Written by Cassie Lee |
We've all heard the adage that keeping existing customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones. For SaaS companies, this is especially salient. The SaaS model provides customers with more flexibility and lower costs. It also means that keeping customers successful – and securing a renewal one year later – is critical to building a sustainable business.
Here at GoodData, we do a White Glove Treatment where we focus on these main customer values:
- Partnership: be an extension of their team
- Transparency: share progress, risks, feedback
- Responsiveness: regular contact cadence
- Velocity: rapid time-to-value
- Vision: long term mutual growth
To simplify things, we’ve condensed these customer values into four easy steps for you to implement into your organization to build long-term, successful customers:
Step 1: Support From the Beginning
The very first step in building long-term customers begins with the onboarding process. The key is customer enablement, which includes providing a guideline with the available processes and resources, as well as training the customers on how to use the platform. This touches upon the partnership aspect of the White Glove Treatment: becoming an extension of their team and supporting them along the process This creates a smooth experience to produce high customer satisfaction right from the start. It is essential to ensure that your customers get as much value out of your product as possible.
The customer success team at GoodData does exactly that — establish a secure relationship by offering guidance and platform training to new clients.
Step 2: Stay in Touch
To succeed, turn your customers into valuable partners. Be transparent with your customers and reach out from day one to establish clear communication channels and help them understand the next steps. Then, stay in touch regularly and be responsive to their needs. A quiet customer does not mean everything is going smoothly — having an outreach plan will help you catch concerns early and keep customers engaged.
Making a customer successful is an ongoing process — it requires a commitment to innovation and customer engagement. By working with customers to understand their needs, your company can continually improve while getting buy-in on the roadmap.
At GoodData, we send regular newsletters to remain in constant communication with our customers — who are our top priority. These educational newsletters are aiming to preserve our relationship with our current customers by being transparent about any business, product, or service updates we may have. In addition, customers have one main point of contact throughout their life cycle. This person can marshal the resources needed to make them successful, and also looks for opportunities to add business value by sharing GoodData improvements.
Step 3: Take Advantage of Your Usage Data
Cloud-based businesses have unprecedented access to product-usage data. This data can provide insights into customer behavior that help you stay ahead of your competition.
To track your growing customer base, build analytics that quickly show usage trends. If a customer's usage is falling below a baseline, create an alert to contact that customer immediately. If you notice a customer is facing any challenges or roadblocks in their business goals, figure out the best resource they can use. Catching and addressing negative trends early is key to retaining your customers.
GoodData tracks usage to identify both at-risk and highly satisfied users. We have asked some of these happy customers to write guest blog posts, serve as sales references, and participate in events to share their GoodData experience.
Step 4: Get a Holistic View of Customer Satisfaction
Customer knowledge lives throughout your company. CRM systems, accounting systems, website traffic analytics, surveys, and other tools contain part of the customer story. But to keep customers onboard, you need to understand their entire experience.
Make sure you identify the data you need and where it exists in your company. Then, create a process to share insights from this information. This is where the velocity and vision elements of the White Glove Treatment come in. At GoodData, we pull together sales information, usage data, communications history, NPS surveys, and more, then share it across the company to:
- Quickly understand the health of our customer base;
- Increase customer satisfaction and engagement;
- Identify and retain at-risk customers;
- Find upsell and cross-sell opportunities; and
- Efficiently predict and track renewals
We have also organized a Customer Advisory Board (CAB) where we engage in interactive discussions with customers to review their needs and align our goals. The CAB serves as a mutually beneficial forum for both our customers and the company in shaping our best practices. Through this, we have been able to deepen our relationship with the customers and distinguish where our areas of growth are, prompting for higher customer retention and satisfaction.
Spotlight On Customer Success
As the SaaS model proliferates, smart customer management is taking center stage. Companies need to be efficient in building close relationships with their customers and leveraging technology to stay competitive. Help your customers succeed and you'll receive a standing ovation.
Written by Cassie Lee |