Let’s look closely at the basic tools necessary to ensure the smooth engagement, onboarding and retention of your customers and users. In this post we will review the basic “must-have” processes and product features that every SaaS product needs in order to focus on their customers and keep their users engaged.
Throughout the onboarding process your customers are going to need tech support, human support and any other online resources that are available. The first time your team will be put to the test is during the adoption stage and when managing the switching costs of the customer. Make sure to explain the onboarding next steps and to clearly define the process before you begin. Getting stuck between a rock and a hard place is not pleasant for any of the sides involved.
Spend the time and energy to invest in your product onboarding and customer support and customer success to ensure an amazing user experience.
Remember that much of the customer’s Q&A should be easy to find and resolve online. This should be done independently via your portal or other resources such as Docs, online chat and through your support channel. Make sure to streamline the direct contact that is being made with Customer Success and Support so that they aren’t being bogged down by lower level issues that were easily resolvable somewhere down the ladder.
The Development/Feedback Cycle
Is the customer currently at the center of your business and growth? You will be going through many stages of development and the attention to detail and your customers’ feedback will be a make or break for your next stages of development. Your platform should be collecting data from all possible sources so that you have a 360 degree view of your customer at all times. The customer experience is not an afterthought, an outcome of developer’s solitude, locked away in their bubble coding and building whatever the recent sprint was based on their own assumptions and goals instead of their users. If you continue to look outward towards your users and customers for feedback and guidance, you will end up showcasing a carefully designed and constructed “customer friendly” final product.
“If you build it, they will come.” well, the only problem is that they may have tried to arrive but got lost somewhere in a jumble of acronyms, menus and miscommunication. Attention spans are short, and you have 30 seconds or less to get your customer onto the right page. Same thing holds for your product. Design your product around an intuitive and easy to use platform. Make sure that changes and features are easy to use and implement. Create quick transitions by issuing a ticket and offering a clear resolution channel. Clearly state your live chat, email, phone, contact form, social media and help desk ticket software in locations your users will be able to search for and find.
You know first what the latest developments are. You are aware of all of the latest fixes and features on your product before anyone else. Make no mistake about it. Because a quick second to find out is your users. Why wait for the questions and comments to start rolling in? Preempt this by leading the conversation. Send out newsletters or pop ups to your customers letting them know what’s coming next, what features you are launching, problems you have solved and more. They will be grateful for this ongoing interaction and you will also have another channel for immediate feedback and AB testing of your latest upgrades.
Try to make your product as self-service as possible. Most of the users are used to getting awesome experiences where there’s no need for someone to hold their hand during the process. Even if it is indeed challenging at early stages, you should always aim for a great experience in which customers are able to perform any action they desire on their own, within their account management in your portal, without the need to open tickets or call someone.
Remember that when building your SaaS product, customers are not only your lifeline, they are your critics and your fans and they provide most of the metrics around everything you are doing right and what needs improving.
At Frontegg we take a heavily customer-centric approach. Starting from dedicated Slack channels with all of our customers where we aim to answer KPIs in under 3 minutes. We also invest a lot of time thinking and brain storming our current onboarding processes so that our customers can integrate our solutions in a clean and efficient manner.
Besides building our own processes around these notions, we also help our customers make their own platforms much more customer centric. For example, all of our managed capabilities come with a customer facing UI that the end user can use on their own to solve any account related task within the SaaS product.