September 1, 2017 - SaaS and mobile app marketing and lead generation agency - App Marketing Minds
SaaS customer success

The 4 Best Practices for SaaS Customer Success

In the SaaS world, Customer Success is everything!

Customer Success in SaaS has gone from a dull, ‘Hackneyed’ saying to a crucial sales weapon to increase conversions, enhance customer happiness and reduce the churn for returning revenue businesses. There is no doubt why a customer success has moved from ‘optional to obligatory’ for SaaS companies in recent years.

 

In today’s competitive marketplace, the companies that are not providing SaaS , or not even the technology companies, have appreciated the transformational power of customer success and adopted it as their operating model.

 

According to Lincoln Murphy “Customer success is about more than delivering service or support.”

 

To be successful, a SaaS (Software as a Service) must focus on establishing an accurate customer acquisition and steady customer retention strategy.

 

In this article, I will share the top 4 best practices or approaches the ISVs should follow to ensure customer loyalty, satisfaction and develop customer success as the company’s culture. By following these top practices, organizations can leverage to develop and establish the client success culture from the level zero.

 

Without further ado, let’s start!

Success Culture as Your Top Priority

It is essential for the SaaS companies to ensure that every department, be it sales, marketing or software development are dedicated to create a customer success culture.

 

And how do you achieve that?

 

Well, the key is to ensure that every team member is to be made clear that customer success is a priority for the company. Employees will be directly or indirectly involved in making that happen.

 

Implementation of the culture of success is not only the CSM role alone!

 

Let’s take Sales and Marketing Team as examples:

 

  • If Mr.A from the Sales is selling a product to the wrong customer or overselling the product, customer success will not meet its retention goals.

 

  • Similarly, if Mr. M from Marketing department is not able to capture the customer success stories or include current customers in his outbound marketing campaigns, the customer success goals will suffer.

 

I don’t mean that Customer Success should be used to pinpoint the Sales or Marketing efforts. I simply mean that the success and retention goals of the organization will require the efforts and participation from all departments.

Follow up on every customer interaction and sales

I don’t mean service requests. I’m talking about that instant moment of courtesy after the customer query is solved or a product is purchased.

 

Following up your customer interaction and sales not only showcase your allegiance to customer service but also assist in building customer loyalty and ensuring repetitive sales.

 

A follow up usually include:

  • Providing refunds, repairs, and warranties
  • Interacting with customers after purchase or query solution to ensure they are happy
  • Creating customer follow-up opportunities like sales alerts

 

Customers appreciate the personalized attention and care. Even a small hacks like remembering his name, a previous interaction with ended on a positive note, assist your customer to feel “belonged” to the business.

 

It is advised that you remember your customer and pay attention to their interests and requirements.

 

Align to Customers’ Goals & KPIs

 

The key to establishing a mutually beneficial and strategic partnership between your customers and SaaS organization is understanding the customer inside out.

 

As a service provider, it is necessary that your team should form a solid relationship with the decision makers, architects and with everyone associated with the business including your users and even beyond.

 

Your team should be well aligned to get to the roots of everything, especially the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the individual goals.

 

You should be asking them various questions including:

 

  • What are their foremost KPIs?
  • How are the compensated or measured personally?
  • What are their preparations and team goals to offer solutions?

 

And more…

 

After all the information is collected and well understood, it is now time to customise the solution to what matters most to the client. This will ultimately assist you in realizing what will make your customer successful.

 

Brand yourself as a service, not a software

 

World is a tricky place for SaaS providers. It is so much of the competition around. They offer both the software and service and can’t fake it on either side.

Your customers are paying you every month, isn’t it? Are you not serving them? Don’t they know this? If you are able to offer your customers the service in tangible ways, you will more successful in rendering the customer satisfaction.

 

It is advised that you roll out service improvements schedule with your billing schedule. While your customer watches the withdrawal of the payment, he should also be convinced that he is getting something valuable in return.

 

By introducing new updates, increasing the security, storage, etc. you can make your customer feel comfortable in the value-addition process.

 

Conclusion:

 

Customer Success is the most important activity in a SaaS business.

 

A real testimony on any organization’s culture, product and professionals is highlighted in the success of its customers. Customer success should be given top priority, not just by the company itself but by each and every employee or a team which is associated or own a stake in the customer’s success.

