Customer experience matters more today than it ever has because we are guilty of creating cookie cutter customer journeys that have all but eliminated human engagement. Building a brand that stands for something beyond just profit and provides a unique customer experience every step of the way will give you a competitive advantage.
Today, I will show you 7 ways to make your SaaS customer’s journey unique and more human using technology.
1.Use Analytics To Increase Human Interaction In The Attract Stage
Customers come in all shapes and sizes, and not every person is a good fit for your product. That’s why you need more than just gut feelings to find – and attract – your ideal customer.
One of the things I tell clients is to build buyer personas based on user stories and real life customer conversations. Using data from real users, case studies, and human interactions empower you in your quest to attract the right buyer.
Enter data and analytics.
Analytics allow organisations to use feedback 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 identify behaviours and channels to better engage with customers. Likewise, analytics will help you work out what topics, content and formats are working to drive interest and engage directly with prospects.
Insights into who you are targeting and what interests them will allow you to build out a better customer experience for prospects right from the start.
2. Chatbots Can Point Customers In The Right Direction In The Conversion Stage
Chatbots are a an exciting tool you can implement quickly and easily.
Keep in mind, however, that an automated chatbot is not a substitute for high-touch human interactions.
A chatbot can make all 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. Chatbots can be programmed to answer the client’s FAQs and dispel their pre-purchase doubts without the need for a human.
Automated chatbots can be your first line of interaction in helping prospects clarify their queries, thus enabling you to intervene and guide the customer in more specific instances. But, when it comes to more detailed conversations or complex questions, chatbots can be quite limited.
To create a great customer experience, create unique scripts and workflows in your chatbot that are engaging and on-brand. Identify when it is best to continue the chat in the bot or hand the conversation over to a human to book a demo. This will help keep the experience as engaging as possible and prevent customers from getting caught in an endless automated chatbot loop.
3. 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 regarding products, services, or brands. Sentiment analysis can help you identify how your customers are relating to your brand so that you can take action on those findings. I’m a big fan of this and have been using these types of 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 of this type of data. As the business grows, it’s useful to subscribe to tools like BuzzSumo to track new sentiments and brand conversations.
Imagine your customer is heading towards a negative experience on your website. Through sentiment analysis tools, 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. In this way, you can pair your customer with the right customer success person and improve their overall experience.
4. 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 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, thus 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 service.
5. Enforce High Touch Approaches To Drive Customer Success
While the high touch approach to Customer Success is not a technological innovation, it’s certainly a technology-driven trend.
You can also call it customer success 2.0 if you want, I won’t stop you.
In a high-touch customer success model, you build deep long-lasting relationships, as well as collect a significant amount of knowledge about your customer. This information includes customer feelings about the product as well as 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 could ever provide. By drawing on the customer feedback, you can provide relevant solutions to them and expand their value.
6. Horizontal Integrations Improve The Closing Stage
Data silos are breaking down and you have to be prepared for this as you build out your tech strategy.
One of the new realities of the SaaS industry is that software platforms that only do one thing are losing ground to solutions that can “do it all.” Even if your software caters to a specific sector, you need to be prepared to cover every possible blind spot.
So, what does this mean for your business?
It means that even though your SaaS solution is a great fit for an organization, you still have to build it in such a way that it can be connected with a large number of third-party integrations. For example, consider open API access for developers and users so they can integrate their existing solutions with yours so as not to lose potential clients.
Once you’ve attracted your customers, don’t lose them during the trial stage simply because you lacked the interconnectivity they were looking for.
7. Build a Strong Community To Increase 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 social 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.
The solution here is to build a community around your product. If you already have advocates, these “pro” customers will give both your new and current customers a more personalized, tailored solution that might not be on your knowledge base.
A final tip here: Make sure you post fun, interesting, and relevant content in addition to self-promoting company info. When you offer value and the human +1, your customers are more likely to stick around for the long haul.
The human touch enables SaaS companies to create better customer experiences while helping them 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 in your engagement strategy will help maintain that connection.
Cat Williams-Treloar founded Humanisation, a Human-Centered Marketing Consultancy. Humanisation was born to help startups make a human impact in a digital world as they Go-To-Market across APAC.