Don’t Forget to Put the Service in Your SaaS




  • — January 20, 2017

    When you are selling a SaaS product, you really need to think about what you’re actually selling.


    At PeopleMetrics we realize that we’re not only selling software, we’re selling a service. It seems like an obvious truth (after all, they are called Software-as-a-Service products), but many SaaS companies lose sight of the service side of things – they strive toward the goal of a no-touch sales organization. They want the product to stand on its own and be self-sufficient so they don’t need to talk to customers. But, at the end of the day, PeopleMetrics is selling an incredibly critical service that ultimately helps drive the experience people have with our customers’ product or service…so our goal needs to be making our customers and end users successful.


    The First Interaction


    PeopleMetrics puts a lot of focus on creating customer success and creating it quickly. Our team looks at every aspect and detail of a user’s first interaction with the software to be sure that they are optimizing the experience from every angle.


    While we acknowledge that some customers prefer to self-serve, we’ve found that many of them appreciate our Customer Success Managers walking them through the system — especially in the beginning when they are launching their customer experience program. Thinking about customer success starts with our on-boarding process and ensuring that the initial experience is incredible. We want our end-users to feel like they’re getting real value. Immediately.


    Over the course of 16 years, we have identified three steps that have been instrumental in our customers’ success:


    1. Hire a Dedicated Customer Success Team


    We have a team that owns customer success – their entire job is to make sure that on-boarding is great and to constantly be in touch with customers to ensure they are having the experience they expect and we are creating perpetual business value. Our customer success team works to improve every aspect of those first five minutes, from the speed of the system to the interface screens to the copy on the page. Having a dedicated customer success team has helped us maintain a lot of focus and energy on making the first interaction with our platform a great experience.


    2. Intellectual Curiosity


    Many companies are afraid to ask the hard questions – that’s not us. We’ve found that asking a few direct questions is very beneficial to both parties, and we’ve made it a key element of driving success with our customers.


    Although our team can learn a lot about a customer based on product usage, organizational role, and the use case, we take the conversation a lot further. Throughout our on-boarding process and during the early stages of the program going live, we ask the customer about their experiences with our product and specifically how it has met the use cases we are expected to support. This conversation has two objectives: first, we’re learning directly from the customer what it is they’re trying to do (which helps us to help them); and second, we’re educating them about what’s possible with the product and the features they might not have been exposed to.


    3. Trust the Metrics


    PeopleMetrics (and our clients) are not doing ourselves justice if we’re not measuring everything. One of the benefits of being a SaaS product is that you can collect a lot of metrics because you have all the data, so we measure the things our clients care about. That’s how we help you improve the metrics – from Net Promoter Score, to Customer Effort Scores, to Competitive Benchmarks. The PeopleMetrics team is laser-focused on that first interaction and obsessed with how long it takes a new user not only to access the system, but to start driving value internally for their organization.


    The combination of these steps – hiring a customer success lead, asking questions, and measuring everything – ultimately gives PeopleMetrics and our team more insight into customer needs and goals. Looking at all the data associated with our customers’ usage of our product has brought us to a point where we better understand each customer.


    However, despite the wealth of data available, our attention never strays from the ultimate goal: To have customers who are happy, who are using the product, and seeing the tangible value it delivers. It’s a never-ending task, which is why we’re always measuring and always improving.

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