If you want to build a long-term SaaS customer engagement strategy, then you must embrace this reality: Customer engagement is the new marketing. Instead of channeling most of your resources into gaining new customers, focus on motivating existing ones.
Effective customer engagement converts satisfied users into brand advocates. Think of it as word-of-mouth marketing, but in this 21st-century version, your company dramatically influences the process.
By capitalizing on digital resources like social media, customer feedback, product tutorials, and CX (customer experience) enhancing software, you engage and motivate customers on your behalf.
So, before expanding your sales team, consider how boosting customer engagement could transform your SaaS company.
Establish Customer Engagement Objectives
When nailing down your customer engagement goals, tie each one to a business outcome. Try creating a list of short-term and long-term objectives as a first step in building your SaaS customer engagement strategy.
We’ve included a list of specific objectives and recommend focusing on what’s most critical to your company today and then build from there.
- Improve customer experience
- Increase customer retention
- Increase brand loyalty
- Ensure brand promotion
- Improve brand reputation
- Improve revenue and sales
Customized objectives that correlate with a specific outcome will give you a firm foundation for building customer engagement. Then you can implement the following tips and strategies to develop an actionable plan.
5 Tips for an Effective SaaS Customer Engagement Strategy
1. Harness the Power of Customer Feedback
Customer feedback (like surveys or reviews) is a relatively simple way to get to know your users, helping you foster an emotional bond between them and your brand. When you stretch to meet relevant user needs, you generate fierce customer loyalty and retention – critical components for SaaS customer engagement.
An effective customer feedback strategy provides a clearer understanding of what drives customer satisfaction, and you can leverage this knowledge for the benefit of your company and your customers. Depending on your company’s size, a Google Forms survey might be a simple option for gaining the insights you need.
2. Educate Your Customers with Product Tutorials
It helps to remember that while you and your team expertly navigate your company’s software, your users will need additional support. Since customers are always in a hurry, they often don’t have time to filter through a user-guide or browse your website’s help forum.
So, ease this pain-point with cloud-based product tutorial software. (Yes, we’re shamelessly plugging our service – because we think it’s the best.) These interactive video tutorials (like ours) live right inside your platform and are essentially guided tours designed to show customers how to use your software.
This type of on-demand, customer-friendly education gives your SaaS platform a ‘stickiness’ factor that keeps users engaged and returning to your software. It helps your platform become part of their daily workflow, making them more likely to engage with your brand and advocate for it.
3. Actively Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)
When your users (customers, trial users, followers) create content about your SaaS brand – it’s dubbed user-generated content. It’s becoming increasingly crucial to SaaS customer engagement strategy.
Types of UGC include:
- Blog posts
- Social posts
- Forum posts
In other words – it’s a form of social proof. Your potential users and customers trust this content because they view it as real and unbiased. UGC creates brand awareness and converts, even in B2B markets. So, make it easy for your customers to post reviews, communicate on social media, comment on or share blog posts, or find your company in forums.
In other words, show them where you want them to go and what you want them to do, essentially guiding them to action. If they have to work to find a way to advocate for you, they probably won’t do it. On that note – don’t be afraid to ask for UGC via social media, your website, or email campaigns.
Successful UGC doesn’t just happen spontaneously– not for most brands anyway. Instead, you must create a plan and take specific steps to leverage user-generated content for B2B companies.
4. Create High-Value Incentives
If you want to influence human behavior (i.e., motivate users to generate content), then you’ll need the right incentives. By ‘right,’ we mean incentives that convert dormant users into regular users and create that ‘stickiness’ mentioned above. These motivators are otherwise known as high-value incentives.
Implement high-value customer incentives in combination with a well-planned B2B customer referral program. The programs often include incentives like discounts, credits, free upgraded features, or elite online communities.
For a successful SaaS customer engagement strategy, avoid offering superficial incentives that often have more to do with branding than with your software’s value. These low-value incentives include giveaways like keychains, pens, swag bags, and a chance to enter an unexciting sweepstakes.
Superficial incentives fail to motivate because they don’t give customers something they care about. It’s a dead-end when it comes to transforming your users into brand advocates.
5. Leverage Live Chat
Not all your customers will be interested in live communication – but some of them will. And for those who want on-demand answers beyond the scope of a product tutorial, a live chat option will be a key customer engagement point.
When your live agents resolve a user’s problem or question on the spot, it builds trust. It also strengthens customer relationships, precisely what you want to accomplish as part of your SaaS customer engagement strategy.
Consider your options and select the best live chat tool for your company B2B company. If you’re worried about an unmanageable chat volume, remember that thorough and user-friendly product tutorial software (like Nickelled) drastically reduces the number of chat requests, proactively solving user problems before they escalate.
Investing in Your Customers Is Marketing
There is no greater advertisement for a product or service than a glowing personal testimony. In this age of technology, your B2B customer has a powerful voice that can work on behalf of your company.
But be sure to develop a customer engagement strategy with your resources and capabilities in mind. It must be an actionable plan that you and your team can employ long-term, understanding it will evolve according to your company’s growth and your customers’ needs.
A successful SaaS customer engagement strategy means investing in customer feedback, addressing pain points, and motivating users to spread the word. At the very least, you increase customer retention, and at the absolute best, you gain new users and subscribers.