SaaS companies often suffer from one or more of the following problems: a high retention rate, little use of the software at existing customers, or a poor customer relationship. In this article, I give you five tips for being more than a SaaS company and thus preventing these problems.
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. This means that the software is available to customers via the internet. Characteristics of a SaaS company are:
- Improvements are implemented continuously and automatically
- The service is purchased on a subscription basis
- No IT resources are required to use the software
However, this article is not about this definition of the word service. Service also has a more traditional meaning, and this variant is just as important to become successful as a SaaS company. Below are 5 tips to be more than a software tool as a company and thus generate more value for your customers.
1. Focus on value instead of possibilities
One of the characteristics of SaaS is the continuous and automatic implementation of improvements. This makes it very attractive to continually think of new possibilities to generate extra value for your customers. Creating new possibilities does not always result in additional value for your customers.
For example, it is quite possible that your customers will become much happier with an expansion or improvement in ease of use in the most used functionality than functionality that they will hardly use anyway. Therefore, always ask yourself whether the new functionality you want to develop only looks nice, or whether it actually adds value for your users.
2. Look at your software through the eyes of the user
For example, someone who works for a SaaS company knows very well which functionalities there are, how they work and why they work like that. This is a requirement for every employee, but at the same time, there is a danger here. For someone who has spent countless hours in the software, everything seems logical, but this does not mean that it is all logical.
Always try to keep looking at your own software through the eyes of your user. Are there sufficient and clear descriptions of the functionalities? Does the software work intuitively for novice users? Does the user know what he is looking at all times and what the purpose of the information provided is? Answering these questions will help you to bypass your own tunnel vision and focus on the end user.
3. Follow a good example
Many SaaS companies send credentials to customers and do the on-boarding through a tutorial. Then the customers are left to their fate. As a company, you depend on the intellect and inventiveness of your user when it comes to the value that the end user takes out. This can also be done differently.
Many new users will benefit from successful business cases from existing customers or continuous insights on how to generate optimal value from the software. If you do not provide the users with this, you run the risk that they will not get the value out of it due to inadequate knowledge of the software – and then cancel the subscription.
4. Help your customers the moment they need it
Everyone has experienced that you are about to do something important, to find out that you can not finish your task because you still have an open question to company X. Then you contact company X, and you have to wait five days for your answer, and thus to complete the task. This is disastrous for any company, but certainly for a SaaS company.
If your customer wants to solve a problem with the help of your software, but it does not matter, it is essential that you provide the customer with the information need in time. If you do not do this, there is a risk that your user will solve the problem in an alternative way. This reduces your value for the user. Reduced value is reduced use and increased the chance of retention. So make sure that you are available when your customers need you.
5. Talk to and listen to your users
This tip may seem superfluous, but at the same time, it is so important that he has to be appointed. Of course, as a SaaS company, you are an expert in your field, and it is important that you share this expertise with your customers. In practice, however, this can lead to you only reasoning and developing from your own core competencies, rather than from added value for your users. This comes down to: this is who we are and what we are good at, so we continue to do this.
Not necessarily a wrong, but risky reasoning. Are you sure that your users have become customers because of the competencies that you find so important? And are you sure that in practice your software will be used as you originally intended it?
Talking and listening to your users can help you to provide insight into this. This way, you can use a more customer-focused development strategy without losing sight of your core competencies.
The above tips will help you to achieve optimal customer relationships as a SaaS company. Because at the end of the journey your software can be so great, without users getting value out of it, your software is literally worthless.