- On this blog post, you'll learn:
- Who's responsible for customer experience;
- 5 tips to improve customer experience throughout your company;
- How to improve your customer experience online.
If you've been following our blog, or are in any way connected to the universe of SaaS companies, you probably realized that customer experience is a recurring topic. You might even be convinced on its importance to the company, as we mentioned in this blog post, due to the possibility of creating a relationship with the client, focused on retention and customer satisfaction. After all, according to the TEMKIN Group, the perfect customer experience is based on three main pillars: success, effort and emotion.
Here is their explanation of each topic:
- Success: degree to which customers can accomplish their goals;
- Effort: the difficulty or ease in accomplishing their goals;
- Emotion: how the interaction makes customers feel.
At the end, business transactions are just people dealing with other people, and both sides need to be committed to treat each other well, no matter what.
When you focus on providing the perfect customer experience and allow them to reach their goals, together with a proactive support and helpful content, the results show up in the form of:
- Greater Customer Lifetime Value (LTV);
- Less churn caused by bad experiences and lack of support;
- More business opportunities from referrals.
But since they are in direct contact with the customer, a lot of the times the responsibility of customer experience goes to the customer success team. That might seem logical, but it's actually wrong.
Who's responsible for customer experience?
When a potential client signs a contract with your company, it means they probably had contact with many departments and people of your company. Check out below:
- The Development team is responsible for creating the software, and thus must take into consideration the user experience in order to provide the best interaction possible when customers use the solution.
- The lead acquisition and initial contact is made by the Marketing team. They are responsible for sending an initial email and that usually puts a "face" on the company - the person that signs the first email will be a reference for the lead and, most likely, he'll expect to hear more from them. This is the first step of the (future) customer experience.
- Marketing is also in charge of nurturing leads. As we explain in this post about automated lead nurturing, this strategy is used by companies to take those contacts that are not ready to purchase to a more mature stage (in other words, qualified).
- Speaking of lead qualification, that's a shared job between marketing presales and sales. We have mentioned before about the dynamic necessary to take a lead from MQL to SAL and then to SQL. That's the last step before becoming client, or leaving the sales funnel. This qualification is done mostly by a Sales Development Representative (SDR), an all-rounder professional that is able to navigate between the two departments to find the best opportunities.
- Sales is responsible for answering every question the lead might have, and ultimately close the deal. This will be the last step of a lead before turning into a customer, but it's an important part of the experience, like the steps that took the lead until this point.
- After the sale is done, it's time for the administrative and billing team to prepare the legal terms and contract to be signed. This is an essential part for the customer experience and need to run smoothly, so it doesn't cause an early abandonment.
- Account activation and onboarding is the customer success' team responsibility. We have a blog post up on the importance of onboarding and how you can get great results with automation. By offering the right resources, like technology to help with the onboarding, and letting your people on standby for other issues that require 1-on-1 contact, you're able to deliver a great customer experience allround.
- Customer Success is also responsible for, well, success, and providing support to any problems and questions the new client might have. It's essential to drive satisfaction, but the team also plays a big part on the emotional connection.
- We have recently wrote a blog post on upselling and what a great way it is to drive revenue at a particularly low investment and high ROI. Well, upselling, as well as cross-selling, are part of the customer experience and need to be draw up by marketing, sales and customer success, as we've said on that post.
As you can see, your entire company is responsible for customer experience, from the development team to customer success managers. And that takes us to our next item...
Employment engagement is essential to succeed in customer experience
More and more companies are detecting a close relation between employee engagement and customer experience. This means that happier people, that are satisfied with their work and that feel they belong to something bigger, are more dedicated to providing a great customer experience.
So, while there needs to be an outline of actions that'll provide a good service to customers, it is the CEO's job to provide a good environment and engage workers to encourage them to give their best.
5 tips to improve customer experience throughout your company
Up until now, we've been trying to convice on how important it is to see customer experience as a company responsibility, where everybody is in charge of a portion of something bigger.
