The average software-as-a-service (SaaS) product has up to nine competitors, aiming to get as much market share as possible. The fierce competition means that becoming an industry leader requires more than having the best features and pricing. While these top the list, customers are also concerned about factors like customer support, user experience, and how well you meet their needs throughout the various SaaS customer journey stages.
A SaaS customer journey is a chronological account of all the instances a customer interacted with your SaaS brand, from when they discovered the brand to when they eventually become dedicated users.
Customer journey is so crucial that 89% of businesses consider it an integral part of their growth strategy. However, the problem is that most SaaS companies don't understand practical ways to improve SaaS customer journeys or even why they should do it. This article will guide you on how to make the most of your customer journey. Let's get started!
Why should SaaS companies focus more on the customer journey?
The benefits of a well-thought-out customer journey can never be overemphasized. Being a major driver in your lead generation endeavors, it goes without saying that a significant part of your success as a SaaS company hinges on how well your customer journey fares. Here are seven reasons to focus on:
Increase customer satisfaction
A SaaS customer journey involves several touchpoints—the moments when customers interact with your brand. Your customer experience at each of these touchpoints builds up toward customer satisfaction.
So, once a customer opens your mobile app, marketing email, social media handle, or website, their "customer satisfaction meter" starts running, measuring every tiny thing. This includes your messaging, the load speed of your app, the onboarding process, features, intuitive navigation, customer support, etc.
Improving the customer experience is so crucial that 73% of product users say that customer experience is an essential factor in determining whether they will purchase a product. Furthermore, 43% are willing to pay more for the best customer experience. At the end of the day, a satisfied customer is a win-win situation.
Reduce churn rate
With lots of competition for almost every SaaS product, it's only natural for users to switch camps when a brand has so much friction in its customer journey stages. Sometimes, all it takes to dump a shopping cart is a poor upsell strategy or non-convenient payment methods.
At other times, your churn rate could be because you stepped down on your customer service standards. Check this out: churn rates are such a big deal that US companies lose up to $136.8 billion annually owing to avoidable customer switching to alternatives.
Placing more value on your SaaS customer journey helps you understand their frustration with your service or product. You can easily pinpoint and address their bottlenecks and potential reasons for disengagement. In return, you retain your customers, onboard new ones, and enjoy the benefits.
Build brand loyalty and advocacy
Brand loyalty defines how committed a customer is to a particular brand. The truth is that a happy user leads to a thriving SaaS platform. One of the benefits of brand loyalty is word-of-mouth advocacy.
Suppose your SaaS customer journey is exciting and satisfying. In that case, you stand a chance of having up to 96% repeat customers who are also inspired to tell others about your product or service. Isn't this the cheapest marketing strategy ever?
What's more! Studies show that as little as a 5% increase in customer loyalty and retention can yield up to 95% in profits for businesses. Hence, offering users a seamless journey will improve SaaS customer experience and satisfaction and directly impact how much ROI the company can rake in on a short and long-term basis.
Get customer insight
All the SaaS customer journey stages allow you to learn about your customers' behavior and interests. Using a SaaS customer journey map will provide sufficient insight into how easy it is for them to interact with your SaaS product. You can start by mapping all the actions they take in the sales funnel to show you all the touchpoints in the process.
You can analyze the touchpoints to know whether users find the process easy or complicated. Using sophisticated heatmap solutions lets you identify where users spend the most time when they land on your site or app. With that, you'd know where to improve your product.
Understand customers' psychology
If there's anything customers want so badly, it's for you to understand them. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that 70% of customers are willing to buy exclusively from any vendor that clearly understands their pain points and needs. Customer journey gives you the rare privilege to trail your customers, analyzing why they make certain decisions. It helps you answer the various "why" questions, such as:
Why do customers show interest in your product and change their minds afterward?
Why do customers add items to their shopping carts and abandon them?
Why do some customers leave positive feedback and others don't?
Why do customers engage with your content?
Why do customers land on your page and zoom off almost immediately?
While you can guess your way around these questions and several others, you can only get the right answers if you pay rapt attention to your customer's journey. Each will help you better understand your customers, modify your B2B SaaS product strategy, and improve your customer experience.
At the end of the day, you've got to admit that the goal of every startup is to build products that customers will love. Hence, one of the goals of every B2C or B2B SaaS customer journey is to help you gather user feedback and use it to improve your product or service delivery.
Based on your gathered insights, you can run different iterations of your products and marketing strategies to know the most viable one. Exploring your SaaS customer journey map also helps you discover gaps in the market where your product can come in to offer competitive and exceptional value.