 

How do you find the article?

 

What is your favourite Customer Success Strategy?

 

About Author

 

Ankur Kumar is a content marketing expert and an experienced blogger. He works in a reputed software development India firm and likes to ideate, write on various topics including technology, digital marketing, startups and environment. An avid outdoorsman, explorer and nature lover who believes in minimalist lifestyle. You can find Ankur on LinkedIn.

 

 

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On-Premise vs SaaS: How to Choose the Right Enterprise Order Management System (OMS)

The average American spends $1,800 shopping online each year, according to the Statista Digital Market Outlook. That’s an enormous market. Efficient operations and great customer service will help you attract and retain more of those customers, and an Enterprise Order Management System (OMS) is designed to do just that—by improving internal operations, inventory management and stocking, and customer service. Picking the right one for your business is a big, complex decision, but it all starts from understanding which fundamental approach is right for you.

The Two Approaches to Enterprise OMS Deployment

There are many important decisions along the road to choosing an OMS, and one of the earliest you’ll need to make is the deployment model:

 

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): A SaaS solution is deployed and maintained by the vendor, on their local servers or on a cloud server. They’re responsible for maintenance, uptime, and hardware upgrades.
  • On-Premise Solutions: In this model, the software is installed on a local server, which is operated and maintained entirely by the eCommerce business.

 

Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the decision will depend on your strengths and needs.

SaaS Solution Pros & Cons

SaaS has transformed the tech world, including OMS, by providing solutions at a lower cost and with greater scalability. SaaS vendors can provide robust hosting environments, high performance, and excellent security and compliance features by distributing the costs across their many subscribers. You’re also protected from sudden spikes in cost, such as costly hardware upgrades, or emergency security patches. Deployment is generally simpler than an on-premise solution, allowing your tech team to focus on tackling other problems.

Data from Forrester Research shows that over one-fifth (21%) of OMS users at medium to large organizations have already made a switch toward SaaS for their primary OMS deployment. Another 40% are planning to either fully replace or complement their existing OMS with a SaaS solution over the next two years.

 

There are few drawbacks to SaaS deployment. For some large, long-established retailers, losing direct control over the server environment or having their data reside outside the company firewalls may be uncomfortable. If it’s important to you to have a direct role in security and compliance, SaaS will likely be out of the question. Finally, SaaS vendors have the power to schedule maintenance windows when necessary, so you may not have control over scheduled downtime.

What About On-Premise Solutions?

The market for on-premise OMS solutions is shrinking, but still going strong. Their strengths include the potential for greater customization, flexibility and dedicated custom IT environments designed for high scalability, which is valuable to large retailers with outstanding technical resources. If your company already has a powerful data center, you may be able to leverage that investment and reduce the cost of an on-premise deployment. Finally, you’d maintain complete control over your data, security, and compliance, which may make this model more palatable to some businesses.

 

According to Forrester Research, the average life expectancy for an enterprise ecommerce platform was over seven years in the last decade, but this trend is changing. Today, the pace of change and rapid innovation means that businesses that still host their own software will need to significantly upgrade their software as often as every four years. Thus, on-premises merchants will need to replatform every four to seven years. These shortening replatforming life cycles will continue to drive on-premise, licensed-based solution upgrades but we’ll see a gradual decline in the popularity of new on-premise solution installations going forward.

 

The weaknesses of on-premise deployments are considerable. There are a lot of unknowns and potential headaches, as your organization is entirely responsible for deployment and maintenance. IT costs can be highly variable and difficult to predict, and you’re responsible for hardware costs, network maintenance, monitoring, and security. These issues should be seriously weighed against the advantages of on-premise deployment.

First, Know Thyself

This important decision truly comes down to you: examine your operational strengths, current pain points, and plans for scale, and compare them against the pros and cons of each approach. This blog can help you start that process, but there’s plenty more to consider before making this complex, nuanced decision.

 

About the author:

Manish Chowdhary is the CEO of Pulse Commerce, the leading cloud platform for order & inventory management. He is a thought leader and speaker for technology innovation and all things ecommerce. In January 2017, Manish was recognized as one of The 30 Most Innovative Business Leaders by Insights Success Magazine. He has been featured in the New York Times, Internet Retailer, and other leading publications. Follow Pulse Commerce on LinkedIn for company updates and industry news.

 

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