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6 tips on how to increase SaaS customer lifetime value (CLTV)

6 tips on how to increase SaaS customer lifetime value (CLTV)

 

In an online business, you can easily pick out all types of numbers through which you can analyse your brand. You can calculate bounce rates, CTRs, conversion rates, and micro conversion rates – all of which are immensely important.

There is another metric, however, the importance of which far outweighs that of all the others. It’s called CLTV— the customer  lifetime value.

The following article is going to highlight the factors required to improve customers’ LTV for an ecommerce business.

The value behind customer retention

While there is nothing wrong with increasing your consumer base, it is essential to remember the real value behind customer retention and brand loyalty. A research by social analytics platform SumAll suggests:

“25% to 40% of the total revenues of the most stable businesses in the SumAll network come from returning customers. Even better, steady customers help businesses weather lean economic times; businesses with 40% repeat customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only 10% repeat customers.”

SaaS CLTV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Attaining brand loyalty is one of the most difficult assets for a company. Or at least, it used to be. We used to depend on customers having a good experience with our service or with our team. Now, brands can give them a great experience, even though most businesses still haven’t figured out how to do it.

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Why Lifetime Value (LTV) matters

LTV is the total amount of money you will receive from a buyer throughout their entire lifetime as a consumer. Let’s say you have an online store. If the average visitor spends $100 per year and does so for an average of three years, then the average customer’s LTV is $300.

Here are some of the reasons discussing why this is of such a significant value:

  • LTV affects every area of business

LTV matters because it affects all areas of business. Take a closer look at how the customer’s lifecycle virtually impacts every section of an ecommerce business.

customer lifetime value

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the diagram above, what do you see beyond the labels? Strategy outreach, development, product, customer service, management decision-making – basically everything that makes an online brand viable. LTV is part and parcel of it all.

  • Increasing LTV means higher profits

LTV shows you the path to achieve higher profits. The Marketing Metrics suggest the possibility of selling to a new prospect to be 5-20%, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. By maintaining focus on existing consumers, you are focusing on a strategy that gives your business much higher profit margins.

An ecommerce store provider, BigCommerce, writes;  to ensure a high profit, it is important to ‘influence your customers to keep coming back to purchase.’ This means that you would want your churn to lessen once you get a customer. Lower churn means higher LTV and a healthier business overall.

As a marketer, what can you do to level up your customer’s lifetime value? The following six ideas will get you there:

 

1. Publish engaging content to increase CLTV

A newsletter may sound like an old-school trick, but it is also a great method of improving LTV.

How so, you may ask?

Firstly, a newsletter keeps your company front and centre in a customer’s mind. How can they forget about you when you keep sending them regular offers via email? They can’t. And when they remember, they are more likely to return and buy.

Second, you can gain even higher value from each letter by segmenting customers. A targeted email to customer segments is way better than a generic email sent to a huge mailing list. Just having a newsletter, however, isn’t enough. Here is how you can make your messages truly valuable:

  • Make your emails worth reading

Few emails make it to the junk pile faster than a boring newsletter. Therefore, keep your emails interesting if you want to use it as an LTV growth strategy. “People will open good emails no matter how often you send them,” says Kevan Lee from Buffer app.

  • Test your subject lines

The best emails are those that begin with an attention grabbing subject line. By testing my email subject lines, Brian Kelly, the CEO of Kissmetrics, said that he was able to improve his open rate by 203%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2. Focus on your SaaS customers to increase CLTV

SaaS CLTV cohort analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Cohort Analysis chart shown above is a marketer’s new best friend. This script has a really useful function with an aim to expose which specific months in your customers’ lifetime are at the highest risk for churn. To instantly identify where you have a problem, you can examine the churn rate per cohort, and take immediate action by focusing on customer success efforts in that particular period (or before it).

Let’s say, if compared to other days, month-3 has a much higher churn rate, try talking with your consumer base entering month 3, and understand the problems they’re facing with your services. Fixing this may require product enhancements, or a better on boarding and support process.

 

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3. Send your fans an unexpected present

If your fans take an interest in what you’re selling and what you care about, it’s only fair for you to do the same. Take a look at their social profiles to see what kinds of things they really enjoy, and then send them something you know they’ll like. They will definitely talk about it on their social media platforms as well as in person with their family, friends and anyone else willing to listen.

General electric sent a batman book to one of their buyers, with the latter referencing the gesture in three widely shared articles.

SaaS customer success case study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Remember to not pick out something obvious when it comes to the gift you send. Do a little research and find something unique from what most people are talking about. (Unless they flat-out said, ‘I really wish to have…’)

4. Be wary of your rivals

One of the essential factors that determine the strength of your consumer bond is their view of your competitors. If they don’t perceive any of your rival brands to be better than you, there is a lesser chance of them churning.

Keeping an eye out for your competition is another important part of the SaaS marketing ideas. See what they’re doing right and wrong to figure out where you stack up against them. By calculating your rival’s next move, you’ll be able to adapt your SaaS marketing ideas accordingly and find something different to offer to your customers.

5. Add sticky features to your product

This one always brings up some conversation, including a term that is usually avoided in product discussions: User lock-in. The idea of adding metaphorical prison bars to your product makes it hard for them to leave, going against everything we have learned about making a great service experience.

Build features in your product that allow consumers to create their own data and add further value to your platform, making them reluctant to leave. For example, if it’s a service app, an automation testing tool like accelQ could enhance product features, with consumers building their own segments inside the platform.

