We’re all special. Or at least, we really want to be. How many of us stop short of buying something because it’s not quite right for us? And how many of us would buy that exact same product if it had those little extra details that would make it perfect?
SaaS companies are increasingly looking at customization and personalization as a way to drive customer conversions.
With the right SaaS business model and by listening to their customers, companies are able to build more flexible SaaS products that can be tailored to the needs of individuals. How? Keep reading.
Build a SaaS Product That Can Be Customized
More features, fewer features, customized onboarding, bespoke workflows – these are some of the ways that companies are personalizing their SaaS business to encourage more subscriptions and create a smooth customer journey.
Companies such as Uber and Airbnb have made their fortunes from listening to what customers want. “Product-led growth” and “customer-focused” are terms that are increasingly making their way into daily business vocabulary and gaining momentum as companies look for ways to scale faster and stand out from their competitors.
Many SaaS companies are taking a “done for you” approach to their products, giving users the ability to set up their dashboards, integrate with apps they already use, and import data in a way that’s best suited for their personal needs. If you have enterprise customers, they’ll already be used to paying for services like this and it can be a smart way to create additional revenue while saving your new users time and helping them to start actively using your product.
Slack, for example, has developed a SaaS product that empowers users with the ability to personalize the software to suit their business with a variety of extensions. They offer an app library, and they’ve also made it easy for customers to personalize their own systems on top of the Slack foundation using bots and apps. It’s the ease with which users can customize and integrate to suit how they work that has made Slack such a huge success.
As your product develops, it’s essential to keep in mind what your customers want, and how you might let them build their own functionality into your product.
While the agile frameworks of cloud software give companies the opportunity to create products that have a more personalized touch, there’s a point where too much flexibility can become a problem.
Depending on your SaaS product, customizing for the needs of every individual/business could cost your team dearly in terms of development and support time. Instead of listening to the demands of every customer, constraints should be placed on the exact extent of customization you’re willing to offer.
If 20% more customizing is enough to satisfy the needs of 80% of prospects who are on the fence about converting, then you most likely don’t need to offer more than that. Too many custom options can be equally as confusing for prospects, who might then feel overwhelmed and look for a simpler option.
Customization shouldn’t come at the cost of over-complicating your product. When you’re considering offering more personalized options as part of your SaaS services, make sure (as always) you keep testing to find the sweet spot that brings you increased conversions, keeps customer satisfaction in mind, and doesn’t slow your team down.
Personalize Marketing to Increase Conversions
Personalized business services aren’t just about tailoring your product to fit. Your SaaS marketing efforts should be giving prospects and customers a seamless experience – from the ads they see, to the content they read, to the website copy that persuades them to take action.
Amazon and Netflix satisfy their customers by gathering data about user preferences and viewing habits so they can provide a more personalized service for customers in the app. Similarly, SaaS products like RightMessage are paving the way for hyper-personalized experiences at all stages of the marketing funnel.
By tracking user behavior and data, companies can take the guesswork out of who has seen what in their SaaS marketing and start delivering relevant messages to the right people at the right time.
If you can’t personally follow each user at the start of their journey with your product, make sure you automate your processes to connect with each segment of customers.
At the free trial stage, check in with them on how they’re finding your product and what could be improved on. Based on the answers they give to your email questions, you can trigger further email sequences to deliver them the content that they’ll find most helpful to get the most out of their trial period and convert to paid.
In the retention phase, you could take a page out of Zapier’s marketing playbook. Every month, they send each subscriber an email letting them know how many tedious manual tasks the software has saved them from. By sending users personalized messages like this, you keep the value your product delivers clearly at the forefront of customers' minds. It's also a smart way to reduce the possibility of churn.
When you’re rolling out new products or features, you can use your customer data to select your most engaged users to try out beta versions before everyone else. The VIP treatment is an excellent way not just to flatter your customers with that feeling of being chosen for something special, but to allow you to get feedback from your promoter segment. This group of users will also be the least likely to churn out if things go wrong with your beta testing, as they’re already loyal to your brand.
The Future of the SaaS Business Model
In summary, personalization is the future of the SaaS business model. In an increasingly crowded space, it’s simply not enough to try and compete with extra features or lower prices. Companies need to design with a satisfying customer experience in mind in order to keep the edge over their competition.