SaaS marketing: How to revolutionize customer experience
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SaaS marketing: How to revolutionize customer experience post-pandemic.

by Dorcas AdisaNovember 5th, 2021
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The global pandemic in 2020 brought about a shift in consumer behavior. In the virtual world, the SAAS industry witnessed an increase in downloads of apps and software. The use of social media increased by 56%, online services by 40%, and apps by 33%. Despite the boom in the industry, some SAAS companies struggled to remain profitable because they were not prepared to respond to the changing market. The big question we ask is will SAAS businesses survive post-pandemic? Let’s Define customer experience!

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The global pandemic in 2020 disrupted consumer behavior and how 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 buying decision has become a well-thought-out 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. In 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% compared to previous years.

A recent survey conducted 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 in the first month of the pandemic. **

Zoom experienced a significant boom in 2020 as well. The social conferencing software recorded a 200% increase in app downloads, from 10 million in December to 200 million downloads in March. At its peak, the company recorded 300 million daily participants attending virtual meetings and a tripling increase in paying customers.

With the increase in virtual migration, it was obvious that consumers were developing new habits and responding to marketing and products differently. For SaaS companies–and all other companies—this means developing 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 their ability to know individual consumers, first-party data is collected to observe consumer behaviors and reactions to the brand. Then, the company collects this data to create marketing materials tailored to customer needs.

With times and habits changing, a new challenge arose: consumer behavior and customer experience were changing. So 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,

Let’s define the customer experience

The customer experience (CX) is the sum of consumer interactions with a brand from the beginning of the buyer’s journey.

Its history can be traced back to the 1960s when 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 revenue a SaaS company generates. According to Forrester, companies with better customer experiences improve their income at twice the rate of companies with poor experiences. So with the changing market, it’s only reasonable that SaaS businesses develop a new approach to customer experience.

Why customer experience matters

  1. Loyal customers: A good customer experience builds an army of loyal customers. People with 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. In addition, keeping a loyal customer reduces the cost of acquiring a new customer, which is 7x greater. Finally, there’s the reduced cost of marketing put into getting new customers, which is cut back also.

  2. Reduce the number of churn customers: a high percentage happens due to a bad customer experience with the product. To decrease the number of churn customers, it is essential to prioritize customer experience and personalize the user journey of the customer when interacting with your brand.

  3. Builds trust: A good experience builds confidence. When brands give their customers a good experience, it is easy to improve your brand's image and build credibility. People can easily interact, promote, and buy because a brand is well-trusted.

  4. Create a competitive advantage for businesses: To stand out, a company must discover its competitive advantage. There are lots of other businesses out there with the same product and 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 on and off-screen.

  5. Increase the number of sales: Good customer service increases the number of sales from existing and referred customers. In addition, most people hesitate 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.

What makes a great customer experience

People consider several variables when considering their experience with businesses. For example, to some customers, a seamless purchase experience is the definition of a customer experience; to others, excellent 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’s journey. For example, understanding your customers' pain points and improving aspects of your product to suit their needs better would make a customer stick with you.

How to improve customer experience

Improving the customer experience is a game changer in consumer relationships with brands and leads to increased revenue. As stated earlier, the brands with the best customer service are the ones customers love to relate to. Conversely, unhappy customers are challenging to maintain, and many low-quality customers will lead to a high churn percentage.

Here are three ways to improve the customer experience:

Master the art of building a customer-centric business

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 with 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.

Collect and monitor consumer data.

Analytics provide a great insight into understanding the behavior of the consumer. Whether email marketing, social media ads, or website traffic, analytics help you track data daily, weekly, or monthly. Tools like Klaviyo help you onboard, segment, and analyze consumer data. Mailchimp is also excellent for monitoring consumer behavior.

Manage customer emotion

Many people decide if they will interact with your brand again based on the first interaction they have with it. When it comes to the 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 emotions to customers to convert them into long-term customers and recommend their products to others.

Take, for example, Slack. The company focuses on making people’s 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 six months.

But how did Slack hone its emotional branding game? **

Branding and marketing expert, Geoff Preece, attributes Slack’s growth to the company’s orientation: sincerity, competence, and excitement. Every marketing campaign released by the SaaS company focuses on creating powerful emotions in the hearts of its audience. Similarly, you can focus on building a solid brand by defining your brand's core values and managing customer emotions.

Final Thoughts

The changing market is resulting in a lot of wasted marketing resources. Post-pandemic, SaaS businesses struggle with marketing and understanding their customers. However, with the right customer experience and tracking of consumer behavior, SaaS businesses can better understand the market and develop marketing that cuts through the noise.

This article was first published here.