If you haven’t heard of Gusto and the platform’s success with customer experience (CX), buckle up.
The payroll and benefits service provider brags a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 75. That’s more than twice the rating needed to be considered a provider of “good” CX.
Gusto says it doesn’t even pay attention to NPS. Instead, the SaaS business says it upholds a strategy of listening, hiring, and engineering.
- The team first prioritizes incoming information from customers. What are customers saying about the product? What are their questions, pain points, and bottlenecks?
- From there, its hiring department centers on creating a team with intellect, empathy, energy, and diversity to meet these customer needs.
- Finally, its team engineers actual solutions to problems, ensuring the business continually creates an ever-better CX.
The customer-first, data-centered approach clearly works for this successful SaaS business. So how can others follow a similarly effective CX program?
Or maybe the better question is, how can they not?
CX is taking the lead in SaaS business priorities
The realities of 2020 put customer retention efforts for SaaS businesses into hyperdrive. This is unsurprising, considering the subscription model depends on reliable recurring revenue to ensure business health—especially during a downturn.
As a result, CX is considered the top priority for 46% of business professionals in the next five years. Leaders understand good CX is critical for retention.
However, many attempts at creating a great CX miss the mark. This may be due to a short-sighted vision, according to Clint Oram, Co-Founder, SugarCRM.
“Customer experience is not a result of one interaction with a department or a single individual,” he explains. “Instead, it's formed through a kaleidoscope of experiences with a brand—from initial research to purchase to onboarding to ongoing support. Yet in many organizations, marketing, sales and service teams still work in silos.”
These silos are often exacerbated by fragmented data. With each department reliant on unique platforms for customer and account information, it’s hard to achieve the level of interconnectivity necessary to create truly complete and friction-free CX.
As Oram puts it, “It can be frustrating for a long-term customer to speak with a customer service agent and be treated like it's the very first interaction the brand has ever had with them.”
It’s also worth noting 86% of buyers will pay more for great CX. With increased recurring revenue on the line, SaaS businesses can’t afford to leave this opportunity on the table.
How can your business improve CX and capture this revenue? A good place to start is implementing the right subscription management software.
Subscription management software empowers SaaS businesses with data and automation
Subscription management is a process or system for managing customer lifecycle operations in a recurring revenue business. These operations can be automated or manual, and include account creation, maintenance, assigning discounts or credits, making mid-cycle subscription changes, and more.
Subscription management software streamlines these operations. It also makes them more data-rich. Together, these two things open the door to excellent CX for SaaS businesses.
They enable teams to:
- collaborate efficiently over a unified vision of customer data, and
- come up with solutions for any issues that arise.
Customers are leaving a digital trail everywhere they go,” Oram says, “but few companies today are fully connecting these dots to correlate this data and surface insights that could help them pinpoint customer needs.”
Here are four ways subscription management software changes that.
1. Automation for frictionless experience and communication.
SaaS customers today expect speed and convenience when it comes to CX. They want to be able to sign up, migrate between plans, and stay up-to-date on their account without having to work for it.
Unfortunately, manual subscription management often makes processes time-consuming, inconsistent, and error-prone.
By contrast, automation simplifies processes and reduces error. Subscription management software can automate:
- account activation
- subscription plan migrations
- collections, and
- plenty more your business and its customers need in between.
Require automatic notifications about special offers, account status, or expiring credit cards? Not a problem. Subscription management software takes all the manual work out of these tasks too so your team can focus on improving CX in other ways.
2. Real-time data to reduce frustrating silos.
In some SaaS businesses, RevOps team—including sales, marketing, and customer success—are all working with different sets of customer data. This is a recipe for CX disaster.
When a customer calls support for assistance, they expect them to know not just who they are, but also the finer details of their subscription status and history.
With subscription management software, customer data is visible across departments in real-time for a holistic view.
Since customer data changes frequently in a SaaS business—especially for usage based billing models—this is critical. Your teams can ensure an excellent CX no matter who they interact with or when they interact with them as long as they have a shared vision of every customer’s:
- plan migrations
- and other changes.
This real-time capability also reduces the chance of errors and miscommunication between teams working with siloed data.
3. Self-service empowers customers to take control of their own experience.
A major benefit that real-time data and automation enables within subscription management is the ability to leverage self-service portals (SSPs). Because all account data is stored in one place with subscription management software, these portals allow customers take actions without contacting customer support. They can:
- activate their own accounts
- update contact and payment information
- review and augment subscriptions
- upgrade/downgrade plans
- make payments,
- and more.
This feature epitomizes today’s customer ideal of speed and convenience. If a user wants to pause or change their subscription immediately, they do so with minimal effort. This creates a sense of ownership over their subscription—a type of empowerment that improves the customer experience.
These portals also reduce the chance of errors and miscommunication since customers make their own changes that feed directly into the subscription management platform for billing and service provision.
For seamless CX around account changes and payments, a self-service portal is hard to beat.
4. Flexibility to meet customer needs.
As customers seek convenience and speed, customizable subscriptions stand out from the pack. The ability to choose—and pay for—only what we need from a SaaS product is a significant CX differentiator.
If your prospects like your product, but not your set plans, what are their options? Inflexibility means your business loses out on these opportunities.
Subscription management software assists here too. Agile management platforms have the capability and catalog flexibility needed to quickly customize offerings at the customer level without impacting the greater product catalog.
Businesses can work with customers to trim the services they don’t need and/or include just the ones they do for customized subscription offerings.
Subscription management software unlocks CX that differentiates
In a sea of subscription SaaS businesses, the experience customers have with you matters more now than ever before.
When customers are happy and having great experiences with your SaaS business, your retention rate goes up and your churn goes down. By ensuring frictionless CX with the help of an automated and data-rich subscription management solution, you create a healthy foundation for persistent recurring revenue.