In any SaaS organization, there are many metrics they consider to measure their business growth. Those metrics help them identify the gaps and growth opportunities in their business. Once they find them, it becomes easier for them to create strategies for further enhancement of their processes. One such metric that is widely used in SaaS companies is customer lifetime value. And every business strives to increase customer lifetime value to maximize their revenues and profits.
Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is the estimated amount of revenue that a business can generate through its customer during their entire relationship with them. There are many areas of generating revenue for a SaaS business through its customers. Not all customers are the same. They have different levels of engagements and commitments towards the products they use. They stay for different durations with a business and offer various opportunities of spending into a company from where they are buying the service.
But one thing is sure. There are only two main parameters that are into play to increase customer lifetime value – customer’s tenure and amount of their spending. So, all the strategies you implement will finally boil down to these two parameters which will eventually lead to a raise in LTV.
It is simpler said than done. There are many ways you can increase LTV of a customer and we are going to look exactly into that in this article. So let’s dive straight into those points.
#1 Leverage Product’s lifecycle
There are chances that your product could be seasonal. Sometimes there are products which are useful only during a particular time of the year. Example of these could be a tax calculating product which is most useful only during the last months of a financial year when most of the people would be filing their taxes.
So, in such products, there are high chances that a low season would come when your product would not be used much. In that case, instead of waiting for the high season to arrive, you can approach your customer for other products which can provide other solutions to them. You can either upsell your existing product with more features or cross-sell related products.
This will make sure that your customer is still engaged with your brand during the low season.
#2 Implement email campaigns
Keeping your customers engaged through regular email campaigns is a great way to increase LTV. You can provide a lot of value to your customers through emails that contain industry news, latest features of the product, useful tips and statistics. This way your customer would always look up to your brand as an industry leader and would stay engaged for a long period.
You can also use analytics to check the open rate of your emails by your customers and how they are responding to it. For higher results, you must keep experimenting with the frequency of emails in a month along with its content to reach the optimum rate that works best for you.
#3 Increase your online footprint
Just reaching out to the customers at their inbox is not enough, although it is the first step in getting started. But to stay competitive, you need to increase your online presence at every possible place that you can think of. Multi-channel marketing is must if you want to keep hammering your brand into the customer’s mind. It also builds your customer’s trust on your brand when they find your presence in every relevant website and blogs.
Social media is another platform where you can interact with your customers and drive their engagement. When other customers watch you interacting with different customers, it creates a positive impact on them and makes your brand more reachable.
#4 Gather actionable feedback
This is the best way of keeping the customer loyal to your brand. You may ask direct feedback from them and when you have gathered it from a large group, you must collate all the comments. Then find out the most recurring feedback that came from most of your customers. Immediately improving the product on those feedback and communicating that to your customers would have immeasurable benefits in customer retention.
#5 Improve your onboarding process
If you want to retain your customers for long-term, your efforts should start taking shape right from the beginning. That’s why you must have an impeccable onboarding process in place because it is the most crucial time for your customer to decide whether to stay or leave. In a survey, it was found that 71% of customers leave using the product within their first 90 days of usage.
#6 Provide high quality customer service
You must have a high quality of customer service if you want to stay in a long-term relationship with your customer. There should be a proper customer profiling in your servicing management system so that your servicing reps know your customers every time they report an issue. They must feel a personal connection with your brand and not just as a number which you are serving. If you are spread across multiple locations then you must have a 24/7 availability of customer support.
#7 Keep monitoring customer health
To increase customer lifetime value, you need to keep a check on your customer’s usage of the product. A customer success platform providing a holistic view of the customer’s usage would be beneficial to use. This way you can see what all features of the product the customer is using and what improvements do they need. Based on this information you must arrange a meeting or send them email tips to further enhance their usage of the product.
#8 Analyze churn
What better learning you can get from than the ones who already left you. You must analyze the reasons for the customers who have chosen to leave your product in the past. Through a root cause analysis, you must get into the core of their pain-points that led them to this decision. Then you must act on them and take corrective measures so that your new customers don’t face the same issues.
#9 Give bespoke solutions
Most of the customers don’t prefer off the shelf solutions. If you can spend some time understanding their business context and provide them with customized solutions then you would have better chances of retaining them for the long term. The more dependent you make them on your product and service, the longer they would stay in business with you.
#10 Promote annual plans
There cannot be anything more conducive to increase customer lifetime value than getting a long-term guarantee from the customers. Once you have identified the group of customers who are showing excellent engagement with your product and giving you good feedback, then it is the best time to encourage them to switch to an annual plan. You can tell them various benefits they would get from you if they do so like a more personalized service and a dedicated customer success manager or anything that helps them realize the benefits.
Customer lifetime value is not just a one way where you can expect to only gain from the customer. It has to work for both the parties. You must always think of giving them more value than what you are already offering. This way, over time, the customer would get more habituated to your business and the thought of switching to your competitors would never even occur to them. 19
You must constantly be in touch with your customer’s pulse through regular surveys or feedback. It could be just one question survey like knowing your Net Promoter Score or may be a detailed one. Whatever suits your customer’s availability and willingness to help you do your job better. Keep your customer engaged and approach them regularly for your business expansion. This is the only shortest mantra of increasing your customer lifetime value.
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 July 17, 2020, Updated March 01, 2023