In business, it’s a widely held belief (for good reason) that you spend more acquiring a new customer than you do retaining a current one. In the world of SaaS business — where revenue is often billed on a recurring basis — this holds doubly true. To avoid spending copious amounts on customer acquisition costs, it’s vitally important that Client Success teams work to nurture the relationships of your customers and increase customer retention.
Here are the six steps to keeping your customers happy.
1. Set Expectations Early. Underpromise
The foundation of a happy customer relationship is built by setting expectations as soon as possible. Customers need to know what working with you entails. It’s important they realize how much support to expect, who will handle their account, and how much engagement they’ll have with your Customer Success team. Set these expectations early to avoid disappointment later on.
Now that your customers know what to expect, it’s important you go above and beyond. Nine times out of ten, your customer may not realize how much more they can get out of your SaaS product. It’s up to your Customer Success team to help customers find success in ways they hadn’t thought of. Going that extra mile is key to keeping your customers close.
3. Ask… and Then Listen!
A silent customer is not necessarily a happy customer. Ensure that your Customer Success team is regularly checking in and probing for feedback. But, remember that receiving feedback is just one half of the equation. To really make an impression, ensure that you’re acting on feedback once you’ve received it. Don’t spoil an otherwise perfect relationship by failing to respond to customers when they raise their voice.
4. Be a Human Being
Yes, with the abundance of helpdesk software and automation applications it’s much easier to manage your customers now than ever before. But don’t let technology get in the way of a human relationship. Even with a small staff or limited budget, you still have an opportunity to reach out to your clients and let them know you’re human. This can be through personal emails, phone calls, or even (for your larger clients) a personal visit. Whatever you choose, just be sure you’re regularly taking time to connect on a personal level.
5. Exit Analysis
Despite your best efforts, it’s inevitable that some of your customers will cancel their subscription eventually. Use this opportunity to examine their time with your company. Was it a question of price? Were you providing enough value for cost? Were there areas you could have offered an easy value add? It’s important to examine churn so you can prevent it from happening in the future.
6. Put your Money Where your Mouth Is
Customer Retention is one of those easier said than done things. It’s easy to say you care for your customers. It’s easy to say everyone is treated like family. Actually doing it is a different story. Be sure that as you implement best practices you’re simultaneously building systems that help you execute on them. Find ways to audit the effectiveness of your policies and discover where you might be falling short.
These six steps will set you well on your way to achieving foolproof customer retention. But your company is a growing organism. As you expand and grow, be sure to revisit your policy and direction. Never allow your growth to outpace your dedication to customer success.