Most SaaS startups rely on the subscription business model. This model requires that customers believe in your product, find its use, and achieve their goals through using it. For customers to believe in your product and become valuable brand ambassadors, you have to build one thing from the ground up; the customer relationships.
While it is possible to pour millions of raised venture capital into marketing to achieve growth, it is also a known fact that most startups just don’t have that kind of money – especially not for pouring into a marketing campaign.
Healthy customer relationships are easier to build and maintain making it easy to become profitable once you have that in the bag. As usual, customers trust your other customers more than they trust you.
If you have built relationships with your existing customers, chances of growing and scaling faster are higher as word spreads about your product from one social media network to another, through word of mouth, and online/offline reviews.
Issues that jeopardize your customer relationships can also take a toll very easily. We have seen this with the most recent case of Uber where the company failed to act on major issues, and this led to customers losing trust and breaking their relationships with the taxi platform in huge numbers. This explains what defines modern public relations too. One mishandled issue in your company can easily lead to loss of trust among your customers.
It is a known fact that healthy customer relationships increase customer retention, grow your customer base, and make it very easy to scale. Instead of spending huge marketing dollars trying to grow, practice the following strategies to improve customer relationships in your company:
1. Communicate often
Relationships can be fickle. If you dare them to be they will be. Communication is the one sure way to ensure your customer relationships grow. Communicate with them frequently in the early days. You want to make a connection with your new customers immediately they sign up. Chances are that if you don’t do that within the first 5 days then that relationship could as well be jeopardized already.
When a customer first signs up, they are probably overly excited at how your SaaS will help them achieve their goals. Communicate often while this excitement is still new.
The best way to keep in touch with your customers is by using automation. These come in form of email drip campaigns. Spread them out after the first week so that the communication reduces to a constant point of non-obsessive frequency. You don’t want to bore your customers with emails every day, but you also want to communicate a lot for the first week.
2. Use Email marketing
SaaS companies can leverage email marketing campaigns to improve customer relationships along with the communication strategy. Sending out newsletters, tips, giveaways, guides and advice on the product can improve your relationship with clients
Your giveaways have to be valuable things that customers need, like an e-book, free templates of a design, analyzed data report, etc.
The guides have to show customers how to use your product, as well as how to achieve some of their goals. At this point, it should be clear to you the goals that most customers want to achieve with your product. If this is not clear to you, carry out a survey and ask them. Most of your customers will gladly provide clear answers to guide you.
The bottom-line is; stay in constant communication using email marketing where you provide random guides, tips, newsletters, and giveaways.
3. Reward loyalty
Repeat customers spend more money than new customers. It is essential to find ways that encourage them to keep coming back. SaaS startups also have loyal customers who are always logging in daily sessions, and staying on month after month.
Using special events, helpful insights and advice, gifts, vouchers, coupons, or special offers, you can reward your most loyal customers who in turn reward you back with their time and money.
Stay in touch with your loyal customers, and keep them engaged, encouraged, and happy.
4. Utilize customers for increased sales
Your most loyal customers can become the strongest salespeople you have in your company. As you build your relationships with them, they reward you with testimonials and shining reviews on social media networks and blogs. This in turn improves your customer relationships even further.
Referrals that sign up for your product or service from what customers said about you are very important. They not only improve your relationship with your existing customer who gave you a glowing review, but also set you on a good tone relationship-wise with your new referral customer.
“Customers refer more people to a brand when they have made more purchases with that store.”
5. Personalize communication
The relationships you build with your brand are valuable. You have to put a face to your brand name in every aspect. In order to do this, you have to personalize your communication. While robots are cool and all, no one really appreciates talking to a robot or a person who sounds like a robot especially when their money is on the line.
Also, robots are really dumb! I mean, we’ve seen how dumb Siri can be some times!
It is important for you to personalize communication between your business and customers. When they need help, let a real person talk to them, understand them, and tell them the way forward. This will strengthen the ties with your customers.
6. Improve your Product
There is nothing that fosters stronger customer relationships with your startup than an improved product.
Take the feedback you receive from your customers seriously. Work on improving the functions of the product, adding more features, and implementing strategies that ensure your customers benefit more from your product.
7. Use PR strategies
Customer relationships can be enhanced by a huge factor when you go out of your way to ensure that the market understands your brand story as well as your mission, vision, and values. PR does not directly improve your relationship with customers, however, indirectly, it encourages customers to stick with your product because you have a story that they believe in.
When approaching public relations – even without a major launch story, big hire, seed round, or ground breaking feature – a compelling story in the press indirectly affects how your customers relate with you. At Pressfarm, we help hundreds of startups every year to nail their PR positioning and craft the perfect story to pitch to the press. For most SaaS startups, this can go a long way in indirectly keeping that customer who was almost leaving, or retaining the ones who are there. With a winning press release, a few compelling guest posts and a creative media kit, you can drive inspire your target audience and generate brand loyalty. In addition to creating this quality content, we have developed the right distribution strategies to put it in front of the right people. By submitting your details to respected startup directories and professional networks, we can boost your online visibility by helping you feature in more relevant search results across different search engines. Likewise, with personalized media lists, we can help you to connect with the best journalists to help you tell your brand story in your niche. Sign up for one of our affordable packages today and connect with your target audience as well as your current customers.