Sunday, 7 March 2021

SaaS Product Customer Experience - level 101 Thoughts

Overview: With SaaS products is is easy for our customers to leave.  We need to reduce turnover/churn and technology can help to deliver great Customer Experience (CX).  CX is closely coupled with Customer Success.

Topics to Review:
  1. SLA's & OLA's
  2. Pricing: 
    1. per seat (subscription), 
    2. flat usage or 
    3. usage model (pay as you go).  
    4. Always keep it simple.   In B2B SaaS pricing keep it simple, aim for MMR, that clients understand for cost forecasting.  Make it easy to buy, increase/upsell and leave.  It's amazing how many companies try to hide the sale to reduce churn.  Build good products and service don't try hide exit so stop loosing customers, it's pointless and a poor long term strategy.  
    5. Tiered pricing is good, but keep it simple.  Try stick to 1 form of pricing, its aweful for the customer to have base usage costs and then some crazy secondary model to figure out and explain in the purchasing process.
    6. Companies want Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) or ARR and the ability to up sell later.  It depends on the nature of the business and product but monthly should be the default goal especially for B2B SaaS.
    7. Offer a free trial for E2E fairly long is not a bad idea depending on the product.  Two weeks is a rough starting point.  Less if you need them engaged quickly or even several months to get real value.  I tend to find E2E customers with free software don't tend to use it unless their is a limited time.  So I'd always limit to 1 month for a free trial. you can always extend.
    8. Freemium version may be useful (unlimited time) and generally are not applicable to B2B/E2E SaaS models.
  3. Service Status Page - Microsoft do a great job at showing status pages for their services.
  4. Incident Management - Convert into knowledge base both internally and customer facing.  Sales and customer management information alignment.  Find a customer, see their past requests, help reduce churn. service now incident management,   Generally, go for tech touch for interaction over low touch or even high touch.  In E2E, large customers want good tech touch but will require high touch, especiually around customisations.  Beware the small customer demanding high touch for their "future potential growth/usage".
  5. Content - product documentation, community forum, online knowledge base, ability to have a good search to cross all the channels (think Coveo), support chat bots, live conversations with support.
  6. Certifications, gamification useful for building a community. 
  7. Communicate new features, educate support, educate sales and evangelists and clients.  Training and consultancy.  Monitor communication, use Sentiment Analysis.
  8. Support level i.e. free support may not allow phone conversations and not have an SLA whereas premium support may offer 24 hour production issue resolution with money back guarantees.  Example: Azure Support Plans.  Phone is expensive for support, do we offer this 24/7 and having good support is costly.  People are becoming more familiar with digital self service.  It is also a good idea to have a  warm hand-off from automation to a person.
Getting your processes correct and clear is key to your Digital customer experience (CX).  Key areas to consider: 
  • Advertising/attracting clients, converting leads to clients;
  • Trials and paying (make it easy, cost effective, billing) - customer must understand what they are paying for;
  • First time user experience (easy good experience the client can use);
  • Habitual users (once use to the system, do my users have the best experience - get usage telemetry); and
  • Support (levels of support, chat bots, email, call support).
Thoughts: SaaS world changes so quickly these days, great customer experience and support are more important than ever.  An interesting idea I heard, "You can loose a customer on price or customer service, you will only win them back thru customer service".  (KYC) Know Your Customer to ensure you can delight your customer.  Get one step ahead, try understand your customers concerns early.

There is a great book that has been around for a few years on Customer Success by Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman, and Lincoln Murphy.  How innovative companies are reducing churn and growing recurring revenue.


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