Customer retention is one of the most important indicators of success for SaaS companies, but many organizations — even those with stellar products and services — fall short of their potential.
A combination of bad habits and underutilizing available tools is largely to blame for suboptimal customer retention and loyalty. The importance of customer retention cannot be overstated in a highly competitive market. As software services continue to progress, clients will not hesitate to move from one vendor to another if it means getting better tools.
Before one can determine how to improve customer retention strategy, he or she must understand how it fits in with other major priorities. For example, the benefits of customer retention and loyalty are often overshadowed by the seemingly urgent need for new clients. This and several other common pitfalls can cause companies with great products and services to lose valuable customers to competitors.
Here are 5 mistakes that could be hurting your customer retention.
Mistake No. 1: Disproportionate Focus on Customer Acquisition
Expanding your client base deserves to be a top strategic objective, but not if it means neglecting the customers you’ve already acquired. The cost of courting a new client can be anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than retaining a current one, according to research cited by the Harvard Business Review. That’s a lot of money for something that’s not even a sure thing.
In the long run, customer retention and loyalty is more profitable than adding new clients. Current customers are more likely to increase spend with a company over time, according to research from Bain & Company. The operating cost of servicing them declines, while the cost of acquiring new business is always high. Furthermore, loyal customers are more likely to promote your business and less likely to abandon you for a competitor with whom they are less familiar, according to the report.
Mistake No. 2: Underestimating the Importance of Onboarding Customers
Poor onboarding completely undermines a company’s investment in your software and threatens customer retention and loyalty.
Without effective customer onboarding, the many advanced features and add-ons that differentiate your software from competitors will remain unused, meaning your customers are not reaping the value of their investment. As a result, they won’t feel compelled to keep paying for it and probably jump at the chance to adopt software that promises to fulfill their needs more easily.
Fortunately, there is a simple remedy for these onboarding woes. With a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), onboarding time and effort is significantly reduced. Not only will overall adoption rates for new users rise, but they will understand how to take advantage of a wider range of features within the platform. Customers will experience increased productivity and you will improve customer retention.
Mistake No. 3: Glossing Over Updates and New Features
Software providers must not only ensure their customers know how to take advantage of every capability the tool has to offer, but also ensure users remain abreast of updates and new features.
With more technology living in the cloud, automatic updates that are meant to boost efficiency instead become a source of frustration. Consequently, these changes don’t improve customer retention, they hurt it.
These headaches could be enough to drive important customers away. Executives are bombarded on a daily basis with offers for shiny new toys that promise to deliver new value and skyrocket productivity. You’ve already done the work to acquire your clients — don’t let them get seduced by competitors.
Improve customer retention and keep your customers enamored with your software by making learning continuous and seamless. With WalkMe’s DAP, users get on-screen, contextual help in real time with a single click. This makes learning and navigating new features a breeze. Software updates shouldn’t interrupt workflow, they should enhance it.
Mistake No. 4: Not Using Available Technology to Improve the Customer Experience
More than 8 in 10 executives of B2B companies rank the customer experience as a top priority, according to a 2015 survey from Accenture. With more resources being devoted to providing a better customer experience, it stands to reason that those responsible for assisting customers should have the tools to succeed.
Unfortunately, the myriad of technology implemented to support customer service managers are often complex and disconnected. When using multiple CSM platforms and support tools is too challenging, the goal for which they were implemented to achieve will remain unfulfilled.
With DAP, an added layer that provides real-time navigation prompts and contextual support, your CSMs will be able to master numerous tools and switch between them seamlessly. Importantly, they will be empowered to provide your customers with the best possible experience.
Customers might leave you for any number of reasons. If you’re unable to retain a client, make sure you ask them why. Soliciting candid and detailed feedback is critical for learning how to improve customer retention. But making tangible changes based on this knowledge is even more important.
Your SaaS platform could be cutting edge. But if you’re seeing an exodus of customers, it’s past time for an intervention. Perhaps your onboarding method is subpar. Or maybe your CSMs haven’t quite mastered how to provide the best customer experience. Whatever the reason, diagnosing the underlying cause for churn shows you understand the critical importance of customer retention.
WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) for organizations to utilize the full potential of their digital assets. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and contextual guidance, WalkMe adds a dynamic user interface layer to raise the digital literacy of all users.