5 tips for making your SaaS company customer-centric
Nobody cares about the best deal anymore.
As more and more SaaS companies appear on the scene, customers have a growing variety of choices. Who will they put their trust in? In 2021, buyers made it clear they wished to support brands that were eco-friendly, socially active, and purpose-driven.
And most of all, they wanted proof that brands would be ready to prioritize their experience – even if it meant doing so at their own cost.
So how can you make your SaaS company customer-centric in 2022? This article explores the most effective tips for prioritizing the customer experience to drive trust, conversions, and loyalty.
What is customer-centricity and why is it important?
The best way to describe a customer-centric business is to say that it's an organization that understands customer wants, needs, and expectations.
In a customer-centric setting, the organization (and its employees) aims to deliver an unmatched experience to existing and future clients, always prioritizing the consumers' point of view.
There are several reasons why customer-centricity plays a crucial role in the success of a business:
- By making decisions based on customer needs, organizations ensure their products and services have the highest chance of filling market gaps. This secures higher conversions and helps organizations become future-proof thanks to delivering genuinely needed value.
- Customer-centricity also means agility, as listening to (and hearing) consumer demands gives organizations the unique opportunity to make any necessary changes in their business models to keep up with the rapid changes in consumer sentiment.
- Basing business decisions on customer expectations also drives customer satisfaction and loyalty. It helps organizations boost client retention rates and increases customer lifetime value. Furthermore, it minimizes marketing costs by turning clients into advocates, happy to recommend a company delivering a first-rate experience.
5 tips for making your SaaS company customer-centric
As you can see, there are genuine gains to be made by basing your business decisions on a customer-oriented standpoint. So, if you're ready to make the switch to becoming a customer-centric SaaS business, the following are the five tips for ensuring the change works for your brand.
1. Listen to consumer sentiment
In 2022, having insights into consumer sentiment will be essential in optimizing your products and services to deliver on and exceed customer expectations. After all, having a clear idea of your audience's attitude towards spending money will give you a clear picture of where your priorities should lie.
However, the problem arises from the fact that, right now, buyer sentiment is changing more rapidly than ever. With disruptions like the pandemic, supply chain issues, and high inflation levels, buyers are exhibiting precautionary behaviors, meaning that their dollars are most likely to go towards essential purchases, with discretionary spending taking a back seat.
The only way for SaaS brands (both B2C and B2B) to overcome this emerging unwillingness to invest in products that seem to be an extravagance is to apply themselves to listen to their audiences.
In other words, they must efficiently identify consumer pain points, develop superior products, and deliver the convenience, personalization, and exceptional support that buyers across the globe expect from brands.
And to do this, customer-centric SaaS businesses must find ways to keep in the loop so that they can go above and beyond with their software solutions.
Customer listening in practice
There are several listening methods SaaS companies can use to achieve true customer intimacy and make customer-centric decisions that will ensure their success in a volatile market:
- Social listening
One of the easiest ways for SaaS companies to keep an eye on consumer sentiment is to employ social listening software like Hootsuite Insights. By monitoring relevant channels for brand mentions (and conversations around relevant topics), organizations can analyze the information and find new and effective ways to offer audiences the value they're after.
- Existing data
Another excellent strategy for measuring consumer sentiment is looking at existing data. SaaS companies can take the customer experience they offer to the next level by identifying frequently asked questions, analyzing customer feedback, and using existing data to improve the overall user experience. For example, Evernote continues listening to user feedback using the insights to bring new features–like the ability to customize keyboard shortcuts–to its mobile and desktop apps.
- New research techniques
To make your company truly customer-centric, you will have to collaborate with your audience on making your software the best possible solution for their needs. And what better way to do so than to actively seek feedback from the people who will be using your SaaS products? A UX testing solution like Optimal Workshop can help you deliver an exceptional customer experience by giving you the necessary tools to understand your users by asking questions, following website interactions, and analyzing the feedback you receive.
- Relevant resources
Finally, as you explore ways to measure consumer sentiment to boost client experiences, remember that the easiest way to keep up with global trends is to follow relevant resources. Organizations like Gartner, Deloitte, and McKinsey regularly publish research regarding consumer trends. You can use this data to make your SaaS solutions valuable in this day and age. And if you take inspiration from Affinda, you could even use the data to create a unique value proposition that lets your audience know your SaaS brand is ready for the future.
2. Personalize communication channels
According to McKinsey, as many as 71% of consumers expected personalization from businesses in 2021. And 76% of them became frustrated when brands failed to deliver.
So, what exactly does this information mean for SaaS companies aiming to become more customer-centric?
More than anything else, the data signifies that buyers are losing their patience with brands not considering the user experience when developing their marketing and sales strategies. Instead of being bombarded with hundreds of irrelevant messages about the benefits of one product or another, today's consumers prefer to only interact with businesses capable of solving their specific pain points.
So, as you look for ways to make your SaaS company customer-centric, do your best to meet your audience where they are. Then, tailor your messages to directly address their needs and interests without beating around the bush.
Personalization in SaaS marketing
A website, email marketing, and social media presence are no longer enough in 2022. These days, the traditional buyer's journey includes a much higher number of touch-points, with consumers demanding convenience and relevance across multiple channels of sales.
For example, in 2021, two-thirds of B2B buyers chose either remote human interactions or digital self-service during the purchasing process. This could be seen as a signal that buyers sought either the convenience delivered by independent problem-solving or the benefits of customized solutions that would allow them to get more value out of their investments.