Result: Adding sticky features equals lower churn rate, thus, increasing customers’ LTV.

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6. Solve a consumer problem

Go beyond your actual services and provide your customers something that makes their life easier on a regular basis. Portent did this with their content idea generator and Neil Patel did it with his website analyser on QuickSprout.

Try to understand your customer, find out what product would simplify their lives, and build it. When you are able to pull this off right, you make your buyer dependent on you for more than just your service, and that makes you almost irreplaceable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is a mysterious beast…

The ideas above represent some of the most common yet effective ways to extend the length of customer lifetime and the amount of money each one is willing to pay.

The only difficult part is having a solid hold on LTV estimation, carefully tweaked to the characteristics of your company, and being able to achieve highly reliable, measurable results from the above ways to grow your consumer lifetime value.

 

About the author: 

Audrey Throne is a mother of a 2-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about health, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

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SaaS customer success

Make customer success a part of your business DNA for higher SaaS MRR and decreased churn

Delivering SaaS Customer Success for improved business performance

 

How to ensure customer success with SaaS?

In recent years, an increasing number of SaaS companies have come to recognize the impressive array of benefits available through customer (or client) success management, also known as CSM. As a result, more and more SaaS companies have placed a greater emphasis on customer success and have taken steps to ensure that the happiness of their customers contributes to an increase in conversions and a decrease in churn, both of which are critical for SaaS companies that rely on recurring revenue streams.

 

At first glance, the concept behind customer success management seems simple enough. After all, ensuring customer success requires only that SaaS companies orient any and all customer interactions in such a way that the customer is ultimately positioned to achieve a specifically desired outcome. Despite the relative simplicity of the underlying concept, the process that goes into ensuring customer success is nonetheless worthy of a thorough and detailed explanation.

 

In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss why ensuring customer success is so important to recurring revenue businesses while also answering some of the most common questions associated with CSM, including each the following:

 

  • What is the relationship between customer success and recurring revenue increases?
  • How can a SaaS company make customer success part of its company DNA?
  • Which metrics are best for measuring customer success?

 

In addition to answering these critical questions, we will also review the best practices associated with CSM and will detail how each of those practices directly contribute to increased conversion, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced churn.

 

How Customer Success Leads to More Recurring Revenue

 

Customers have to be able to clearly see the value of investing in your SaaS company’s product, and there is only a brief window available to demonstrate this value. This window occurs during the onboarding period, and it may be as brief as 24 to 48 hours. During this time, your SaaS company must prove how its product will help the customer achieve a desired outcome or risk permanently losing the customer.

 

Since renewals and up-selling — all of which occur after the initial sale — represent the overwhelming majority of revenue generated by SaaS companies, a successful onboarding process that demonstrates the product’s immediate value to the customer increases customer lifetime value, or CLV, by a significant margin.

 

Of course, immediately demonstrating the value of a product in this way dramatically reduces churn rates and also makes customers much more likely to become brand advocates. The impact of these outcomes on recurring revenue ought to be obvious, further underscoring the significant benefits associated with highly effective customer success management.

 

CSM and Company Culture: How to Make Customer Success Part of Your Company DNA

 

Now that we have reviewed the benefits made possible through an effective approach to CSM, it is important to discuss the many ways in which your SaaS company can make ensuring customer success a lasting part of your company DNA. During this process, it is especially critical that every department recognizes how they contribute to ensuring customer success and why it is necessary that they take a proactive approach in doing so.

 

It is only when your entire company feels responsible for ensuring customer success that the full range of benefits associated with CSM can be realized. This is why it is so important that your company’s leadership team emphasizes CSM at every level and highlights the specific rationale behind the use of CSM strategies.

 

When each department understands the importance of CSM and feels responsible for ensuring customer success, every interaction between the company and the customer will revolve around the achievement of the same core objective: helping the customer achieve a specifically desired outcome.

 

Of course, it’s worth noting that an increasing number of SaaS companies have created CSM teams specifically dedicated to ensuring customer success. Creating a dedicated CSM team is especially effective if you have already successfully embedded customer success in your company DNA, as it is of the utmost importance that you have a team of employees solely dedicated to developing strategies and processes for ensuring customer success at every stage of the customer journey.

 

Metrics to Measure Customer Success

 

While your company will certainly benefit from the addition of a dedicated CSM team and the establishment of a company culture that emphasizes customer success, the only way to maximize those benefits is through the use of specific metrics designed to measure the various elements associated with customer success. The most successful SaaS companies tend to rely on metrics that focus on measuring each of the following:

 

  • Customer Satisfaction (e.g., Support Satisfaction Rating; Net Promoter Score)
  • Churn Rate
  • Onboarding Engagement (e.g., Core Tasks Completion; First Session Length; Returning Sessions)
  • Trial-To-Paid Conversion Rate

 

Each of these metrics is designed to help identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to CSM, thereby making it possible for you to quickly address any weaknesses that might be hindering your company’s ability to ensure customer success.

 

In order to yield the short- and long-term benefits that accompany efforts aimed at ensuring customer success — including, for example, recurring revenue increases, churn rate reductions, improved customer satisfaction, and increased activity and support from brand advocates — SaaS companies must remain attentive to these CSM metrics while also remaining wholly committed to the underlying principles associated with effective customer success management.

 

About the author:

Gina Kawalek is currently a Senior Marketing Manager at QASymphony, a leading provider of QA testing software for agile developers. Prior to QASymphony, she spent 5 years in B2B marketing at ExactTarget, Salesforce and Insightpool.

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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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