Customer churn is the SaaS kryptonite. It is what scares SaaS founders the most, and they are always innovating ways to beat it. Customer Retention is one of the most crucial and cost-effective SaaS retention strategies.
Customer Retention = (Number of Customers at End of Time Period – Number of Customers Acquired During Time Period) X 100 / No. of Customers at Start of Time Period)
For example: Imagine you start the year with 10 customers, gain 5 new customers in the first quarter, and have 1 customer churn.
Customer Retention = ((14-5)/10)) x 100 = 90%
If you’re not doing customer retention right, it can result in a loss as you acquire more customers. The SaaS model gets you profitability over time, and if your users churn before completing enough payment cycles to break even on the acquisition costs, all your growth strategies will be ineffective. Customer retention, in this sense, means getting your customer to stay and engage with your product long enough till it becomes a habit/ part of their daily lives. As they become long-term users, it will give you more opportunities to upsell, increasing their LTV (lifetime value).
Now, we will discuss some ideas with which we can boost customer retention:
Personalized marketing with email
The first area to search for low-hanging fruit is in the emails you write. Most email programs come with the ability to record personal data alongside email addresses, so you can quickly personalize based on the needs of your subscribers. To use this simple strategy, send an introductory email with a compelling subject line asking subscribers to self-select their interest. Are they using your software for a small business, for personal use, or something in-between?
A subscriber’s interests aren’t the only way you can segment. Turn also to the life cycle of your SaaS product. For example, recent signups might be more interested in learning about your biggest features, while power users will find details, advanced tips, and hidden shortcuts more valuable. Thankfully, this information is easy to gather from within your app analytics. Understand where users are in the customer journey and appeal to those stages.
Time discounts and offers to free trial progress
The most powerful feature that distinguishes SaaS companies from other products and services is the ability to provide a free trial. This is the perfect time to optimize your emails and take advantage of the buying mechanisms at play—urgency, a sense of trust, and the excitement of starting with your product. This is also a good time to offer a discount or other promotions related to the soon-to-expire trial offer. A great example is Zapier’s email reminder, which you can see below, lifted straight from the inbox:
The email is customized to each user, reminding him or her how many tasks have been automated and providing a custom recommendation for which upgrade to choose based on usage. In short, it’s the perfect email to convert a free trial user to a happy paying customer.
Reward your most profitable (VIP) customers
Information gathered in the CRM software can tell you which of your accounts are your most profitable. These are the customers you really don’t want to let go of, your key accounts. For this purpose, let’s call them the VIPs. Knowing who brings you most revenue allows you to allocate your time and resources efficiently, as well as increase your chances of cross- or up-selling.
Example: Let’s say you have a number of incentives to give away. Use them to reward your VIPs to further increase their loyalty. The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes
It’s easy: just create a list of your VIP customers in your CRM software. Now, you can start to follow up and let them know about the rewards and incentives in order to make them feel special, so they continue to be your most profitable customers, which, if you consider the 80/20 rule, this investment is bound to pay off!
If you're not already tracking customer referrals, you need to start. Your best customers are also your best salespeople. When they are happy, they will provide testimonials, leave reviews, and most importantly, refer their friends, family, and co-workers to your brand. Having a lot of customer referrals indicates that customer satisfaction is very high. Affiliate or refer-a-friend incentive programs are very powerful tools that marketers have been using forever.
Not only do they reward customers for providing you with new business, but they provide you with several valuable insights. In addition to detailed tracking of your customer referrals, affiliate programs provide you with insight into why people recommend your brand. Referral programs might not be ideal for all types of businesses, but all businesses should be tracking customer referrals to determine if it ever could present a word-of-mouth marketing opportunity.
Use automation to re-engage customers
Automation is allowing some of your routines to be handled automatically by a software. The most popular is “marketing automation.” Monitoring and keeping your customers abreast manually are time consuming. Because there are so many processes to be repeated daily, in order to keep your brand fresh in the customer’s mind.
The idea here is to use automation to re-engage your customers. Sure, you’ll see a boost in conversion rate as you engage customers manually, however, you can communicate stronger and faster through automation. Through automation, you can manage your customer contacts, drip feed education emails, schedule promotional emails, text messages, and event notifications.
Know more about:
- How to Improve Landing Page Conversion?
- How to Set Pricing for Your SaaS Product?
- How to validate your SaaS idea before building an MVP?
Improve customer support.
Excellent customer support makes a difference to your business's success. Using chatbots for minor inquiries can help reduce the time taken to meet such concerns. Information like tracking updates, delivery details, reservations, and more don't need human intervention. Chatbots save time when users need information that can be extracted from a database.
Your live customer support staff can focus on critical issues, giving attention to problems that matter. You'll offer faster support, saving time and resources. A chatbot strategy can improve your customer support and influence a customer's decision to stay with your business. This leads to greater loyalty and improved retention rates. Successful businesses are the ones that recognize that customers form the backbone of their business. Support your customers with retention strategies, and they'll support you.
Leverage customer feedback surveys
Surveys are powerful tools for building customer engagement. Surveys may look boring, but people like it. According to Fluid Survey University, “The Average Response Rate for email surveys is 24.8%.” Hearing from customers directly to know how they feel about your products and services is a great way to cement the bond that already exist. In essence, it can help you develop engaging custom content for customer retention. When customers are given the chance to express themselves, they reveal their minds and feelings about your brand.
In their complaints, be sensitive enough to catch the pain points. Get to know the areas they’re not satisfied about and why. Adjusting in those areas will turn things around. Remember that through feedback, you can re-engage a customer that’s about giving up on your brand. No matter how you look at it, automation can help your business in so many ways. Most striking is the fact that it can help you engage and retain your customers.
The goal of inbound marketing is to build a mutually beneficial relationship between brands and customers. This opens the door for special offers that extend far beyond a coupon. Keeping your customers happy is more than continuing to receive their money, it also helps you improve your company to make them even happier - and in turn, they're happy to spend more money. By the way, which of these customer retention strategies have you implemented, and how did it work for you?