In the pricing guide, we were talking about how simple setting up a start-up was back in the days. Customers had fewer options from which to choose, as the level of competition was significantly lower. So, you could say that those were the days in terms of achieving all business goals. Now, when you have a huge competition to face up to, your business goals might have shifted, in the sense that while acquisition is very important, it is no longer your sole concern. Now, you need to focus on retention and monetizing users. In the past, every resource available would go to acquisitions, as once you had gained your users, there was no switching involved. Now, it’s all about keeping them hooked on your product, it’s all about retention.
And here comes the good news. Retention is considerably cheaper than acquisition. So, if you think about the long-term benefits it makes perfect sense to work your hardest to retain your customers, to keep them close to you for as long as you possibly can. They represent an ongoing source of profit. Basically, you are looking at easy money, well, easier than having to acquire new ones.
Plus, it’s not just the ongoing subscription advantage that should convince you to use your efforts to retain customers. Your job doesn’t stop at getting and maintaining one subscription. Your existing customers are your primary source for cross-selling and up-selling, two highly profitable and popular strategies.
Retention really sounds like a box of treats. So, let’s find out how to open it and enjoy the sweetness.
Retention Strategies you need to KNOW
Customers: the most prized crown jewels
Yes, yes we know, we’ve said this too many times already and we will keep on repeating it. Customers are your priority. Whatever you do, you do for them. They are your source of income and they should always be your focus. In terms of retention strategies, you’ve pretty much guessed it. They hold the primary position. Everything starts here. Customers are in a way responsible for the evolution and growth of your company. You need to handle them carefully. Providing customer assistance as quickly as possible is, of course, a must. But what really helps you in your customer retention strategy is collecting feedback, without crossing certain limits. While following-up is highly encouraged, conducting unnecessary customer surveys regarding their level of satisfaction is not. Here is an example of a follow-up.
Your customer is faced with an issue and comes to you to fix it. Your first reaction needs to be a fast one. Provide the user with quick and adequate assistance, fixing the issue in record time. So far so good. This is your typical customer service reaction. To go towards the retention side of all this, you need to continue the conversation, but not immediately. So, let the users enjoy your product and after some time, ask how he is doing. Check to see if everything is ok or if he needs further assistance. Be polite, but not intrusive. And here is the catch. Know your limits. Ask if everything is ok, but leave the conversation at that.
You don’t need to poke the users to get an answer to your question. Of course, the answer is important. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be asking anything in the first place. But it’s the thought that counts as well.
If you become an annoying message sender, this strategy might have a reverse effect on your customer and they might cut you off.
Follow-up is essential. Unnecessary customer satisfaction surveys aren’t.
The perks of Up-selling
Yes, we did say that this is a sales strategy on its own. And we are not going back on our word. But this strategy can have a huge impact on your users, the kind of impact you are hoping to get in your user retention attempts. When you are making an up-sell to an already existing customer, here is the message you are sending.
Thank you for being our client. To show our appreciation, we are offering a one time deal, designed especially for your by means of which you will receiving 10 extra features, focused on your needs for an extra 10% on your yearly subscription.
When upselling, you are sending your users a clear message, that they matter to you. You strengthen your relationships, offer a lot more value to your already satisfied users, build loyalty and earn cash, all at the same time. Upselling can be successfully used to retain customers and it’s a strategy that is rather popular among SaaS developers, for good reason.
Rewards are always much appreciated
Just think about it for a moment. If you used an online tool, for whatever purpose, but you couldn’t afford a more costly subscription, even though it has all sorts of features you would definitely benefit from, wouldn’t you appreciate an email from the software development company in question telling you that you have been upgraded to the plan you had secretly longed for?
And wouldn’t this gesture you strengthen your brand loyalty?The idea of rewarding long-term users should be part of any retention strategy because it actively works in building user loyalty, which guarantees a constant, steady profit.
Targeted Tips & Tricks
One of the reasons for which customers stop using a solution or service is that they no longer find it relevant. Their needs might not have changed, so in reality, your product could very well be relevant. The only problem is that they lose focus. Customers are like that really, they need to be constantly reminded about the services bought and the reasons for which they acquired it in the first place. Plus, this entire relevancy issue may very well come from the fact that your customers might not have properly mastered your solution, to begin with. In other words, they might not be completely convinced that the product is 100% relevant from day 1. But this can change and you can significantly improve customer relationships and by extension, your customer retention rate.
Sending targeted tips and tricks is a way out of a sticky situation. Basically, you can educate your users with respects to your solution so that they can make the best of the product they have subscribed to. You need to keep in mind that users have goals, just like you, and those goals can be achieved by means of specific features. So, they might have sections from your solution that appeal to them and those need to be optimized if possible. Identify what your users are doing on your platform, what they are aiming to achieve and provided them with targeted tips and tricks in that direction. You can go towards complementary features in order to help the user make an even better, greater use of your product.
It’s important to bring your solution in front of your users, new and existing ones, but it’s just as important to keep it in the spotlight.
Training makes your product go round
It’s surprisingly important what a difference webinars can make in terms of product usability and customer relationships. Training in the form of webinars offers you the opportunity to have direct contact with your users, to find out if there are certain pain points, issues they might be faced with. Furthermore, you can help them in reaching their goals, in getting more out of your solution than they might have expected. At the same time, you are showing users that you are present, you are there for them, you are 100% willing to solve issues and improve the experience.
Retaining customers is really all about the experience. Ask yourself the following question. Surely, you are someone’s user. We all are. Ask yourself, what makes you stay? What makes you come back to that certain product?
You might discover that it’s the experience. Your coming back is motivated by something more than features. It’s motivated by experience. The company in question makes you feel special, appreciates your presence on the platform and aims to offer you all the assistance you need.
Make users feel appreciated, welcomed, well-taken care of, in one word, IMPORTANT.