The concept of SaaS customer success is a mindset shift that helps customers get the most value out of a SaaS product or service.
A strategy for after the initial sale is essential for SaaS businesses. Digital products are often hard to navigate on the first try and can leave users unaware of certain features and benefits for which they’ve already paid.
You want to be able to retain the customers who sign on for your software, and you want them to generate new business for you. If you lack the necessary support for those customers, they won’t recommend you to their contacts.
SaaS Customer Success
Customer success in SaaS demands an overall positive experience and benefits for your clients as well as growth and profit for your business. While it’s possible to forgo strict customer success strategies when you’re just starting, proceeding blindly and without a strategy to guide you isn’t a sustainable model.
Follow the six key strategies below to create your own success.
1. Set Customer Health Metrics
Leading indicators are the metrics you track and monitor to measure change, both positive and negative. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the types and sizes of metrics to continuously collect. Make sure to gather all available customer data into a single location to avoid accidentally missing a customer profile or segment.
This includes watching indicators like product use, Customer Success Manager (CSM) sentiment, productivity, and capacity usage. To determine your business’s primary indicators, ask yourself whether you can analyze your performance without it.
By measuring the right indicators, you’ll know if there are any gaps.
2. Build Customer Segments
While you may only sell a specific type of service or product, your customer base can consist of many types of buyers.
In SaaS, customer segmentation boils down to properly defining the different groups of customers according to industry, size, income, technicality, and market. Whatever criteria you settle on to build segments of your customers, it’s important that they’re all trackable and consistent. Avoid data that can’t be categorized and analyzed for trends and anomalies.
3. Optimize Workflows
Workflow optimization is an essential requirement for scalability. It’s the process of mapping out how a task is accomplished and finding the best way to accomplish it. That makes sure you apply your best practices and create scalable processes for your team. Even better if you can trigger those workflows automatically based on changes in your data.
Creating automated and optimizable workflows allows you to automatically generate the necessary tasks to best serve your customers and assign them to the system or employees responsible for them. At the same time, optimization allows you to track all activities and productivity rates at scale.
4. Garner Intelligence from Frontline Teams
Your frontline experts have the most exposure to the needs of your customers. Their vantage point allows them to trigger the appropriate workflows. To get this right, you’ll need to compile and organize CSM observations, making them measurable, actionable, and trackable.
Input from CSMs is critical because they often see what other data might miss. They can best understand whether a customer enjoys using your SaaS product, or if they are likely to switch vendors when it’s time for renewal. They also can observe changes in the customer’s business that might impact how they use your SaaS product, such as new leadership.
5. Define and Operationalize Customer Health Score
The customer health score is the basic summary of how any specific customer is doing regarding their engagement with your products, services, and the company as a whole. While it’s theoretical in nature, a customer’s health score can predict how likely they are to renew or upgrade their contract. By building context around each customer segment based on their health score, along with regular frontline insights, you’ll be able to minimize false positives and view the full story behind every customer and segment in your database.
But it can be more than that. Analyzing this data will trigger proactive workflows that are evidence-backed. Also, the metrics you decide to follow as your leading indicators could play a part in polishing automation workflows and making the most out of customer health data.
If you properly track and monitor changes in customer health, you can directly link it to your workflow automation, indicators, and segmentation efforts. In fact, tracking customer health for a prolonged period of time can produce enough data to automatically and repeatedly generate insights, follow trends, and predict life cycles.
6. Track Opportunities
Opportunities in the SaaS industry tend to open up for a short window of time. If you predict them, you’re prepared for it when one occurs. Tracking opportunities requires constant monitoring of your customer’s health score and employing the right algorithms to predict which customers are likely to upgrade their purchase soon.
As soon as a customer shows signs of converting, you need to task CSMs (or Sales, depending on your business) with handling their upgrade, future contact, and purchase. This requires the collaboration of multiple team members and departments. For instance, what do the CEO and Chief Customer Officer need to know about this new opportunity? What about the head of Customer Success, Customer Success Managers, and the Sales team?
Producing and delivering the right reporting for the right team gets more complicated with every added customer and segment. One way you can stay on top of your business’s customer segments is by using Quala to track and flag any likely targets.
Customer Success Unlocked with Quala
Quala combines insights from frontline teams with customer data to provide a complete view of customer health, driving the right actions for the right customers. Qualitative insights give a more complete picture of the customer and a more contextually accurate health score than with quantitative customer data alone.
Better data triggers more timely, proactive responses, best-practice workflows, internal notifications, customer emails, and more. Best of all, it’s done without system admin help.
Quala is built by CS leaders for CS leaders, so it can be live in a day and has a beautiful interface designed to keep Customer Success managers engaged. It reports for every level and every team to track performance and identify opportunities.
Taking the First Steps Toward Customer Success
The first steps are most often the hardest. Luckily, you don’t have to go at generating customer success on your own.
Visit Quala and request a demo to establish a foundation for SaaS customer success at your business.