There is no denying the fact that going digital is the way ahead for SaaS businesses. But then again, a digital transformation does not mean creating bling apps, or automating processes. Digital transformation funnels down to just one thing: excelling in Customer Experience (CX). And this, more than anything else, is an attitude that aligns all the departments of your company to a CX-driven culture.
The millennial customer, always wanting more, and wanting it right now, that too, with increasing speed and efficiency is giving companies a good run for their money when it comes to giving a fulfilling customer experience. All efforts are, and must be, to give the customer an experience beyond the apps and dashboards — a customer journey that is a seamless web to mobile transition and back. But before we delve into this further, a quick look at what does everyone mean by ‘going fully digital’?
What is digital transformation?
It means using technology to either create a new, or modify existing business processes, work culture, and thereby, customer experiences, to focus on a more product-led, customer renewal and retention led growth. This takes on more importance as more and more SaaS businesses adopt subscription models, which means customer loyalty is what reduces churn and drives growth.
How does a digital transformation make way for a fab customer experience?
- It tells you what the customers want real-time so that you can adjust your next step to be in sync with their needs. For example, when Netflix announced they won’t be streaming the immensely popular series, Friends, sometime back, there was a huge fan uproar. This led the streaming platform to change its mind and keep Friends streaming. So, they knew what the customers wanted – and gave it to them.
- It gives your Customer Success (CS) staff more time to think up of ways to interact and engage with customers to help them attain their desired outcomes, thereby creating fab customer journeys. Think of it, when mind-numbing redundant procedures can be automated or bot front-lined, you can help your team gain that much extra headspace to serve customers better by spending quality human time with them.
- It protects your data. Leaving the customers’ personal information open to hacking or compromising the security of their personal information is sure shot hara-kiri in SaaS businesses. It is the fastest way to lose a customer. At the very basic, customer experience management is about securing customer data in a digital fortress.
- It will help you North-star your efforts by showing you how you can align your whole company towards customer satisfaction, which is what successful product-led growth is all about. It will also help you with customer personalization via segmentation and other metrics, content management and language translation across channels, analytics, and ROI.
In short, in the current market, customer experience is all about using thoughtful technology to give the customer what he wants faster and easily. Tech will help you sync product development with customer acquisition and retention, which is what SaaS growth is all about.
How can a digital transformation help improve customer experience?
All the above points were for you to streamline your company’s digital processes, secure backend (and frontend) data, develop a digital CX-oriented culture and start driving growth. But how do you take all this technology to the customer? How does he benefit from it? In short, how do you take your digital transformation to the customer? Here are five points for consideration:
1. Online information access
You can store information on cloud, and this makes it quite easy for your customers to find what they want, when they want it without having to necessarily speak with your customer care or customer success personnel. If you are an e-commerce platform, your customers can access all the details of their past purchases, track current buys, and cancel, return or re-order all on their own.
2. Automated processes
Customers love automation. In a survey by Accenture, 84% of respondents opted for interacting with computer-based applications that are available 24/7; 68% opined automated applications were faster, and 64% said they communicated more politely. So clearly, we’ve reached a stage where customers prefer automation to be a part of customer satisfaction strategy.
3. Personalised customer experience
Customer segmentation, controlled APIs and user metrics mapping can be used to make customers feel special. Ever shopped on Amazon and come across a scroll of recommended products just for you at the bottom of the page? It is a list that’s tailored to your browsing history. So whichever SaaS service you are offering, digitalisation helps you tailor your content to your individual customers’ needs, making them feel valued.
4. Data transparency
While digitalisation helps you collect user data to gain new insights into your customers’ buying habits and preferences and offerings and help you develop more effective marketing campaigns, it also helps the users know what personal data is being collected and how is it being used. This survey showed how 87% users believe it’s important that they be able to control and review their personal data on your platform from time to time. Going digital will help you open this process to your customers, assure them it isn’t being shared with third parties, etc. This goes a long way in building customer trust and long-term relationships.
5. Provide continuing value
Every digital step you take can be mapped to measure against customer success and their desired goals. Digital analytics and dashboards help you constantly focus on customer benefits, creating a better customer experience. And if you master this, well, you are going to win the market over, soon.
Yes, digital transformation is the way forward for SaaS companies. It helps business owners chart a consumer-led growth in revenue. But then, don’t go for it just for the sake of it. Know your goals and be clear of what processes you want automated before investing thousands on it. Every new feature, tool must make sense to you and your company’s goals. Which are the areas where you need to up the game to improve customer experience and how will technology help you solve those issues? Think and restructure such that while your company’s digital transformation can help in engaging customers, it also helps you realise your business goals.
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