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Customer success initiatives help SaaS providers provide value to customers, translating to an ongoing positive relationship and opportunities for additional revenue through upselling and cross-selling. Understanding customer touchpoints is essential for delivering optimal customer experience and
Customer success initiatives help SaaS providers provide value to customers, translating to an ongoing positive relationship and opportunities for additional revenue through upselling and cross-selling. Understanding customer touchpoints is essential for delivering optimal customer experience and ensuring subscriber retention. Touchpoints are the steps along the customer journey. Most of these touchpoints, in one way or another, involve customer success opportunities.
Touchpoints can be thought of as a broad spectrum of customer interaction with a company. These interactions include initial brand impression, direct contact with a customer support representative, self-service information, upselling activity, and guidance from customer success managers. Touchpoints for SaaS companies are opportunities to gain information about the customer’s behavior or sentiments toward their relationship.
Of course, the goal for these interactions should be that they are positive and focused on continued customer success. But, a key component of customer success is also tailoring the quantity and frequency of contact and interaction to the customer’s preferences and needs.
A customer-specific touchpoint strategy can benefit the customer by providing better customer experience through personalization. At the same time, providing a hands-on, customized experience may not be feasible at scale.
In general, there are
three classifications of desired interaction through a product or service:
high-touch, low-touch, and hybrid.
High-touch is one where the customer has the greatest expectations regarding assistance and encouragement. These types of interactions also tend to be highly customized, as the continuous and hands-on approach builds customer relationships. Often, however, high touch customer experiences can restrict new customer acquisition growth because it can become challenging to meet customer demands consistently.
On the other end of the
spectrum, low touch means minimal interaction between the customer and support.
Again, the degrees of interaction within the low touch spectrum also vary, from
no-touch to a small amount of help or access to comprehensive self-service
tools. Because there is little interaction, low touch models are highly
Hybrid touch is a mix of high and low touch. Through automation, the goals of a high touch relationship are achieved more efficiently. Hybrid touch leverages customer information to provide high touch moments, such as automated messages triggered by account activity, or usage incentivization tools. Driven by technology, hybrid touch features automation, live chat, a thriving community, and access to resources.
The best touchpoint strategy, then, is one that balances customer need and efficient use of resources to provide optimal customer experiences. It is one that manages touchpoints, so SaaS customers can deliver more, which optimally using resources so the experience can be duplicated at scale. But success means more than just having technology; it requires some thoughtful planning and careful implementation
Customer personas help reach customer goals because they help SaaS companies understand what customer success is to that person. It contextualizes product use and translates that into needs, provides a common language and tone across customer success teams, and gives specific guidance at the challenges in meeting customer goals. Without personas, SaaS companies can risk high churn rates because the product or services might not feel like a good fit.
It’s more efficient to divide customers into groups based on similar customer experience needs. Some customer types require greater assistance to be successful. With segmentation, those customers can be given resources and customized alerts to encourage optimal use of a SaaS solution. Businesses also could be divided by size, though it may be more impactful to divide by lifetime value (LTV) of customers, to ensure that high-value customers are prioritized.
Overall, customer data is the best guide in delivering high touch experiences through a lower touch model. Through tracking, SaaS providers can determine which components can be effectively automated. Customer inquiries can be tagged, for example, categorizing questions and common issues, which can lead to streamlined processes or changes to minimize the issue. Then, successful solutions can also be categorized into a customer success management solution so that support activities can be efficiently routed to an individual, a self-serve resource, or an automated function.
Customer success platforms enable proactive touchpoint management, delivering customer experience benefits to the user, and greater insights into customer need. With the right customer success platform, SaaS companies can manage which customers need high touch and optimize low touch success. SmartKarrot is a single platform connecting 360-degree customer views, actionable insights across the customer journey, and innovative approaches to customer engagement, retention, revenue growth, and lifetime value.
SmartKarrot enables SaaS providers to quickly and accurately determine customer health, personalize and optimize onboarding experiences, and manage various touchpoints. The end result is operationalized touchpoints, regardless of whether a customer needs high, low, or a hybrid approach. A key component of this is the comprehensive account views, which ensures the efficient delivery of customized customer solutions. 14
SmartKarrot also enhances product engagement through its hyper-personalization capabilities, where personas are built into user lists. This information can be used to further segment users to identify the most efficient use of training and other resources. From enhanced visibility to the automation of product guidance and usage optimization, SmartKarrot helps SaaS companies manage their customer touchpoints, so more customers can have great experiences.
Rohan has over 11 years of experience in client services, marketing and hospitality field. Previously, he was head of digital marketing for a hi-tech mobile application. Rohan is driven by new challenges and the possibility of making an impact on individuals and businesses.
Published March 12, 2020, Updated March 12, 2020
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