Customer growth is one of the key goals for SaaS companies. It is not only important to grow your customer but also to retain them for the long-term. After all, a growing customer base ensures the sustainability of a business while keeping it on a growth trajectory.
With the advent of the internet, companies have no limit to which they can grow their customers. They can be situated in one part of the world while attracting customers from a totally different part. Businesses have become more fluid with marketing and outreach that the online world has brought.
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. It is essential for you to keep growing your customer if you want to sustain in the competitive world. It has become so vital that many companies have adopted a customer-centric approach to serving its customer base. This has become a competitive advantage for them over others.
Keeping the customers and growing the customers are the two sides of the same coin. It is not only essential that you acquire new customers. If you don’t have the right mechanism to retain them, your business would always be unstable in its journey.
So, let us look at a few important ways that can help you grow and keep your customers.
#1 Start with right marketing
While acquiring new customers, there are many factors in play that you need to understand. First of all, you need to keep your customer acquisition cost low. By doing this, you can reach more prospects and produce higher quality marketing campaigns within your allocated budget that would elevate your brand image.
Secondly, you need to target the right audience. While growing your customers, you need to separate bad-fit customers from the good-fit. Also, the conversion rate of leads should be higher that represents the higher efficiency of your marketing efforts. The sooner you weed-out the bad-fit customers, the better and cheaper it becomes to maintain your customer base.
Your marketing team should take the responsibility of bringing the right customers to your door so that the onward customer journey aligns with your offerings.
#2 Build persona of a successful customer
For customer growth and retention, you must know your most ideal customer as clearly as possible. You must understand their pain-points, challenges, behaviour, and goals. Before you set out to find new customers, ask yourself, what service you are offering to them? How are you going to make their life better? What problems are you going to solve?
You should have a clear definition of what a most ideal customer would look like for your business. Based on that, you can design your strategy to identify potential customers and your touchpoints to engage with them effectively. When you are clear about the value you would add to the customer, your strategy of serving them takes the right shape.
Building persona would also allow you to formulate the buyer’s journey with the highest efficiency. Not to mention the benefits of customer segmentation to target the right audience in the first place.
#3 Maintain the right balance between customer acquisition and customer success
This is the most common dilemma of every SaaS startup. What is the ideal ratio they should maintain to allocate budget and resources between customer acquisition and customer success? Or in other words, between acquiring new customers and serving existing ones. The answer to that is – it grows from acquisition to customer success.
In the initial phase, you would obviously spend all your new customer growth budget on the acquisition. As you acquire more customers, the need to retain them slowly evolves. This is where customer success comes into the picture. You need to allocate some portion of your investments on customer success too.
The more your customer base grows, the more you need to invest in customer success to tap the potential opportunities lying with your existing customers.
#4 Product adoption and customer retention
As I said earlier, the acquisition is just one part of the customer growth strategy. Another major chunk of your growth comes from retaining the existing customers. For doing that, you need to take steps right from flawless onboarding to product adoption. There should be a set target (no. of days) within which you would want to drive product adoption by the customer. This period depends on the complexity of your product.
A major concept in similar lines is that of time-to-value. It is the time taken by a customer post-sale to reach a point where they start deriving value from your product. This time is crucial and should be as minimized as possible because a small glitch in the product usage can cause a customer to churn.
Few ways you can drive product adoption are:
- Setup a roadmap with your customer during the initial stage. It will keep them intact with the milestones they will achieve through your product and prevent impulsive decisions.
- Run an email campaign with the right resources they would need to know your product more.
- Use in-app features to help customers navigate the product adoption journey more easily.
Once the customer gets familiar and accustomed to your product, you can assume they are safe. This is the point that leads you towards harnessing more opportunities for business expansion with them.
#5 Account expansion and Brand advocacy
Once your primary product has been adopted, it is the best time for you to approach existing customers for upsells. This would not only grow your revenues but also increase your footprint in the customer’s business. This is crucial in retaining them because dissatisfaction with one product can be offset by the better performance of another product. Of course, as a CSM, your job is to address their concerns with every product and give a flawless customer experience throughout.
After the account expansion, they would become your loyal customer which leads them to turn into your brand advocates. Through your outstanding service, they should be motivated to share their positive experiences with others in their social circle. Once this starts happening, they would start adding more leads to your sales funnel.
Customer success has a key role to play in your customer growth. Your customers will keep growing with your business as long as they see value in your product. And it is the job of the customer success team to help ensure that.
Apart from that, the whole organization has to work with a customer-centric mindset to reflect it in the outer world. Each customer interaction adds a delta value to building your brand image as a customer-focused organization. It is not only essential for acquiring new customers but also to retain the existing ones. This is the secret of large enterprises that have scaled to the heights of becoming a global brand.