Whatever sector your start-up operates in you can be sure that your customers have plenty of other options to choose from if not your SaaS product. So why is it that your customers choose to “fly with you” rather than your competitors?
Getting closer to understanding why customers not only choose you in the first place, but also why they decide to leave, is key to your company’s long-term success.
And don’t make assumptions – don’t just assume your customers leave because they’ve found a cheaper product a couple of clicks away. Because pricing is often not even a top 3 ranking factor when customers choose you, or leave you.
Certainly if your SaaS product has a free tier, or a free-trial then this enables your customers to evaluate your product without having to make that decision to buy straight off the bat.
It’s important therefore that even before customers have signed up for your free tier or trial that they’re already in some-way engaged with your product or service. It’s not simply about having a good converting website. Reach out to prospective customers on your site with live-chat; don’t assume that they will click to ask you if they have questions. Chances are most that do have questions and kind find the answers quickly and easily will simply move on.
The conversations that your team have with prospective customers before they’ve even signed-up shape that relationship going forward. It gives the potential customer the comfort that your service is one that is friendly, helpful and, if they do decide to part with their money, can be trusted.
Deliver the same level of excellence in customer service to your free customers as you do paid. Although clearly not all free customers will convert to your paid plans, your free customers are often your biggest advocates. They will tell others about you, many of whom will go on to pay.
There is little doubt that excellent customer services influences whether or not customers go on to sign-up to a paid plan. Research has shown that up to 70% of buying decisions are based solely on how your customer services team treat your customer.
Of course customer service isn’t simply about just making a good impression to win their business. It’s about building up an on-going relationship. Not only making the on-boarding process as simply as possible to ensure that issues don’t arise in the first place, but when they do resolving them quickly. 81% of customers who have a good experience such as this will continue to renew month-after-month. And the longer they renew the more attached they become to your product and your service – not just in terms with being comfortable with your product and usability, but in terms of loyalty to your brand. If you look at your customer user base you will almost certainly see your churn rate decrease once customers have been using you for a certain period of time; for instance if your customer has been using you for three months and their experience of the product and customer service is excellent, then chances are they’re going to be with you a long time. So go out of your way to get as many of your customers to that point where they’re now loyal and locked in.
Of course when customer service is poor, the opposite happens. Whatever your product, whatever sector your start-up is in, there will always be times when the customer experience is not what they, or quite frankly you, would have liked. But this isn’t the point at which, or the reason why customers leave. They leave, or rather churn, when you fail to resolve that issue for them in a way that makes them happy. In fact 95% of customers will leave where customer services has left them unhappy.
So why do people choose to fly with you? Quite simply because the customer service is good. A study by American Express showed that 70% of customers were happy to spend 13% more money with companies that provided excellent customer service. That very same study also showed that each customer who has a really positive experience with customer service team will tell 9 other people about their experience.
Of course there is more to attracting new customers and keeping them than just excellent customer service, but assuming your product is reliable and competitive in terms of features and pricing, customer service can set you apart from the rest. For better, or for worse.
James Barnes, Co-Founder StatusCake.com – Uptime Monitoring
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