In an age where most people are one online order away from getting what they want, customer success matters more than ever. It’s about making sure those who consume your products and services get precisely what they desire. Anything else is a recipe for customer dissatisfaction, which leads to churn and loss of revenue. The LAER model is a way of measuring how well your company makes the most out of each customer’s journey.
What Is LAER?
The LAER model is a Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) customer engagement model designed to help drive business growth. LAER stands for Land, Adopt, Expand, and Renew, a way of describing the four different stages of the customer’s journey. Let’s look at what each of those phases encompasses.
- Land — The first stage of LAER covers the part where companies attempt to attract customers. That includes efforts by marketing and sales to find and win customers both online and offline.
- Adopt — Once you’ve gotten the customer to make a purchase, the next stage involves getting them to become a regular user. That means engaging with customers to answer their questions about getting the most use out of a SaaS product.
- Expand — After the customer develops loyalty to a specific SaaS product or service, companies at this stage focus on exposing them to a broader array of options. For example, if a customer enjoys using a specific SaaS cloud application, a company might encourage them to purchase related products that speed up their ability to complete critical business tasks.
- Renew — The last stage of the customer journey involves customers deciding whether to re-up their SaaS subscription. Your company should regularly engage with customers to encourage them to stick with your services whenever the renewal date approaches.
With more technology providers moving toward subscription-based services, the LAER model represents a framework to establish an initial relationship with customers and build on it over time. The best way to measure how well you’re doing in each phase is by reviewing the right metrics.
Implementing the LAER Model
Organizations looking to set up the LAER model to track customer success should understand how each phase works.
1. Setting up the Land phase
Sales and marketing are typically the teams charged with attracting new customers. Both should come up with strategies based on understanding the audience they’re looking to attract. That includes understanding the needs and challenges faced by customers when attempting to accomplish a goal.
During the Land phase, teams must understand the problem they’re solving to develop an effective solution. Once you know the customer’s pain points and how to help them overcome them, start coming up with personas of each user and how your product can help them tackle their issue.
Look at how feasible it would be to implement your solution and how you can make it clear that it’s the answer to your customer’s problem. From there, it’s easier to show customers the value of what you’re offering. At that point, you’re ready to start the sales process.
2. Setting up the Adopt phase
After you’ve persuaded a customer to adopt your product, you need to ensure they’re getting the benefits they’re expecting. That means you need to spend time onboarding them and showing them how to use the product efficiently in their job role.
Start by locating the stakeholders involved in the customer relationship. Come up with value propositions for prospective customers, then monitor their usage. Look for the features most and least used by customers.
Stay engaged by encouraging customers to take advantage of different features that might help them in their job role. Pay attention to the feedback about what customers like most and where they have the most challenges with your application. Pass that back to your company to implement fixes that address the customer’s issues and make them more likely to continue using your product.
It’s essential that you keep customers informed about any new features or updates that could affect their use of your product. Keep up all the above until you see a steady increase in customers’ activity using your platform.
3. Setting up the Expand phase
Once you’ve got customers actively engaged in using specific services, it’s time to see if they might be interested in other products offered by your company. Identify signals in their product use that show that they might be ready for an upsell or cross-sell. Hold regular review meetings with the customer that go over any additional needs. Show the value you’re currently providing and how other solutions you offer can help them achieve different business goals.
Get your sales team involved in setting up materials needed to pitch the customer on upsells or cross-sells. Make sure you bring in key stakeholders who have the power to make decisions on whether they want to adopt other solutions your company offers.
4. Setting up the Renew phase
Everything comes down to getting your customer to renew their subscription services once the end of the term approaches. Don’t wait until the expiration date to start appealing to the customer. Regular quarterly business reviews with priority customers are a great way to stay ahead of renewal. Go over your key performance indicators and look for signs showing that your customer might be ready to jump ship to another provider. Maybe you see a drop in daily logins or the number of queries executed through your program.
Make sure you’re responsive when the customer reports issues. Customers with a renewal date that’s coming up should take top priority. Let them know how much you appreciate their business and what they can gain from continuing to subscribe to your SaaS platform.
Get Help Implementing LAER
One of the great things about the LAER model is that you can start adopting different phases at any point. You can gradually introduce other aspects of LAER in a way that makes sense to your organization. That way, you don’t have to completely disrupt your company operations to reap the benefits of LAER. In the meantime, you can take the time to map out a plan for laying out the full operational model to implement throughout the company.
Quala is a powerful tool for getting started with LAER. Quala gets your customer data in one place with context from frontline insights so that you can take the right actions at each stage of the LAER framework. Health scores give a strong indication when a customer has fully adopted your solution, and workflow triggers keep you on top of the right moments for expansion opportunities. Quala monitors customer success, so you’re always a step ahead of renewal and preemptively get ahead of problems that could lead to customer attrition. Learn more about what we can do for your business by setting up a free demo.