After all, it's impossible to provide a great experience through customer success if the SaaS product is impossible to be used. So I've put together a few tips to help guide your teams' work towards a great experience:
1. UX for Development
I've mentioned above the importance of building a software while thinking about User Experience (UX). Your system needs to be intuitive and logical, even if it's something complex to use. What cannot happen is having the customer or their team give up on using the solution because they can't find certain information or feature, or a button doesn't work.
With this in mind, check for:
- Usability problems,
- Integration limitations, etc.
You'll see a great improvement on the overall experience with these simple tweaks, which might even lower the number of Support's open tickets.
2. Relationship Marketing
Our team have talked about relationship marketing a couple of times here on this blog, more specifically on the posts What is relationship marketing and what are its benefits? and Relationship marketing: secrets to mastering the whole buyer's journey, and I encourage you to read these articles. There are a lot of possible actions to improve customer experience with marketing and it can have an impact on the entire customer journey.
3. Nurturing with segmentation
I've mentioned above the importance of nurturing leads with the right content for their needs and their stage on the funnel. Adjusting that is important not only for customer experience, but also to be able to take these leads to the end of the funnel and turn them into clients. Check out our blog post on how to Optimize lead nurturing and bulk up your conversions. We gave some nice tips in there!
4. Customer Support and Success
Being available to the customer is essential for SaaS companies. A lot of people will initially have some difficulty with the provided software, and it's your company's responsibility to help them. Our tip is: other than having a CS team ready to directly talk with customers and users (of course that's important), provide a channel that allows them to solve their issues by themselves.
The solution is having a Learning Center. There, you can document every step to use your platform, answer questions (FAQ) and provide technical information for developers, such as API references and more. This will not only help to get your customer where they want to be, and do the things they need to do, but it will also help your CS team.
Don't forget about this! Provide clear information on billing, cancelations, additional charges, pricing plans and everything else. You can have a special section of the Learning Center dedicated to this, and help out your Administrative team. Plus, it's possible to use an automation tool in order to send newly converted leads straight to billing, simplifying the entire closing and activation process.
Improve your customer experience online
We have talked about improving the customer's experience with your company, but we can't forget about the more practical stuff: the touchpoints. Improving the customer touchpoints allows you to create a good impression, and that's done by giving that person - visitor, lead or customer - what they're looking for.
There are a few experiences that can be optimized in your user experience:
Landing pages: if you have great content on your website, a good social presence, a PPC strategy and an optimized SEO strategy, it's very likely that your audience ends up on landing pages and not in your product's homepage. This means that LPs should be straightforward: give your leads what they are looking for. After all, landing page optimization is extremely important to increase conversion.
Pricing page: once again, transparency is the keyword. If you choose to display your prices on a pricing page, avoid surprise fees. Understand what they're willing to pay for it and then define the pricing strategy. B2B customers hardly make impulsive decisions. They usually research and compare products and services, so be ready for competition.
Free trial request page: if your lead has requested a free trial, it means that your marketing team has done a great job and it's time to get CS and sales teams on board as well. Provide a good initial onboarding on trial and follow-up with this new user to be sure they'll understand the value of what you're offering. By studying their behavior, you'll understand their expectations, acquire usability feedback and improve your sales conversions.
About us page: establishing trust is extremely important for a B2B company. After all, your visitors need to be absolutely sure that your company will not let them down. Although it may not be the most common page for a user to look at, your "About Us"' page should be transparent, objective and give as much information about the company as possible.
Your customer might be interested in knowing who runs the company, who are your biggest clients, what other customers have to say about you, what the press has to say about you and so on.
Having a happy client is not the most difficult job ever, but it's not as simple as it seems. There needs to be dedication and team integration, and everyone should play their part. Otherwise, your company will be left with a bunch of loose ends.
Take our tips and start talking to your team. See what can be improved. A lot of the changes will come down to changing the internal culture and that will bring a lot of benefits and results. And more, you'll be able to provide the perfect customer experience!