While all business models aim for customer satisfaction, SaaS companies have to be extra vigilant. Since SaaS products are delivered through a monthly subscription model, SaaS companies must ensure customer success. Customers have many options to consider each month when determining whether or not to renew their subscriptions. Competitors aren’t just waiting in the wings; they aggressively tout solutions. If a customer experiences frustration at your product, the risk is high that a competitor’s solutions will look attractive, and the customer will move on.
Customer success ensures that your product is providing value to your customers and that your product offers an all-around satisfying experience. Keeping current customers happy is an essential goal for a variety of reasons, but not just in a “warm and fuzzy” — and vague — sense of “customer satisfaction.” When customers experience value from a product, they renew and ultimately become product advocates. On average, it costs five times as much to convert a new prospect than it does to retain existing customers. The key to SaaS provider success is their customer success, and behavioral analytics helps pave the road that leads to it.
Measuring behavior is the key to enabling customer success
But how can a business get the right kind of visibility into the value derived from a product? The answer is not found in guesswork. With all the data available to SaaS providers, actions can be based on real-life, from real-time feedback. Behavioral analytics allows companies to measure every moment of the customer journey. When you can measure something, you can understand it, and when you know, you can exert influence. Through a variety of means, SaaS companies can focus on the entire customer journey and analyze behaviors. These behaviors give insight into adoption rate, product usage, and can provide opportunities to identify where customers can derive more value from the product.
Understanding behavioral analytics
Behavioral analytics measures user activity within a digital product. It reflects reality for your customers within the walls of your SaaS. Customer activity is converted to behavioral data. This data is generated when users interact with a product, app, or site. It can be the result of clicks or swipes, the duration of time spent on a task, or a host of other activities along the customer journey. For example, the onboarding process should be welcoming and easy to use. If you learn through behavioral data, that new customers take too long to sign up, or that they abandon certain onboarding aspects, then you will want to work to optimize this process.
Behavioral analytics play a key role in data-driven product management, and understanding behavior can help increase conversion at every stage. SaaS providers need to harness these various opportunities because each of these stages of the customer journey also offers the customer an out. But, there is a ton of data. So much data that most businesses don’t take action on most of it. The problem is, most companies do not know which snippets of behavioral data to look at, to scrutinize and to react to.
Getting the right insight into behavioral data
The glut of data, but lack of actionable visibility is a problem for SaaS businesses that are looking to enable customer success. The visibility of crucial actions, then, becomes a priority. The right dashboard solution provides more than just visibility. It uses data to:
- Improve onboarding experiences
- Increase adoption
- Identify upsell opportunities
- Enhance lifetime value
- Retain more customer accounts
Ideally, your dashboard solution will provide a holistic view of the customer journey, capturing all crucial customer data. The key is to balance raw data collection with finding the right, actionable data that makes the customer experience ideal.
Customer behavioral data that provides insight
One way to cut through vast amounts of data is to focus on specific activities along the customer journey. For example, the churn rate is the standard metric for customer success. It lets SaaS providers know the rate at which existing customers unsubscribe. But whatever that figure is, it is not necessarily actionable. Behavioral data enables you to visualize the steps that led to customer churn.
Dashboards can provide insight into key behaviors and give answers to questions such as:
- Where do users experience frustration?
- How long does the onboarding take?
- How do customers react to marketing messages?
- What features are customers not using, either optimally or at all?
The answers to the questions guide actions, allowing for a more efficient process of knowing the pulse of customers, and taking the right steps to keep everyone on the path to success.
Reflecting behavior in an easy-to-understand metric
Visibility into an application’s real-time engagement is also critical. Real-time engagement can be seen as a score, such as in the smart engagement score provided by our customer success platform. This score provides a duration index, based on app usage, and a loyalty index that reflects the churn rate. It also provides insight into:
- Product adoption and feedback
- Touchpoint management
- Customer 360-degree view
- Communication efforts
- Customer pulse
To be most effective, these metrics must be highly customizable, as not all SaaS providers are alike. SmartKarrot helps operationalize and scale customer success by providing visibility into the data that matters to you and your customers.