For SaaS businesses, maintaining a customer base is equally as important as prospecting for new leads. Here's how to make it happen.
For SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses, maintaining a customer base is equally as important as prospecting for new leads, but juggling both can be a time consuming and expensive task.
The key to maximizing profitability in the SaaS space is finding the right balance between what you spend on your customer retention and what you make from the recurring business.
Not only that, but you want to find cost-effective ways to continue to optimize your customer service and keep existing and potential customers satisfied.
One money-saving strategy to implement is to develop and distribute content, which can improve both customer generation and retention for your SaaS company.
Below, we share expert tips for using content to boost customer success and retention at every stage of the relationship.
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Defining Your Customers
Before worrying about the best ways to keep your SaaS customers, first you’ll have to attract new ones to your business.
Perform in-depth research on your audience, and understand who will want to purchase your product, as well as who has the power to do so. Create buyer personas for each of your target audiences so that you can tailor your content to their needs, desires, and challenges as much as possible.
Consistently monitor your analytics for web traffic, ads, and any media platforms you use so you know which types of your content are already working with specific target segments.
Acquiring Your Customers
Once you have an understanding of the audience you are trying to reach, including the kinds of content they are most likely to engage with, it’s time to put your content team to work and solidify those relationships.
When using content to convert leads into customers, it should be quite specific regarding what your software provides, what services you provide, and what problem your software solves for your target consumers.
And most importantly, it should be accurate. Don’t talk about what you hope will happen in the future, stay focused on what you offer now.
At this stage, many marketers assume that spending money on ads is the ideal way to increase a company’s visibility in search networks. However, if you produce great content, you can save the potentially huge costs of PPC (pay-per-click) by earning the top spot in search results.
Similarly, the right content on the right platform will make all the difference. If your customer base is on LinkedIn, you have an excellent platform for disseminating your information and making personal connections at a low cost.
Remember, though, that it is crucial to be consistent in producing plenty of content so that you keep your activity levels high and potential customers see you as an asset.
Monitoring Customer Engagement
Part of that proactive customer service early in the sales process is monitoring potential customer activity during free trials.
You want to strike a balance between letting the customer settle into using your software and providing resources and support that help them maximize their experience.
The best way to use content at this stage is by producing articles or tips that are full of helpful information and next steps. If you keep an eye on your potential customer’s activity, you can tailor the content that you share with him or her to address the specific problem.
The Initial Sale: Onboarding
Once you’ve sold your product and service to a customer, your SaaS company still has to focus on keeping that customer happy with their purchase so they remain a long-time client.
Your initial onboarding process after the sale is a great time to put your content to use. Give customers access to tips, instruction guides, frequently asked questions, and anything else that will help them use your product on their own and better understand its value.
The more clearly you can present this information, the better. Follow-up emails can be a useful way to distribute useful content, and you can even consider dedicating a section of your website for customer access that contains all of the pertinent content.
Of course, you also want to be sure that customer service is proactive and available at this stage, but keeping your content readily accessible means that customers can do the leg work themselves, if they wish.
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Keeping Customers Loyal
Remember, as a SaaS business, you can’t focus exclusively on the customer acquisition process, you’re going to have to keep your existing customer base engaged. An initial purchase can lead to years of revenue, so you’ll need to provide consistently high levels of service from the start.
It’s a great idea to share product updates, new offerings, and general industry content on a semi-regular basis so that your customers see your service component as a valuable resource.
Newsletters, blog posts and social media are great channels through which to disseminate this information.