Leveraging Marketing to Increase Renewals in the SaaS Industry
Software-as-a-Service companies in competitive markets need to get customers to renew their subscriptions on a regular basis. The cloud and SaaS have led to easy subscription-based sales, but that also gives customers the ability to more easily change their minds over time, and go with a different vendor.
The most successful SaaS companies build in customer experiences that create a loyal customer base, and increase renewal rates consistently. How do they do that? Here are some essential tips for inspiring existing customers to renew all sorts of SaaS subscription services, and getting that good customer renewal rate that you want.
SaaS Customer Renewal Rates: Doing the Research
One of the best ways to promote ongoing subscription sales of SaaS products is to “show and tell” customers how they are benefiting from what they have used in the past.
Return on investment is a core metric here, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Matching KPIs with outcomes is sometimes a detailed process, and in addition, a good company can provide a narrative that shows how someone used a product or service successfully. Many of these are called case studies, and come with a pretty standard format—but really, the sky’s the limit in conducting this kind of research and reporting it back to stakeholders.
Some companies get creative with unique proprietary reporting models, to show that their contributions really are improving their client’s deal-making capabilities. No matter what this type of thing looks like, it can be an effective way to build a stronger clientele.
Increase Renewal Rates with Point People and Communications
Here’s another simple tip for customer loyalty in this field—it’s about support.
You can advertise excellent support, but if people can’t reach anyone when they need to, that’s going to ring hollow. Instead of having a generic call center for inbound callers, having established point people who know their customers personally is going to be a major component of engaging a customer base for the long term.
Those back-channels have to be active, not just a dead end. That’s been part of the approach of the most successful SaaS companies—to stay in the loop, which can sometimes help to prevent a frustrated client from jumping ship.
The Intuitive Interface
This one may be a little harder to implement, but it’s really true that having a better interface drives customer loyalty. If you have something that works, keep it. If it’s broken, fix it. But companies that keep tweaking their interface in ways that don’t add value are likely to frustrate their customers and see them go elsewhere.
Always think about booting up and logging in from a customer perspective. What works? What is a nuisance and a hindrance to getting something done? This aspect of user experience cannot be ignored.
In general, there’s also the ability to provide incentives. That doesn’t mean paying people to renew, although that is a strategy that some companies are using. Tying the service and product to incentives might mean paying more attention to the customer’s contract as renewal time approaches. It may mean offering certain perks. Whatever it means, it requires creativity on the part of the providers to understand how best to retain their customers.