With customers. It’s in your job description, sure, but it’s also in your blood. You practically eat, breathe, and dream about customer retention.
You’re in the right place.
So, here are 13 brand-new ways to grow your SaaS customer retention efforts fast.
It’s all in here, just for you.
- Convert faster.
- Drive instant value.
- Never stop training.
- Cut your trials in half.
- Nudge your non-users.
- Free up your CSM team.
- Automate the small stuff.
- Control the implementation.
- Focus on high-touch accounts.
- Create customer collaboration.
- Double your engagement rates.
- Update training assets all at once.
- Customize the customer experience.
I’ll get into each.
But first, if you need more than what I share here, I’ve got you. Just send a note and we’ll connect you to a customer success expert. You’re not alone. Microsoft has used BrainStorm for 27 years.
Let’s go …
1. Cut your trials in half.
You’re in a product-led growth company. So, you know how important trials are to getting (and keeping) your new prospects. You're hyper-focused as a company on moving people into the sales funnel. And when you make your software essential, while they’re still in trial, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
By helping them to learn all the essential features of your software, for their role, while still in trial. Better yet, let them do that training on their own time, in bite-sized chunks so your software is both easy and fun to learn. When you do that, you’ll see they’ll start to convert, a lot easier.
2. Convert faster.
The #1 way to grow a business is to add new customers.
You can train every new trial user on every unique value prop in your product … before they’re ready to buy. How much more likely are you to convert that trial? I’ll tell you.
Here’s why. With user success software you can:
- Show videos that overview your software system.
- Get feedback on the ways users interact with your product.
- And, collect their product use data to sell them on upgrading.
Which … begins to drive value.
3. Drive instant value.
That’s your goal.
From your first conversation through a multi-year renewal. Customers are always willing to pay more for a better customer experience, which starts getting value, quickly.
Now, if you can shrink time to value in half, you’d want to … right?
So, here’s where you start.
Find out exactly what your users think, and do, so you can get buy-in as you're going through the sales cycle. Here’s how you do it. Add a survey to your user success platform. Then, adjust to each user’s experience; with their real-time feedback, you can train them on exactly what they need.
Speaking of which ...
4. Never stop training.
You’re not done.
Not when they’ve finished a trial, and certainly not once they’ve implemented. The truth is, your software is ever-changing, and you need users who can keep up. That’s how you motivate them to come back for a renewal. So, don’t stop now.
Think of your users as falling into three categories:
- Inactive users.
- Casual users.
Based on where they fall, you can help them to reach the next level. You already have the materials, I’ll bet. So, add them into your customer success platform, and get started.
Be sure you have a plan that reaches inactive users.
They can really kill a renewal ...
5. Nudge your non-users.
Watch out for inactive users.
Too many Learning Management Systems (LMS) and customer success automation platforms miss this. They’re great at helping you train people who are already in your software.
But, what about the rest?
You need a way to reach them, too. Sarah, who doesn’t know your software, and hasn’t used it well may be louder than everyone else, who thinks it’s great. I promise. The CEO is sure to hear about Sarah.
So, be ready.
Help your inactive users with reminders and reinforcement. You should be able to deploy a two-pronged approach, where you can:
- Send a high-level email to all non-users at a company, to encourage their use.
- Remind non-users of the value that comes to their roles by logging into your software.
And, best of all, with fewer CSMs.
6. Free up your CSM team.
You can focus on other stuff. So, instead of trying to add a million customer success managers to keep up with your accounts, you focus on the top 20% and the renewals that are less than 6 months out.
And …. everyone else?
They get an automated approach. We’ll talk more about that in a bit, but once you’ve got a way to reach every account without a CSM, you’ll find your team has a lot more time for your top accounts.
7. Automate the small stuff.
You love technology.
So do I. Mostly, because it makes life easier. That’s exactly why customer success automation rocks. You get to push all those small things off your team’s plate.
You take a proactive approach. Look at all your accounts that are 6+ months away from renewal. Separate them by their engagement levels. Then, add training materials to maximize their skill sets in your platform. Fill in the gaps in their knowledge levels, and you’ll have a very happy customer.
Automate the small stuff — and see how smoothly implementation goes.
8. Control your implementations.
Reach all your users at once.
That’s how you scale implementation efforts. It’s easy. You set up a blueprint. The ideal path for the user to experience your software. Then, you push them to Nirvana in your user success system. Now, your customers can stop stressing about how they’re going to train every user on your software.
It’s all done for them. You press a button, and every user gets tailored training for their role. No more in-person training sessions, no more struggling or inactive users, everyone gets an email to remind them of what they need to do in your software, at exactly the right time.
So, now you can ...
9. Focus on high-touch accounts.
It’s an 80/20 approach.
You’re no longer creating a custom portal for every customer. Or a training academy to teach users how to do everything in your software. You cut internal spending — dramatically.
Here’s how to do it.
Set up bi-monthly 1:1 meetings with your top accounts. Find out exactly what they need from you. Then, make sure your CSM team is providing that level of support. As you invest your efforts into these top-tier relationships, you’ll see perfect ways to create higher transactions and increase their purchases.
That's how you create collaboration.
10. Create customer collaboration.
It leads to revenue.
Simply put, when your buyers feel involved, they get invested in your software. Now is a great time to consider a customer advisory council. Team up with your product and marketing teams and give a voice to your customers. Let them tell you what they want to see in your product.
They’ll love you for it.
When your CSM team can focus on your top accounts, it’s amazing what they have time to accomplish. You can consider setting up quarterly sessions, with an annual in-person meeting with this group. Let them show you how to structure your software to gain the maximum following.
You’ll get the benefit of great feedback, and a much more engaged customer.
Speaking of engagement ...
11. Double your engagement rates.
Here's how you do it.
Create a universal LMS template. You may already have learning management materials to use. Plug in those materials to your blueprint (Nirvana for a new software user) and you’re halfway there.
Then, tailor it.
Give every customer their own personalized learning portal. Let them own the implementation by being able to build on the training platform you’ve provided, and you’ll drive massive software adoption.
We used this same process to give Microsoft a 300% increase in Teams adoption. It earned us the 2022 Microsoft US Partner of the Year award. Please feel free to steal the process.
I’ll show you how we did it.
12. Update training assets all at once.
It’s one of the easiest ways to scale.
You give training resources directly to customers in your user success platform. Now, they can control where and how they roll your software. Customers can tailor training to their individual needs.
Now, that’s powerful.
Your customer is in charge. Every message and user experience they want to share is within reach. In minutes, you can add in new material to help them, and they can push it out. Collaborate with your customers with documents, videos, and everything you need to start their journey in your software.
That's personalized training.
And it’s the secret sauce to engaging every user, whether they’re inactive, casual, or a champion.
13. Customize the customer experience.
You both win.
See, when your customers are happy, they keep coming back. In fact, 86% of people are willing to pay more for a better customer experience … and what could be better than tailored training?
I guarantee you the other 92% of SaaS companies that are struggling right now1 don’t have a way to reach inactive users, or train people based on their role, with a user success platform.
But you can.
Create an unforgettable customer experience, and cut your customer success playbook in half. Invest in a system that will allow you to reach every user with the materials they need to excel in your software.
You’ll reap the revenue.
Want to see the nation's best customer success platform, in action? Try it now.