has to be driven from inside the product. When this happens the product itself then becomes competent to drive, acquire and retain the customer. Successful SaaS products such as Dropbox and Slack have used this approach and are successful businesses today, solely by being experience-driven.

Onboarding

Research from Pacific Crest shows that almost 30% of SaaS companies report a high level of customer churn. And the momentum for this churn starts if you do not provide a personalized and intuitive onboarding plan. Since onboarding is the stage that familiarizes a user with the product, it is essential to guide the users through the product step by step, showcasing features that he/she is most likely to use, set up in-app messaging and guides to help the users simplify the complex onboarding process.

Determine Usage

Not all features in a SaaS product are used by all. Determining how the customers are using the product, which features they are using the most, where are they dropping off etc. are important usage parameters to consider. Assessing how users engage with the product can give deep insights that can optimize product usage. With an understanding of user behavior, SaaS companies can proactively incorporate the user feedback into their product, prioritize product features, and ensure that the right services are being delivered to the user at the right time. Personalization also means a drive towards self-service. This means providing contextual information when they need it and while they are using the product.

Effortless Engagement

Personalization using in-product enablement allows SaaS companies to drive effortless engagement with the product. They can create behavioral segmentation on the basis of the actions the users take to allow dynamic segmentation. Creating personalized user segmentations also becomes easier. This helps in driving the user to a common goal by ensuring that all engagements are highly contextual and hyper-personalized. Accelerating product adoption also becomes easier as highly engaging training content to can be delivered to the user within the application at the time when they need it. Training also then gets seamlessly integrated into the product and provides an elevated customer experience.

Relevance Rules – In campaigns and Surveys too

Most product-related marketing campaigns and surveys go unanswered solely because they are generic. It is just that one more email delivered to your inbox. In a world driven by relevance, why would users open yet another email that informs them of a product feature that they don’t use? Personalization in this context thus means sending our targeted messaging, feature updates and surveys that will drive usability. By analyzing how users interact with the product, new product features or changes can be announced in-product. Since the quality of the product experience impacts customer satisfaction, designing highly relevant and customized surveys becomes critical. These surveys and polls also have to reach the right user at the right time. NPS, CSAT and CES, the three most important customer experience metrics also have to be used appropriately and have to take an in-app and an omnichannel approach to get more contextual feedback regarding the product. Providing a personalized and connected experience is a key factor to gain user commitment towards using the product. Companies such as Slack, Zoom, Dropbox realized that there is nothing more valuable than understanding how a customer uses, interacts and engages with their product. Netflix uses data to assess what a user would like to watch. Google uses data to improve search results. None of them are actually askingthe user how to improve the product but are analyzingthe users’ behavior with the product to make it more attractive to them. With access to product-behavior data, it becomes infinitely easier to attract customers and drive in-product journeys and help the customer become more enabled. And today, customer enablement is the name of the game throughout the customer lifecycle.