While an average annual churn rate of around 5% is expected by most SaaS companies, some are facing numbers much higher than that. Here are the ways we at Brightscout have learned to improve user adoption and retention rates.
#1 Build a product that solves a real problem
At the end of the day, customers are going to stick with services that provide them with true value. You can have the best customer onboarding and support in the world, but if your service isn’t solving a real problem your customers face, it’s not going to be essential to them.
Take an honest look at your product and ask, what problem it is solving? If it’s more of a perk than a solution, it will be beneficial to strategize how you can make improvements. Maybe it’s a new feature or new version release. Identify pain points and build a product that makes you a hero to your customer.
#2 Implement personalized onboarding
All new customers have one thing in common, they need to understand how your service can work for them. Many companies provide blanket onboarding through a passive support system that guides users through the basic steps. However, that proves ineffective because different customers have different needs.
Personalized onboarding takes a different approach by catering to each customer’s specific needs. This can start by providing a custom welcome message that asks customers why they signed up for your service. When they answer, you’ll have key information about their needs so can offer them resources to ensure those needs are met.
Taking a more personal approach requires more advanced systems but promotes a higher level of customer service and satisfaction which is well worth the investment.
#3 Regularly engage customers through email and chat
While onboarding is the first important step, personalized communication shouldn’t stop there.
Proactively tell customers how they can reach you, periodically touch bases with them to uncover any challenges they are facing, and give them confidence that they can quickly get the help they need. The more channels you have for customers to reach you the better, including email, in-app chat, and phone support.
Show your how your service is an extension of the great team behind it. Here are some tips:
- Assign representatives from your company to make personal connections with the customer, acting as their advocates.
- Use triggered messaging to send relevant responses to user actions.
- Ensure you are regularly engaging with all customers.
- Respond to all communications quickly
- Always communicate in a personable manner (don’t be afraid to use emojis!)
Go beyond routine emails, to truly engage with users on a regular basis.
#4 Provide easy to access support and documentation if your customers get stuck
Customers are bound to get stuck from time to time. While some will not hesitate to ask a question in your in-app chat or by calling your support line, others will look for answers themselves. For the latter, if they can’t find answers, frustration will build. Being so, be sure to develop support and documentation and make it readily available to customers while they are using your service. These can be in the form of blogs, eBooks, guides, video tutorials, tip sheets, etc. and will help to safeguard against festering dissatisfaction that leads to churn.
#5 QA your product to reduce bugs
Few things are more frustrating than running into technical difficulties when you are trying to get a job done. Being so, spend the extra time performing quality assurance testing to reduce bugs in your service. In doing so, your customers will have a more seamless, positive user experience which will increase their satisfaction with your service. Also, make it easy for customers to report any bugs experienced and take quick action to resolve them.
#6 Build a rewards program
Lastly, there is a lot of competition for SaaS companies so you need to incentivize customers to stay through a rewards and loyalty program. Plus, it can also help to increase your visibility. How should it work? Well, you already know that customers want your service for some reason so you can reward a certain period of loyalty by giving them something closely related to your product. For example, a discount or exclusive access to a new feature. A big pitfall many companies fall into is offering superficial rewards that aren’t valued by their customers. Keep it relevant and significant.
Additionally, incentivize your satisfied customers to share your service. Whether through social platforms, email, or another means, offer rewards when people share their satisfaction or send referrals to you.
Tactics to Improve User Adoption and Reduce Churn
It can be very frustrating to struggle with user adoption and churn, however, there are many things that are within your realm of control. SaaS companies need to look closely at their product, their service, and their incentives to ensure they are delivering on all fronts. First, your product has to solve a problem. Second, your service has to be personalized, ongoing, and high quality. Third, you have to show your customers you value them through rewards. Fourth, offer incentives to encourage the sharing behaviors you want. With these tips, you can offer customers a rewarding and irreplaceable service they will not want to lose!
Want help improving your user adoption and retention or building a product? At Brightscout, we offer the following UX service features for SaaS companies:
- Business Needs Analysis
- User Research
- User Modeling
- Managed Design Sprints
- Information Architecture Flows
- Interaction Design
- User Testing
- Usability Reviews
- Agile Testing
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