I love working with SaaS companies. There is something about selling a service that is really more of a constant learning experience than a product that is interesting to me, both from an accounting perspective and from a personal one.
I think a lot about the challenges my customer’s face, and about the SaaS products that I use, like Xero, and how they succeed and stay successful. I’ve come to realize that the key to making it in the SaaS industry is realizing that your customers never go away.
If you sell a normal product like a t-shirt, usually your customers go away after they buy it from you. They stay emotionally connected in your brand, because they get attached to the shirt, and see your ads on TV, and like feeling a part of your brand culture. But they don’t need help learning how to wear a shirt.
In SaaS, you’re creating something new for your customer. Often, you’re creating the vessel with which they will organize their data. You hold the keys to how to work the software, how to make the most of it, how to fix it if it breaks, etc. Your customers are going to be inherently more needy, because they can’t just figure it out on their own. They need onboarding. They need maintenance. They need troubleshooting. They need YOU!
The SaaS companies that I think work the best recognize this, and capitalize on it. They understand that before anything else, they are a service company. They embrace the idea of building a long term, interactive relationship with their customers. They host webinars. They have amazing tech support. They have informative tutorials readily available and easy to understand on their website. They make their product an experience: a growing experience for their customer that makes them better, smarter professionals. And they let their customer know that they are there for them every step of the way.
If you are an SaaS company, I think its essential for you to have
-A blog that includes tutorials
-Online tech support in chat form
-A phone number people can call when they are really frustrated or confused
-A fool-proof system for updates/fixing bugs/troubleshooting over the phone or online
-Experts on your software that are available for hire
-A certification course that people can take in order to show that they are experts in your software
These are just the basics. There are a ton of innovative ways you can make sure that your customers are getting what they need from you, and this is the job of an SaaS company. It’s not just that customer care is worth the investment- it’s your entire company.
You can’t hand someone your software and then walk away. And hopefully you realize this and use the uniqueness of SaaS to make your company a model for content marketing, interactive customer service and customer relations, and product innovation.