SaaS growth relies on customer engagement.
It can seem like an uphill battle garnering your audience’s attention in a competitive market. However, coupled with behavioral data, a personalized experience is one solution to communicating your product’s value.
“Chances are your customers have very diverse backgrounds, interests, and behaviors. A one-size-fits-all approach to customer engagement may alienate your customers and drive them away from your brand,” says Donte Ledbetter, growth producer of content and programming at Appboy.
You can serve customers better by monitoring user behavior. Below are five tactics to get your team moving in the right direction.
Despite industry misconceptions, customer engagement isn’t a random phenomenon. Consumers don’t land on your website out of thin air.
There’s a reason for their behavior. Whether it’s a referral from friends or a backlink in a blog post, SaaS users arrive to your site with an internal (or external) motivation.
Some consumers possess an actual problem and think your product can offer a solution. Others don’t even recognize their looming challenge, yet find your product somewhat intriguing.
To begin the process of uncovering potential customers’ motivations, you’ll want to examine how they ended up on your site in the first place. These location origins will help your team develop a customer path that fits their interests and needs.
Kissmetrics Analyze makes this possible. The platform offers a chronological flow of user behavior wrapped into customizable reports. You can identify channels and monitor users’ steps in the funnel, from an initial visit to paid signup.
With this insight, you can engage users differently based on how they learn about your brand. You can optimize content and calls to action throughout the customer journey. For example, organic visitors may see a pop-up box to sign up for a product demo sooner than visitors from social media.
How consumers learn about your SaaS product matters. So take the time to analyze the data.
Throughout your career, you’ve learned that business centers around serving the customer. For some companies, this means catering to the constant demands of the consumer.
While this way of thinking works, it’s also important to recognize the actions of your customers. Their behaviors, not necessarily their current desires, provide your SaaS team with insight about purchasing decisions.
For instance, a trial user explicitly tells you she loves your product but never purchases. It can leave your team bewildered. However, if you observe her usage activity during the trial and learn she only tinkered with the application twice, your team is better equipped to ensure conversion.
Product usage data is invaluable for engagement. With the right strategies in place, you go from churning to closing more sales.
Kissmetrics Populations can help you quickly identify trends in user activity and product usage. Here’s a video explaining how it works:
“The critical barrier to harnessing the potential value in this shift is organizational—companies that learn to design and execute effective customer-engagement strategies will have the advantage; the others will lose ground,” writes Tom French, a director at McKinsey.”
Drops in user activity indicate a break in the customer-brand relationship. Take proactive measures, like sending retention emails or offering one-on-one training, to lure users back to your platform. It’s up to you to earn every user’s attention.
When diving into user behavior, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. You focus entirely on the data that you deem vital for SaaS success.
But like most business functions, customer interactions extend beyond your SaaS product into other channels. For instance, consumers may learn about your product on Facebook and comment on your posts with questions.
Your team doesn’t control these social platforms. Yet, they can become one of the best forms of engagement with your users. They’re already talking with their friends, so it’s convenient to drop your brand a message, too.
Consider these social interactions an investment. A Twitter research study found that “when a customer tweets at a business and receives a response, they are willing to spend 3–20% more on an average priced item from that business in the future.” Plus, customers are 44% more likely to share their experiences.
Social listening is helpful for determining how to engage your customers. If users begin to complain about a specific product feature, you’ll want to respond quickly and escalate the issue to your product team. Similarly, when users praise your business, you want to acknowledge their compliments and show the comments to your team.
Engaging on social is more about learning from the customer than boasting about your product. Take action on their concerns to increase SaaS growth.
Communication is key to ensuring strong customer engagement. Your team probably spends hours crafting the perfect message to convey exactly the right tone and details.
That’s commendable. But do you also pay attention to how SaaS users respond to your messages?
From email to live chat to phone support conversations, your users are giving you verbal and nonverbal cues about how they perceive and feel about your brand. User response is pivotal to discovering what makes your customers tick.
Let’s say your Net Promoter Score drops after users talk with your live chat representatives. You should then dive into the language used by customers during the chat.
Are users saying terms, like ‘upset’ or ‘stupid’? Then, you can take a look at when those frustrations occur and for what product issues.
From another angle, you can use current user behavior to trigger how you reply to customer responses. You may send an email about an upcoming product launch. The user opens the message but fails to click a link in the email.
You can track that behavior and follow up with another email or even segment an entire group to receive a different series of messages. Kissmetrics Campaigns gives your team the flexibility to send these types of personalized emails based on user behavior.
According to the Aberdeen Group, best-in-class businesses “achieve an 80% greater customer retention rate” compared to other organizations. It’s because they have “mastered the science (and art) of creating loyal customers.”
Loyalty isn’t reserved only for well-known brands. Microsoft and Airbnb do not own a share of die-hard consumers.
Your SaaS can earn customer loyalty just like the competition. By plotting the behaviors from visitor to power user, you’ll know exactly how to nurture incoming users.
Of course, behaviors will vary depending on your industry, customer type, price point, and product, but there are still specific actions to track.
As a SaaS team, observe how often users log in to your application, the number of times users submit a service ticket, and the usage of advanced features. You’re looking for patterns that indicate a threshold of product adoption above standard users.
These behaviors will prepare your team to send new users down a similar journey. For example, if power users sign in five times a week, you can send an email to new users reminding them to log in to your platform. This way, you’re making a conscious effort to build a habit of loyalty.
Let data move your SaaS business toward more revenue. Past user behavior can produce future customer loyalty.
It’s time to upgrade your customer engagement. Infusing user behavior into your strategy leads to better experiences.
Start by identifying how users learn about your site. Then, pinpoint gaps in user activity to prevent churn. And always listen to customer feedback to improve the product.
Focus on user behavior. Then, shape your customer engagement.
About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.
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