And this is priceless information, as it helps customer-centric SaaS businesses uncover new ways to communicate that relevant value today's buyers seek.
For example, the information that B2B buyers want to engage with humans when procuring products or services for their companies might signal that it's time to re-think how SaaS sales work.
One way to deliver a dose of personalization to brand-buyer communication might be to stop using generic calls to action on SaaS websites and replace them with invitations for potential buyers to book a product demo. That's how TimeTackle did it, for example:
Another would be to empower existing customers with in-depth self-service resources – like the help and tutorials database on the Notion website – which employs educational content to help customers get more out of their investment.
Some customer-centric brands might even choose to move their customer support over to social media. Check out how well Spotify used Twitter during its recent blackout, keeping users up to date with relevant information and assisting those experiencing trouble logging into their accounts.
Of course, as you look for ways to make your organization customer-centric, don't forget that you will have to personalize more than the communication channels you use to support your users.
The content you serve will have to be just as well-targeted, providing your audience with unique, valuable information. Moreover, it will have to be delivered at the right point of the buyer's journey.
3. Understand that buyer behavior is rapidly changing
As you explore strategies for delivering a customer-centric user experience, don't forget that your SaaS company will have to remain agile in a world where buyer behavior and values change week by week.
In other words, your brand will have to be ready to respond to any of these changes if it intends to put customer-centricity at the heart of its values.
Putting agility at the core of your customer-centric SaaS brand
For an excellent example of how buyer behavior might impact your ability to deliver an exceptional user experience, look at the way people use social media these days. According to GWI, 24% of Gen-Z spend less time on social than last year.
So, if your SaaS product caters to this audience, you might have to get creative and explore new ways to make your software solution deliver the value these users demand.
Things 3, for instance, solves its dependence on social media channels by developing shortcuts and widgets and delivering them to users via regular app updates. Instead of spending a large portion of its marketing budget on creating content, the company utilizes a much more budget-friendly marketing strategy, which happens to leave a sizable sum for influencer collaborations that introduce the Things 3 app to new users.
Another excellent illustration of how customer-centric SaaS companies can work to keep up with evolving consumer demands comes from Ultimate Meal Plans. Following the pandemic, this brand recognized the 23% growth in the popularity of online grocery shopping. So, it introduced instant online grocery checkout and delivery support to its app.
4. Focus on keeping customer data safe
Over the past few years, consumers have started paying increasing attention to data privacy.
In fact, according to a PEW report from 2020, 52% of Americans have decided not to use products or services due to privacy concerns. Moreover, customer-centric apps like Telegram have witnessed considerable growth in their usage figures, which is mainly due to their approach to user privacy and customization.
With this in mind, customer-oriented SaaS organizations will have to include a more active approach to keeping users' personal data safe in 2022 and beyond.
Strategies for supporting user privacy
The topics of privacy and cybersecurity may seem daunting to SaaS businesses. However, the truth is they're perfectly enforceable with a methodological approach that relies on a few key steps:
- Ensuring compliance with relevant laws
In addition to the well-known GDPR, SaaS brands must also familiarize themselves with the many state data privacy laws active in the US, including the CCPA, CDPA, CPA, SHIELD Act, and the upcoming CPRA.
- Increasing transparency
- Zero-party data
As you look to deliver personalized experiences and relevant content without excessive tracking, you might want to start playing around with zero-party data. This is how Wyzowl approaches its lead-generation process, asking potential customers a couple of straightforward questions that help users retain control over what data they share but still makes sure they get a personalized offer.
5. Deliver extra value
Lastly, as you look for ways to make your company customer-centric, don't forget that the key to having happy and loyal SaaS clients necessitates a value-driven approach to customer success.
That's right–the best way to differentiate your brand from the competition is to focus your attention on delivering an exceptional customer experience. But the thing is, most businesses aren't doing too well in this regard.
According to Gartner, 85% of consumers felt they weren't getting enough value in 2021.
So, if you're committed to building a brand that is dedicated to solving its customers' needs, you must start thinking about success and satisfaction from your target audience's point of view.
Using value to drive customer success and satisfaction
Working to ensure customer success in SaaS might seem like an impossible task. After all, you have no real control over how users employ the software solutions you provide.
But the truth is, the results your clients achieve when using your products do depend on your approach to customer experience.
A success-oriented onboarding strategy should be more than just a tutorial showing new customers around your software. It should also include an educational element and easy access to expert guidance. That way, your clients understand the value they're getting from their investment and are presented with ways to get even more.
And once you've created an onboarding program that maximizes conversions by introducing new users to all the value you deliver, don't forget to invest resources into boosting customer loyalty and reducing churn rates.
As an illustration of a SaaS brand that puts does this beautifully, check out Grammarly. The brand's weekly insights newsletter provides customers with valuable information about their writing style and accuracy and provides actionable tips for getting even better at communicating through the written word.
What's great about the newsletter is that it's sent not just to premium users but also to those who use the free version. This helps the brand build its reputation as an irreplaceable SaaS solution used by students, professionals, and creatives worldwide.
Dedication to customers + agility = customer centricity
Making your SaaS business customer-centric is no simple process. Firstly, it requires brands to be fully dedicated to identifying and solving consumer pain points. And on top of that, it also relies on their ability to remain agile in a rapidly-evolving market with a growing number of competitors.
The tips covered in this article make for excellent tactics for those looking to prioritize the customer experience, deliver exceptional value, and inspire customer loyalty. So don't hesitate to start implementing them right now. After all, even a small step in the right direction makes for a move towards success–both for you and your customers.
Learn more about developing customer intimacy: