SaaS businesses are lucky enough to have customers that are mostly consistent monthly subscribers. But how do you build that customer base and establish a strong MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) to drive your business? In order to grow and maintain profitability, you must provide high quality services and develop a bond of trust with customers.
In today’s time every niche has several businesses working under it, that’s why competition gets tougher by the minute. So if you really want to stand out, it’s important to prioritize trust and establish it as soon as you can.
I’m going to talk about growth hacks that businesses are using these days; they help increase sales and improve your chances of building a sustainable business. These hacks are based on customer satisfaction and user engagement.
When it comes to customers, listen and act!
You could be a hard-worker regarding your product/service with lots of in-depth research about the industry, but none of it matters unless you pay attention to your customers. This helps make effective business plans and strategies that bring more profit and sustainability.
It’s best to listen to your customers and ask for their advice so you’re able to understand whether their needs are fulfilled or not. This particular technique applies to all kinds of businesses and keeps existing customers loyal and closer to your brand. But the interesting part is that you can promote brand awareness and gain more customers through constructive criticism and product improvement. Before you know it, existing and new customers will turn into brand advocates with positive feedback about your product/service.
That’s why I love Click Desk, they continuously listen to customers through their chat app. Moreover they integrate improvements and additional features based on such feedback. Almost every customer communication tool out there has ClickDesk integration available. It has shown to be user-friendly with Google Analytics, Unbounce, Zendesk and MailChimp; these extensive integrations have been a huge factor in their consistent growth.
Blog, blog and blog a little more
SaaS business owners should make sure that their blog is full of relevant content that is up to date. It should be high quality content within your niche and must answer questions that other entrepreneurs are trying to answer. If your blog has sufficient content then you’re sure to inspire others who will share such information within their circle. The more sharing your content generates the wider the potential reach to attract new customers.
Why is blogging important? This isn’t the 90’s where a team of sales reps call a list of phone numbers to pitch a product in order to get a few sales. In today’s time to sell a product, it’s necessary to inspire and encourage people to convert into paying customers. Blogging is the most convenient and viral way to inspire an audience!
The BuzzStream Blog is my personal favorite even though it’s not as popular as Moz.com. An intriguing thing about BuzzStream is that it addresses questions relevant to the industry; this particular attribute makes a targeted audience stick around and eventually become a paying customer. Have a look at the blog yourself!
UI and UX is as important as functionality
Speaking from personal experience, UI and UX are very important, almost as important as SaaS tool’s functionality. Ask yourself this: Why would a user stick with your tool if the functionalities of it aren’t working or creating problems from time to time?
The same answer applies to design and user experience. If the functionalities of your tool are superb with a ‘not so good’ UI and UX, users will most likely go for their second choice to fulfill their needs, even if they signed up for a trial account with you.
A few years back I did some consultation for a rank tracking tool called Rank Watch. The tool was perfect at that time but they lacked good user experience on their website and hence were struggling. But today they are well-established and one of the main areas of the business they adjusted was their UI and UX. Once they made strategic tweaks their user base began to grow.
Remember, your customers are the most important people in your business’s life. You should always think of them first. No customer wants an interface to be clumsy or user experience to be painful so try spending the necessary time and energy on UI and UX. Once you provide customers with a seamless user experience, they will stick with you and may possibly promote you online with positive reviews. All the credit goes to an enjoyably smooth user experience you’ve built into your SaaS app.
Build and manage Community: Let’s get together
We all know that it’s important to build a community around your product, but a remarkably small number of SaaS businesses manage to do this successfully. SaaS businesses should especially have an active community around their brand. This can include existing customers and new potential customers. This helps you spread the brand name to a new audience and also encourages potential customers to convert into paying customers. Last but not least; it gives current paid customers a good reason to upgrade. A community shows you care. Sometimes new and existing customers need that warm fuzzy feeling.
Moz.com is one of those few SaaS businesses that get it right when it comes to community! They’ve built a strong community of brand advocates around them and are now a number one marketing tool for almost every type of small business.
I cracked into Moz.com’s community a while ago, read this article to learn more about building and managing a community around your brand.
Social Media: A tweet a day makes customers stay
SaaS businesses aim to retain customers and increase customer base so they can build a profitable business with strong MRR. When talking about this, I think it’s vital to include the massive role that social media plays in customer engagement.
Nobody talks to logos and call centers these days!
Nowadays, people want real human communication with companies and businesses. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram encourages interactions, questions and updates between companies and customers. They provide a platform to approach customers and connect with them every day.
You will surely stay in their minds if your brand name constantly pops up in their news feed or timeline. Never forget to make a presence online! Consistency is the key to staying relevant online.
Here is another example. SEMRush.com runs their social media quite efficiently. Not only do they tweet, but they’re fast to respond and follow up on Twitter chats too. Follow them right now and get a good sense of how to make use of social media for a SaaS company.
Add Gamification to it!
Recently I’ve written about gamification and I strongly believe that it’s the secret ingredient to retain customers. If you add gamification within your system then your customers won’t get bored, and are more likely to visit again rather than turning to other alternatives.
Tree House is a great example of adding gamification within systems. It makes users come back again with full motivation where they can share awards and badges with the rest of the world. This helps promote your brand name and encourages potential customers to convert into paying ones!
Where do I add gamification within system? Before coming up with an answer for this, go out there and understand your customers and identify some reasons why they’d come back. Once you’ve concluded these points, you can make decisions.
There’s also gamification for sales teams. All-in-one sales and marketing automation apps like Agile CRM are making it easy and affordable for SaaS startups to gamify sales efforts with leaderboards and email reports. My clients who use CRM for sales gamification often report that they learn a lot about their customers by encouraging competition and collaboration among their sales reps. High-pressure environment demands that sales pros find the hottest leads and learn how to pitch their product to specific user personas.
Get one step closer!
One step closer? Yes, exactly! The competition is tough. If you are not the first name on your customers’ minds, you probably aren’t the first choice either. The idea is to get one step closer to customers and remind them about your brand name!
Many brands are doing this through multiple means such as conferences, training programs, webinars and more. Even businesses with tight marketing budgets can achieve it.
Get a reliable webinar software and invite the speaker. All you have to do is promote this on as many avenues possible. You don’t need thousands to attend, you can start small!
There are other ideas too, but the one mentioned above is easiest and fastest for small setups too. You can retain customers and spread brand awareness this way, plus in the long run you’ll see increased profitability. SaaS might be a struggle but it’s also immensely fulfilling (and financially rewarding). Connecting with your customers is the first step in building a successful brand!