Marketing and Customer Experience Alignment Strategies for SaaS Retention

By Madison Taylor
March 9, 2023

Loyal customers allow businesses to maintain steady revenue, expand, and grow. However, companies must work to earn that level of loyalty.

Without customer retention strategies, getting customers to return is challenging — not to mention the impact it can have on your bottom line. Acquiring a new customer can cost six to seven times more than retaining an existing customer, so you must prioritize marketing and customer experience initiatives. For SaaS companies, the potential for multi-year contracts with features and services add-ons exists. So, selling great products and services is only a part of that — keeping customers happy is imperative.

Here is why you need to develop customer retention strategies to foster loyalty and create brand advocates — and, more importantly, how to do it.

What Is SaaS Customer Experience?

You must actively work toward a positive customer experience to reduce churn rates.

In the world of SaaS, customer experience (CX) encompasses the entire experience consumers have with your brand. This experience includes interactions with your products, employees, campaigns and other brands’ messaging, and anything else that can shape consumers’ brand perception. When you get it right, customers will happily return for more. An exceptional SaaS customer experience can become your core offering and powerfully influence your business.

How to Improve Customer Experience in the SaaS Industry

SaaS customer experience marketing differs from acquisition marketing because it focuses more on existing customers, ensuring they return, spend more, and refer your brand to others. Customer experience in the SaaS industry is more crucial than ever, as competition is fierce. Companies must invest in customer retention strategies concerning overall company alignment. For example, each department’s internal metrics should prioritize and incentivize customer retention.

When you start framing your approach from a what is SaaS customer experience standpoint, your focus becomes prioritizing relevant tactics, which helps you build a competitive advantage, optimize revenue, and make more intelligent product and brand development decisions.

Saas Customer Retention Strategies

There are dozens of SaaS customer retention strategies, some of which make more sense than others concerning your brand and overall strategy. Most strategies can be tweaked to target your customer base and represent your brand appropriately. Consider the following when aiming to improve your customer experience marketing strategy and SaaS customer retention rates.

Provide Clarity About What You Offer

Companies of all sizes utilize SaaS, so you must provide consumers with a clear “a-ha” moment. Why should they choose your brand, and what makes you so unique that they should continue investing in your product or service? Focusing on the onboarding phase helps develop a strong relationship from the beginning.

What can you offer that other SaaS companies don’t? A knowledge base? Tutorials? Help consumers clearly see the value in what you offer.

This strategy helps improve early retention. The key here will be to invest in the onboarding stage with retention in mind. Begin by ensuring the customer finds value in your software. After 2-4 weeks, focus on any patterns concerning usage. You can then create a map and benchmark the user journey. Guide customers through the features that help them achieve their goals. You should then provide continuing education via tips and training so that each customer is getting the most out of your product.

Focus on Add-Ons

The beauty of SaaS offerings is that they often have immense add-on potential. Whether it’s enhanced security or more storage, upsells are an excellent way to engage existing customers to drive revenue and growth. The key is to offer upsells relevant to customer spending. If a customer recently purchased your SaaS solution and expressed interest in additional data storage, you could follow up with an offer that provides the customer with value.

You can also focus on creating a communication schedule, ensuring customers that have supported your business for months or years remain on your radar. Check in with customers regularly to reduce churn and potentially push new add-ons. This tactic will ensure that customers are happy and that, on their end, everything is optimized. SaaS customer retention is not just about increased revenue — it’s about your relationship with your customers. You’ll want to ensure they get the most out of your product based on their specific needs.

The more they get out of your product or service, the more inclined they are to stick around — spending more throughout the lifecycle of their customer journey.

Target Involuntary Churn

Considering up to 40% of SaaS customer churn is involuntary, ignoring these lost customers could be extremely costly.

The upside is that most of these customers are likely still happy with your product or service. For example, payment may have failed and resulted in their subscription inadvertently getting canceled. If you take no action, you could lose that customer forever. The first step is determining how much of your business’s churn is involuntary. Step two is determining the cause of it. Tackling the root cause of card declines could help cut involuntary churn by more than 70%. You may find that most scenarios are caused by expired cards or out-of-date billing information. Using this information, create a trigger and configure your CMS to send an email when a customer’s current card on file expires, for instance, reminding them to update their information with you. You can also optimize payment processes or use a card updater tool. You could also develop a payment retry strategy — your customers remain connected, and you don’t lose revenue.

Final Thoughts

Whether you need to deliver exceptional customer support, optimize pricing, or create a more seamless billing experience, your success relies on fostering connections through marketing initiatives. When a company focuses on creating a great customer experience, it will see its impact on SaaS retention.

Steve Jobs said it best: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need before they realize it themselves.”

Need help figuring out where to begin? Reach out to Madison Taylor Marketing to get started.