The global pandemic in 2020 disrupted consumer behavior and the way we interact with the environment. Due to the transition from physical to virtual interactions, the lockdown, and social distancing, consumers have developed a more complex habit when making buying decisions. What used to be a spontaneous decision when buying has become a well-thought process especially when choosing businesses to interact with.
In the online world, the SaaS industry witnessed an increase in the number of new user journeys created. At the wake of the pandemic, technologies like video conferencing apps, grocery apps, telehealth apps, and e-learning apps recorded an increase in revenue that went as high as 165% when compared to previous years.
surveyconducted in July 2021 revealed that the use of social media increased by 56%, online services by 40%, and apps by 33%—and these numbers are here to stay. This, you can say, is good news for the SAAS industry as many companies recorded growth in sales.
For example, Stewart Butterfield, CEO of slack announced that the company experienced a 15% spike in user growth from the first month of the pandemic. **
Zoom experienced a major boom in 2020 as well. The social conferencing software recorded a 200% increase in app download- from 10 million in December to 200 million downloads in March. At its peak, the company recorded a total of 300 million daily participants attending virtual meetings and a tripled increase in the number of paying customers.
With the increase in virtual migration, it was obvious that consumers are developing a new habit and responding to marketing and products differently. For SaaS companies–and all other companies–this means coming up with new strategies to interact with consumers following the change in consumer behavior. To marketers, it means studying consumers and making sense of the insignificant decisions that influence buying.**
Like most online businesses, SaaS companies rely on analyzing user data to monitor consumer behavior and predict trends. Because businesses are limited in knowing individual consumers, first-party data are collected to monitor consumer behaviors and reactions to the brand. The company collects these data to create marketing materials tailored to the needs of the customer.
With times and habits changing, a new challenge arose; consumer behavior was changing, and so must customer experience. How can SaaS businesses catch up to this change?
In this article, we will take a deeper look into the meaning of customer experience, understand the importance of customer experience to brands, and delve into how to improve customer experience,
Before we go any further,
The Customer experience (CX) is the sum of interactions that a consumer has with a brand from the beginning of the buyers’ journey.
Its history can be traced as far back as the 1960s where the businesses with higher revenues stayed ahead of their competition because of the quality of relationships they built with their customers. It wasn’t until 1994 when Lou Carbone used the term customer experience in his article titled "Engineering Customer Experiences," that it became commonly recognized.**
In today’s 21st century business, customer experience has been linked with the amount of revenue that a SAAS company generates. According to
Loyal customers: A good customer experience builds an army of loyal customers. People who have a personalized experience with your brand–especially at the first point of contact–want to interact with your brand longer. On average, consumers engage better with brands who deliver exceptional customer service and in turn, they become life-long advocates for the brand by sending referrals your way. Keeping a loyal customer reduces the cost of acquiring a new customer which is 7x greater when compared. There’s the reduced cost of marketing put into getting new customers which are cut back also.
Reduce the number of churn customers: a high percentage happens as a result of a bad customer experience with the product. To decrease the number of churn customers, it is important to prioritize customer experience and personalize the user journey of the customer when interacting with your brand.
Builds trust: A good experience builds trust. When brands give their customers a good experience, it is easy to improve the image of your brand and build credibility. People can easily interact, promote, and buy because a brand is well trusted.
Create a competitive advantage for businesses: To stand out, a business must discover its competitive advantage. There are lots of other businesses out there with the same product, same features; the competition is tough to beat. That’s why most companies have moved to use good customer experience as their competitive edge to stand out from the crowd. Businesses are driven to stay ahead of the curve by investing in a personalized experience both on and off-screen.
Increase the number of sales: Good customer service increases the number of sales from existing and referred customers. Most people are hesitant to change from brands where they feel cared for and prefer to stick with them. For the brand, this results in an increase in sales.
People consider a number of variables when considering their experience with businesses. To some customers, a seamless purchase experience is the definition of a customer experience while to others, great customer service is a great customer experience. Either one makes up a part of a great customer experience.
A good experience involves personalizing each customer experience journey. Understanding the pain points of your customer and improving the aspects of your product to better suit the need of your customer would make a customer stick with you.
Improving customer experience is a game-changer in consumer relationships with brands as well as an increase in revenue. As stated earlier, the brands with the best customer service are the brands customers love to relate with. Unhappy customers are difficult to maintain, and a high number of unhappy customers will lead to a high percentage in the number of churn customers.
Here are 3 ways to improve customer experience:
Good marketing is all about building relationships with your customers. It starts by paying attention to your customers' needs and tailoring individual experiences. Building a customer-centric business requires an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior and how they interact with your product and brand.
Customers today want to feel a connection to the businesses they interact with. With first-party data, you can track consumer behavior—while protecting their privacy of course— to build better products and create focused marketing.
Analytics provide a great insight into understanding the behavior of the consumer. Whether it’s email marketing, social media ads, or website traffic, analytics help you track data daily, weekly, or monthly. Tools like
Many people decide if they will interact with your brand again from the first interaction they have with your brand. When it comes to customer experience, be specific about the emotion you want to evoke in your customers when they interact with your brand. Organizations focus on providing feel-good emotion in customers to convert them into long-term customers and recommend their products to other people.
Take for example, Slack. The company focus on making peoples’ lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive—as stated in the company’s mission statement. We saw a clear result of managing customer emotions when Slack tripled its sales in months.
But, how did Slack hone its emotional branding game?**
Branding and marketing expert,
The changing market is resulting in a lot of wasted marketing resources. Post-pandemic, SaaS businesses struggle with marketing and understanding their customer. However, with the right customer experience, and tracking consumer behavior, SaaS businesses can now better understand the market and develop marketing that cuts through the noise.
This article was first published here.