Reduced customer acquisition cost
According to a report, the average customer acquisition cost of small B2B SaaS FinTech companies is $1,450, while their enterprise counterparts spend $14,722. You can reduce this figure by using a SaaS customer journey map to identify and stick to the best marketing strategy.
A good marketing strategy targets defined audiences. Through your customer journey, you can conduct proper customer segmentation to target each unique audience segment differently with emotional messaging that will connect with them. Once you've achieved this, you won't have to spend dollars on less effective efforts.
How to improve SaaS customer journey
Optimize customer onboarding
In simple terms, onboarding refers to how you usher your customers into your product as users. Imagine bringing someone into your apartment, and once they get to the door, you ask them to locate the guest room or restroom on their own. That's how it feels when prospective users go through a complex and non-intuitive customer onboarding process. Here are timeless tips to improve SaaS customer experience and journey:
Simplicity: It is advisable to use simple colors, fonts, and designs in keeping with your brand's theme when optimizing the SaaS customer journey. As much as possible, make the onboarding process so seamless that every Tom, Dick, and Harry can complete it on time with little or no supervision.
Guided Tours: Use interactive instructions to guide users during onboarding. You can improve a customer journey in SaaS businesses by creating step-by-step video tutorials or "How to" resources to show users how to use your products seamlessly.
Social Logins: Instead of compelling prospective users to sign up through the traditional method of inputting email addresses, names, and passwords, you can make it an option among other alternatives. Up to 86% of users feel overburdened by the idea of completing a registration form on every website they visit and would prefer social logins like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., instead.
Progress Tracking: Some users may not be patient enough to undergo a lengthy signup process, especially if your product has in-app welcome surveys. A slight consolation is providing a progress bar that lets them know how far they've gone in the process and what's left. This will significantly impact your SaaS customer journey optimization efforts.
Support Resources: Create step-by-step tutorials or "How to" guides to show first-time users how to use your SaaS product. Anticipate their various challenges and create "help" articles to address them. You can make these resources easily available by providing helpful links where necessary.
As much as 82% of enterprises consider their onboarding process integral to the value proposition. Likewise, 63% of customers would rather choose a SaaS product with the easiest onboarding experience. Having a streamlined onboarding process can help you reduce churn rate, which, in this context, occurs when users get frustrated, causing them to abandon the product.
Redesign and improve your product based on feedback
Another way to improve the SaaS product customer journey is through intentional changes in your overall product outlook. Your product's UI/UX has much to do with your brand perception, and there's no better jury to advise you on improving it than your customers.
As with an MVP, you should bear in mind that there's never a perfect product or design. Instead, be open for regular iterations based on the feedback from your customers. Common ways to gather feedback for improving SaaS customer journeys include:
In-app surveys: These are short questionnaires users can take when using your product. This involves designing relevant sets of survey questions and using appropriate triggers so that users can submit feedback at critical points in the customer journey. Apart from gathering feedback, this will help you offer them personalized service.
Reviews: It's normal for SaaS users to drop reviews on reputable platforms like Trustpilot. If it's a mobile app, they'll also share their opinions on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Although some reviews may be too critical and discouraging, they give you a full grasp of your customer experience. They also let you know what to work on to optimize SaaS customer journeys.
Support tickets: Your customer service representatives are at the receiving end of most customer complaints. Support tickets capture the conversations between them and your customers. Aside from complaints, support tickets also contain suggestions and applauses. Instead of seeing this as a burden, consider it a gold mine that generates free customer feedback you can use to redesign and improve your product.
When you act on this feedback, you can improve the product's user-friendliness and streamline client usage. Users may feel better absorbed into your services since they believe you've got listening ears. It also generates trust, especially as 98% of buyers check online reviews before purchasing. So, taking feedback and implementing it offers you chances of positive reviews from the same customers.
We don't need a poll to show that almost everyone prefers free products over paid ones. When it comes to the customer journey in SaaS businesses, free trials are the link between free and paid products. Now, here's the catch: your B2B SaaS customer journey will not be complete if your prospective customer doesn't make a purchase.
Also, most prospects would love to try out the product for a while and see if it's worth it or all the hype before staying committed. Top brands understand this, and that's why 65% of the best-performing subscription-based SaaS products offer free trials for their customers. The question is, why do these companies use this pricing model?
