14 SaaS Retention Strategies to Get Your Customers to Renew and Expand Their Accounts

by Chris Arringdale Customer Experience, Proactive Solutions

What’s the most effective way to build a business?

Immediately, you may think it’s to grow your customer base and sell to more customers, but that’s only one part of the equation. In fact, you may be missing the most important number. The number of retained clients.

You’ve worked hard to create a killer product and did the background work to identify your target market. Now, your company growth can start taking off. It’s important to dedicate just as many resources to retaining existing customers as to selling to new customers.

Use these 14 strategies to get your current customers to renew and expand their accounts:

1. Provide Efficient Onboarding

The first step to formulating a customer retention strategy is onboarding. A good investment to make to increase customer retention is to develop a thoughtful onboarding experience. On average, it costs 16 times more to bring a new customer up to the same level as a current one.

Keeping your current #customers and getting them to expand their accounts is the holy grail of sales. See @kilterly’s strategies #SaaS companies can use to achieve this: Click To Tweet

The challenge you’re faced with here is helping customers achieve success quickly. Keep things simple for your customers. Streamlining the onboarding process by clearly explaining how to use your product and highlighting the value upfront will be more beneficial. The customer’s first call-to-action should be quick and painless.

2. Deliver Easy Help and Instant Resources

Remember back to a time where you scoured a website looking for resources or support to help you solve your issue quickly and how frustrating that experience was. Customers using your website or platform shouldn’t have to work hard to find the answers they’re looking for. Make it easy on them by having knowledgeable assistants available via live chat, a supporting widget or phone number. Also, make sure there are easily accessible resources throughout your website, such as an FAQ page.

3. Make Sure the Customer is “H.E.A.R.D.”

The acronym H.E.A.R.D. comes from the Disney Institute and means:

  • Hear – Listen to your customers. Give your customers the opportunity to tell their complete story, without interrupting them.
  • Empathize – Empathize with your customers through empathetic phrases such as “If I were in your shoes…” and “I’d be frustrated too.” Demonstrate an authentic willingness to help the customer.
  • Apologize – Never underestimate the power of a sincere apology. It may be exactly what the customer wants to hear.
  • Resolve – Determine what you can do to make this right in the customer’s eyes. Allow employees to take fast action and resolves the issue as quickly as possible.
  • Diagnose – Examine why the customer had a problem and focus on fixing it so it doesn’t continue to happen.

4. Target Customer Success

As a SaaS provider, it’s important to understand the difference between customer service and customer success. Leaders should put customer success high on the list of priorities.

Focusing on customer success will help create a passionate clientele that renews their services, buys more over time and refers new customers. Your focus on customer success needs to be proactive because helping your customers utilize your SaaS solution to its fullest is key to earning subscription renewals.

Build a customer success team to examine and refine your entire customer process and lifecycle. These members should be able to identify customers who aren’t using the software frequently and work with them to identify their goals and needs. Also, they should look for common customer issues such as product features, the user interface and support materials that could cause customer churn.

5. Be Proactive

One way to interact with customers who have stopped using your software is to use email marketing, social media and your website to reiterate the value of using your software. 80% of businesses say they rely on email marketing for customer retention.

Give your customers the information or push they need (before they know they need it) with email marketing and automation. Keep them engaged in learning the latest going on with your company.

6. Follow Up

Your customers notice when you and your team go the extra mile. Instead of just filling your obligation associated with a service request, follow up afterward to makes sure everything is still running smoothly. This will keep your customers happier since they feel like you have a genuine interest in how you can continually help them.

7. Be Helpful

Help your customers use your service to its full potential so they, in turn, can help their organization succeed.

You could offer several types or resources and content you believe may help them. Some ideas are:

    • Blog Posts
    • Infographics
    • Videos
    • Ebooks
    • Webinars
    • Checklists
    • Guides
    • Whitepapers
    • Customer Forums
    • Customer Success Stories
    • Research Results

8. Offer Thanks

Happy customers are your best advocates who share their experiences with friends and colleagues. Let your appreciation for their business be known through an email and a small gift or bonus offer.

Retain your #customers and expand their services with these 14 strategies from @kilterly. Check them out! Click To Tweet

9. Reward Customers

A way to extend your thanks even further is through a loyalty program. It doesn’t need to be expensive or complication. Simply deliver rewards, discounts, value-added bonuses or special “members only” content. Adding in an element of fun, goal-setting or even competition may inspire customers to use your software more often or vigorously.

10. Upsell Your Service

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 – 20%. You shouldn’t think of upselling as a greedy move, but more of a win-win. Your customers get more from your solution and you, of course, earn more. Most importantly you win an even more loyal client by engaging your client at a deeper level.

11. Upgrade Your Service

Chances are you are always competing within your industry to earn and gain clients. Other companies may do this by trying to offer more value in terms of features, service and possibly, price.

How can you combat this? Expand the value of your service by upgrading it. Try releasing new versions more often and refrain from boosting fees when you do so to make your customers happy. Simply make your customers aware of the SaaS they subscribe to get better and they’ll enjoy the benefits automatically.

12. Use Surveys

Surveys are an important data point to track and use for customer experience personalization. Determining how the client feels, positive or negative, and what they are looking for will help you communicate with the client and offer what they need. Businesses should use the data they collect to adjust the customer’s journey to be more personalized.

13. Develop a Risk Assessment Process

Develop a risk assessment process and early warning system based on critical metrics like customer health scores, activity and adoptions. Kilterly’s dashboard feature allows customers to track their customers’ health scores. If it dips below a target number, an email workflow will automatically begin to help you catch them before they leave.

14. Conduct Exit Interviews

There’s only so much you can do to retain customers, and churn is inevitable in some cases. Even if you lose a customer, you can still use it as a valuable learning experience.

Reach out to those who are planning to cancel or have recently canceled and see if they are willing to answer a few questions. Use this time not to try and retain them, but to simply learn more about what you can do to improve your processes.

Want to improve your customer success rates? Begin a free demo of Kilterly to see how we can easily help your customer churn rate.

worker taking notes on different customer metrics

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