6 Tips To Win at User Engagement from SaaS Experts

If you’ve taken the time to do your reading about SaaS, you’ll know that User Engagement is an essential part of the Customer Success Lifecycle. CEOs and Entrepreneurs have often lamented how business’ focus so much on acquiring new customers, that they forget they have paying customers on board who are consistently increasing their revenue just by sticking on. In short: Engagement and Retention are essential to growing your revenue.

 

These customers who you already have, are the ones you need to understand, whose concerns you need to assuage and whose trust you need to earn by engaging them as best as you can. We spoke to CEOs, Founders, Customer Success Managers and Marketing Directors of SaaS companies to get a better idea of what User Engagement strategy works (or has worked) best for them. Here’s what they had to say.

Jeremy Chatelaine, Founder, Quickmail

Jeremy Chatelaine

– Building a community as a Facebook group and staying engaged with them (to get feedback, help others, and learn from eachother).

– I treat them as friends and always put their interests above my own. For example, I’m not afraid to recommend a competitor if I think it’s better suited to their needs.

– Not being afraid to reach out to people proactively and actually have live chats with them to see how they’re doing.

 

Adam Feber, Director of Marketing, Chargify

Adam Feber

“We’ve found action-based communication is critical. Gone are the days when you sent the same email on the same day to everyone. Define what the most important events of the engagement funnel are, and then setup communication to nudge those that don’t complete steps (or reward those that do). Tailored, action-based emails/notifications keep new users moving through the onboarding funnel and help existing users to get the most out of your application/service.”

 

Keri Keeling, VP of Customer Success, Bluenose

Keri Keeling

“The best user engagement strategy is to build relationships with all end users.  Most Customer Success teams only have the time or resource to build relationships with key players in an account (the executive sponsor, admin, power users).  However, in most cases, it’s the end users at an account that make up the crux of adoption of a technology.  It’s not financially viable to staff Customer Success Managers to nurture and engage every end user; which is where usage data and automations come in.

If a company can consume their own usage data and understand what key features/functionality are being adopted (or not), the SaaS provider can then develop adoption campaigns that will deliver content to aid that end user into engaging with the product more deeply.  That might be logging in more frequently, or that might be adopting some feature set that the SaaS provider deems “sticky.”  This same approach can be used to increase first time to value for end users as it can drive the use journey strategy in a more succinct fashion.”

 

Jared Brown, Founder, Hubstaff

Jared Brown

“We do a lot of things to engage our users, from social media, to an informative blog, but we found that great customer service is the gold star for engagement. If you go above and beyond what they expect, word will spread. That’s why we train our support team to answer immediately, know the software intimately, and always think carefully about all the possible solutions.”

 

Dave Schneider, CEO and Founder, Ninja Outreach

Dave Schneider

“The user engagement strategy that has worked best for us is using intercom for a live, in app chat. The ability to send behavior in app chats and emails when users complete (or don’t complete) certain actions is invaluable. Additionally, it allows us to personally engage with our users and get to know them. Finally, it serves as a channel for customer support, and the one that most users seem to prefer over contact forms or telephone.”

 

Susan Danziger, Founder,  Ziggeo

Susan Danziger

“Video is a great way to engage customers and build trust.  Whether through simple updates via video, video messages sent to customers related to a particular issue or video introductions, your customers get a real sense as to the people behind the company.”

 

Bonus: Raveen Sastry, Founder and CEO, Nudgespot 

Raveen_4 (1)

 
“I believe that the number one strategy to engage users is to be available for them and make it easy for them to reach out to you anytime they need to. Once you have these two covered, you have to do the most important thing: respond fast and in real-time. Doing this consistently has kept our users coming back and feeling comfortable, thereby also building a personal rapport” 

 

 

 

Tara Rachel Thomas
Tara Rachel Thomas is a Content Strategist and Marketer for Nudgespot (http://www.nudgespot.com/) - A cross-channel Messaging Platform for Customer Communication. Tara writes about subjects like Growth, Customer Success, SaaS Startups and In-App Messaging. Follow her on Twitter: @tinytarat.