After analyzing about 10,000 subscription-based SaaS products, a report showed that brands using free trial models have an impressive median trial conversion rate of 41%. However, some brands recorded up to 67% conversion rates. These are some factors that determine your trial conversion rate:
Trial period: Apps with a 17 – 32-day trial window perform better than those with only 1 – 4 days. The psychology may be that users are more willing to purchase a SaaS product when given enough time to test it thoroughly.
Customer experience: This is always a deciding factor on whether a user stays or goes. If your SaaS product is too complex or confusing for your users, they may not subscribe when the trial runs out. So when you improve the client experience, you retain more users and score more points from your SaaS customer journey improvement efforts.
Pricing–value ratio: When testing your product, customers probably have their eyes on your competitors. They will want to measure whether your value proposition is worth the pricing you slammed on your product. If it's not worth it, you can rest assured that they'll switch to your competitors or continue their search once the trial period ends.
Enhance support channels
One of the biggest mistakes SaaS companies make is to build a great product without reliable customer support. What's worse is that they promise 24/7 customer service, only to keep customers waiting forever.
Guess what? 60% of customers believe that the most frustrating part of their SaaS customer journey is waiting on support channels before someone attends to them or resolves their challenges. Funnily, 62% of customers would rather hit the roads to issue parking tickets than endure the poor experience of most automated call customer services.
Unfortunately, what most CEOs and tech startups don't know in practical terms is that good customer service is an integral deciding factor for 96% of customers online. Therefore, by simply investing in your support channels, your SaaS customer journey improvement results can keep your brand a few steps ahead of your competitors.
Gone are the days of using email and phone numbers as your only support channels. Most companies explore omnichannel support, including phone, social media, self-service, AI chatbots, help centers, and discussion forums.
Omnichannel support makes it easier for your customers to reach you. It would also require you to have enough team members to manage these channels, ensuring timely responses to customer needs.
Smooth change of subscription plans
Each SaaS subscription plan you offer has its perks and limitations. As a customer needs changes, they may need to review their subscription plan choice. One way to optimize SaaS customer journeys is to make it easy for customers to switch from one subscription plan to another without unfair penalties or costs.
If you offer users the flexibility of changing plans any day, ensure your billing is reliable and transparent. When a customer switches plans before the next billing date, you can integrate a prorated billing method—charging users for only the period they utilized the service or tool. This ensures fairness, builds trust, and boosts your SaaS customer journey optimization efforts.
Optimize web pages for mobile devices
Over 1.13 billion websites exist worldwide, but not all are optimized for mobile devices. Bad website experience contributes to low web traffic, lead generation, and conversion rates. Studies showed that 58% of smartphone users would rather visit brands with mobile-friendly sites or apps than those without.
As such, improving customer experience for mobile users will help reduce bounce rates. This is also because they generate the highest percentage of web traffic yearly, with a global record of 58.33% in 2023.
Consider Dworkz, your trusted partner for MVP development
Dworkz is a design and development company that builds and empowers data-driven B2B SaaS startups. We offer excellent software development solutions to businesses in various industries, including FinTech, mobile marketing, and healthcare.
We've been providing the best build-design development solutions for nearly two decades, and all our projects have successfully translated to positive results for our clients. Whether you want to build a minimum viable product or reshape an existing SaaS product, we will work with you to design solutions that align with your product goals and positively impact your SaaS customer journey.
Our case studies of satisfied clients include Georgetown University, Collective Health, Kantola, Iterate.ai, etc. See how we helped these clients increase product adoption while improving the customer experience. Want to be among hundreds of B2B SaaS startups we've helped? Contact us today!
What is the SaaS customer journey?
The SaaS customer journey refers to the string of interactions between a customer and your brand at different phases, ranging from brand awareness to becoming a loyal consumer. In other words, every little thing you do in the SaaS product development journey, including your UI/UX design, can positively or negatively impact your customer journey.
Why is the customer journey important for a SaaS company?
The SaaS product customer journey is essential for a SaaS company because it enables you to understand your users' needs, preferences, and pain points at every stage. It also helps you improve personalization and make informed decisions during product development and marketing.
What are the stages of SaaS customer journey?
The six SaaS customer journey stages are awareness, acquisition, adoption, renewal, expansion, and advocacy. These stages capture everything in a lead generation process down to when the lead becomes a loyal and satisfied customer.
How to improve the SaaS customer experience?
You can apply these tips in your SaaS customer journey to improve your customer experience:
Over personalized marketing and services.
Improve your customer support.
Make your websites responsive to all screen sizes.
Prioritize users' feedback.
Optimize your onboarding process.