What’s the most important thing to focus on when it comes to retention? Your focus could come in the form of a metric or anecdotal indicators of repeat purchases. But what if you didn’t care about repeat purchases at all?
On this episode of Retention Talk, I spoke with Mary Callaghan, Sr. Lifecycle Manager, B2B over at Calm (at the time of this interview, she headed up retention over at Hunt A Killer). We talked about using ongoing surveys to learn from customers, leveraging NPS to directly influence the product roadmap, and never underestimating the power of onboarding.
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Key points discussed in the episode
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Use ongoing surveys to learn from customers
- When you survey customers you can come to understand their journey and the various pain points they have every step of the way. By breaking surveys down to the cohort level, the picture becomes even clearer. No two customers are the same, but a solution for one product might not work for another.
Leverage NPS to directly influence the product roadmap
- Hunt A Killer prioritizes what they can do broken down by small and quick wins. These add up to longer term initiatives to give a boost to customer satisfaction. By implementing NPS within the roadmap itself, the product is built from the core to satisfy the customer.
Never underestimate the power of onboarding
- If you build a product that customers love, they’ll come back. This is easier said than done, but focusing on onboarding can help you get there. Communicate earlier, more often, and more effectively. Continually optimizing your onboarding process will pay dividends with retention.
Customer onboarding is essential to help new customers when they begin using your SaaS product. This can come in the form of tools like videos, tutorials, walkthroughs, documentation, use cases, blogs, and learning guides. If you can nail your customer onboarding process, keeping customers around for the long haul will become second nature.
Here are some steps to help you get started:
5 ways to build a customer onboarding process
1. Map multiple customer journeys by persona
Assign a unique customer journey to each target persona. Understanding your customers will help you adequately target them and map out the journey that will lead them to you. Your customers' pain points, goals, and feedback should form the basis for creating this journey.
It’s important to understand the step-by-step process your customers go through from discovering your solution to buying it, and finally becoming a loyal user.
2. Have a customer engagement goal
Retention derives power from well-played customer engagement. Happy customers engaged with your product usually tend to be more loyal and spend more with your company. These customers eventually become influential brand ambassadors.
Improve your customer engagement tactics, and you'll see your retention rates go up. This rate will, in turn, keep you a step ahead of your competition.
3. Ask new customers for feedback on their onboarding experience
Encourage those customers that just went through the experience to air their opinions about it. These customers are your most significant source of insight about what makes the experience good or bad.
This simple action will give you deeper insight into improving both their experience and your product. Encourage your customer success team to follow up and keep the communication ongoing to learn what's working and what's not. This, in turn, will make your customers feel valued and supported, increasing retention.
4. Connect with super-users for input on what can be improved
The most crucial assets in your company include your super-users. This group can offer real-time customer feedback about your solution, value, and how they've benefited from it to gain success.
Furthermore, because your super-users are highly engaged with your product, they can also provide you with important information around what's not working or what can be improved, as well as what other features would be highly beneficial.
5. Iterate on your customer onboarding process by cohort
Building a solid customer onboarding experience that produces better metrics is not a set it and forget it process. Instead, it needs a highly iterative approach.
Along the way, some of your assumptions may turn out to be wrong. But you may not need to make over your entire customer onboarding process. You may realize that the customer journey you mapped out for a particular cohort had some bottlenecks or barriers. Improving your customer onboarding process by cohort will facilitate the iterative process and overall workflow.
Don't be discouraged, as it's part of the whole process and will help you continually improve. Continue iterating to refine the process and ensure you're targeting the given personas with the right tactics.
If you’d like more insight into your own retention—or even a free retention audit where we can benchmark you with actual relevant data—reach out to me at email@example.com.
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