Closing The Loop in the SaaS Customer Experience To Reduce Cancellations 10-20 Per Cent by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

Serebral360° found a great read by Forbes – Entrepreneurs article, “Closing The Loop in the SaaS Customer Experience To Reduce Cancellations 10-20 Per Cent.”

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There’s one recurring item on the wish lists of SaaS companies I advise as customer experience consultant: a way for companies to state their case directly to would-be cancelling subscribers (and convince them, right at that moment of peak frustration, to change their minds). If this tops your wish list as well, you may be encouraged to hear that Brightback, a San Francisco-based company founded in 2018, is set up to automatically help and “save” customers at the time of (potential) cancellation.

Brightback is the brainchild of Guy Marion, a veteran of Matrix Partners (where he was an Entrepreneur in Residence) and Autopilot (where he served as CMO), and has attracted investors including Index Ventures. The company’s clients include Copper, Crazy Egg, and SparkPost, for whom, Marion says, they’ve been able to reduce churn by 10-20 per cent.

Micah Solomon: Tell me about customer retention in the subscription economy. Why do these companies struggle to keep customers from leaving?

Guy Marion, CEO, Brightback: In a subscription business model, it’s essential to focus on your customers and make them see tangible returns from the relationship.

Brightback CEO Guy Marion

Think of it as a partnership, which means that success depends on changing the focus from acquisition to retention and being undivided in optimizing your operation for the entire customer lifetime—not for bookings or upsells or renewals. Customers need to be actively shown how to understand and, ultimately, love your products and services so they are motivated to keep coming back.

To whatever the extent this partnership strategy doesn’t completely work, at least with a specific end user, Brightback then comes to the rescue?

Correct. Many customers don’t actually want to cancel; they just need to be presented with the right information at the right time in order to address their unfulfilled needs. At Brightback, we’ve found that by providing a personalized workflow based on the customer need, companies can reduce cancellations by 10 to 20 percent or more. When a customer shows intent to cancel, Brightback segments the customer by filters like plan type, location or billing information and provides personalized offers of assistance to help them make the decision stay.

For example, if a customer tells us they had a poor onboarding experience and as a consequence never got the hang of the product, we provide a path to live chat with a success manager or a free credit for training. And getting back to the full-life optimization concept, Brightback also help a company, moving forward, to improve its relationships proactively by providing the company with real-time insights into why customers are attempting to cancel or happily choosing to stay. As we like to say at Brightback, “retention is the new growth strategy.”

Tell me a heartwarming story where your insight helped a company on the brink improve its viability.

Many B2B companies, including at times our own clients, struggle with “going upmarket.” But when is the right time for a fledgling SaaS company to start meeting the challenges of larger organizations, and when is too soon? Brightback helped one of our clients navigate this transition by making it impossible to ignore the comments and words of their customers, measure how their competitor mix was changing, and realize that moving upmarket too quickly was putting off their core small customers while leading to more churn at the high end. In the end, they refocused on their core business and were able to even out their customer and employee experience.

Now, if you’re feeling brave, would you share an awkward example of something that went wrong in the early days of creating your company–ideally something we all can learn from? 

 At Brightback, we have the same need to stay close to our customers as any other business does, and I still grimace when I recall a time early on when we were remiss in onboarding a particular client.  It was a good lesson to us that we can’t just preach this stuff, we also have to be absolutely impeccable in practicing it.

What does the future look like for customer service in SaaS? 

In the future, companies will be able to classify and rearrange their customers in smarter ways: combining their needs, sentiments, interaction histories, and likelihood to respond, then proactively reaching those customers in the most meaningful, personal way possible. This means solving customer problems before they even realize they have a problem. The best customer experience is generally the simplest one, where, the service succeeds in offering you what you need before you even recognize it.   

June 11, 2019 at 06:10PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs