Customer Experience today matters, and it matters more than it did a couple of years ago because we are guilty of creating cookie cutter customer journeys. Building a brand that stands for something and providing a unique experience every step of the way will give you a competitive advantage.
Today, I will show you 7 ways to make your SaaS customers’ journey unique and more human using tech.
So, let’s start with the journey. Is your seatbelt buckled?
Using analytics to increase human interaction in the attract stage
Customers come in all shapes and sizes, but not every person out there is a good fit for your product. That’s why you need more than gut feelings to find –and attract– your ideal customer.
One of the things I tell the clients often is to build buyer personas based on user stories and real-life customer conversations. Using data from real users, case studies, and human interaction, you’ll be more successful in attracting the right buyer.
Enter data and analytics.
Analytics allows organisations to use feedback and reactions to monitor what works.
At the top of the funnel, analytics can help you with prospect targeting and content ideas. When it comes to targeting prospects, data will help you to identify behaviours and channels to engage better. Likewise, analytics will help you to work out what topics, content, and formats are working to drive interest and engage directly with prospects wherever it matters to them.
Insights into who you are targeting and what interests prospects will allow you to build out a better customer experience from the start.
Chatbots can point customers in the right direction in the conversion stage
Chatbots are a quick and exciting tool to implement.
But keep in mind that an automated chatbot cannot substitute high-touch human interactions.
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A chatbot can make the difference in the conversion stage of the journey. You can use automated conversations in the conversion stage to help qualify the customer and point them in the right direction for information, especially because chatbots can be programmed to answer the client’s FAQ and dispel their pre-purchase doubts without the need for a human.
Automated chatbots can be your first line of interaction, helping prospects clarify their queries, enabling you to intervene and guide the customer in more specific instances. But when it comes to more detailed conversations or tricky questions, once you walk in your customers’ shoes and talk to a chatbot you’ll realise most are quite limited.
To create a great customer experience, create unique scripts and workflows in your chatbot that are engaging and on-brand. Identify when is best to hand over to a human whether it’s to continue the chat in the bot or to step out of it and book a demonstration. This will help to keep the experience as engaging as possible and stops customers from getting caught in an endless automated chatbot loop.
Use sentiment analysis to differentiate between positive and negative interactions
Let’s say you have a fantastic website and a great product, but, for some reason, it’s not converting well enough. Here’s where machine learning can help you improve your customer experience.
Machine learning can analyse every interaction your customers have with your product and extract insights from them. This is called sentiment analysis and can turn unstructured information into actionable data about products, services, or brands. The sentiment analysis can help you identify how your customers are relating to your brand and take action. I’m a big fan of this and have been using tools for over a decade to help guide decisions.
If you are a brand new startup, use free tools or set up free alerts to help you keep track. As the business grows, it’s useful to subscribe to track news sentiment and brand conversations.
The benefit to your overall experience is if a customer is heading towards a negative experience, you can take a human action to correct that and improve the relationship.
You can even take that data further and learn which employee is best suited for that customer; that way, you can pair your customer with the right person and increase their overall experience.
Improve retention using IoT connectivity
Leveraging the capabilities of the Internet of Things is still new in the SaaS scene and many companies are just starting to glimpse how the IoT can bring value to their products and services.
IoT connects the dots between your customer’s data and your products, leveraging your devices’ connectivity to increase your SaaS functionalities.
IoT can connect your software with other devices, helping you improve your service’s operational advantages. It can help you deliver customised offers at the perfect moment, manage inventory, and understand product usage trends.
For instance, IoT connected devices collect utilisation data and can offer additional subscription services, predictive maintenance, performance management, and proactive customer service rather than reactive services.
With IoT, you gain first-hand, immediate insights that help you prevent churn and make informed decisions before your customers even know they need your help.
Enforce high touch approaches to drive customer success
While the high touch approach to Customer Success is not a technological innovation, it’s a technology-driven trend.
You can also call it customer success 2.0 if you want, I won’t stop you.
How to show customers that you care
In a high-touch customer success model, you build deep long-lasting relationships, as well as collecting a significant amount of knowledge about your customer. This information includes feelings about the product to challenges they have with its adoption.
With a high-touch model, you can test your new product upgrades with a community of users and get their feedback. It also opens up far greater insights than pure-play ticket submissions can provide. By drawing on the customer knowledge, you can provide relevant solutions to your customers and expand their value.
Horizontal integrations improve the closing stage
Data silos are breaking down; you have to be prepared as you build out your tech.
One of the new realities of the SaaS industry is that very specific software is losing ground to do-it-all-solutions. Even if your software caters to a specific sector, you need to be prepared to cover every possible blind spot.
And you might ask me, “What does this mean for my business?”
It means that even though your SaaS solution can be a great fit, you have to build it to integrate with a large number of third-party integrations. Think of Open API access for developers and users so they can integrate their existing solutions with yours as not to lose potential clients.
Once you’ve attracted your customers, don’t lose it during the trial only because you lack the interaction they are looking for, so make sure your solution is connected.
Build a strong community to increase the retention rate
This is one of the mistakes I often come across when helping customers. Most of them have websites and fully functioning products, but they don’t really have product-centered communities to support them.
And this is terrible for your customer.
Once customers find you and commit, they are not likely to return to your website; not even if they need help or are looking for special offerings.
Rather than sending them to your website, build a community around your product. If you already have advocates, these “pro” customers will help the new ones, and those who need your help can get a more personal, tailored information that might not be on your knowledge base.
Now, you have to make sure you don’t only post boring company info. Offer value and the human +1 and your customers will stay.
The human touch enables SaaS companies to create a better customer experience helping to grow at each stage of the journey. It is possible to earn a meaningful role in customers’ lives, and a mix of innovation and humanity will help to connect.
About the author
Cat Williams-Treloar founded Humanisation, a Human-Centered Marketing Consultancy.
Humanisation was born to help tech start-ups make a human impact in a digital world as they Go-To-Market across APAC.
Cat has worked as a Strategist and marketing professional for the past 18 years. For the past 10 years, Cat has acted as a consultant, agency partner and marketing director in 30 countries to help businesses craft a more human approach to their go-to-market strategies and grow internationally.