Imagine that you have just released your new software product. So far, things seem to be going well. Customers are signing up for trials, and a healthy number of them are converting to paying customers. And the feedback among users has been good, with most indicating that they are satisfied with the product.
Still, you’re seeing higher levels of churn than expected. What’s going wrong? While there could be a number of explanations, one common reason your customers are leaving is that you aren’t addressing the right touchpoints in the customer journey post-sale.
Understanding the Customer Journey
The concept of the customer journey has become the dominant point of view when it comes to mapping a buyer’s engagement with your company and product, showing how and when customers decide to buy and what they do post-sale. By looking at the process entirely from the customer’s point of view, considering their actions, goals, questions, and barriers over time, and tailoring your marketing and customer success strategies to those different stages and needs, you can better align your efforts to give the customer what he or she needs, when they need it most.
Most companies realize that the customer journey doesn’t end with the decision to buy. It extends beyond purchase into onboarding and adoption, retention, expansion, and advocacy. This means companies must consider the entire customer journey, from awareness to advocacy, as a whole to create a complete customer experience.
A key aspect of this experience is the touchpoints, or the opportunities for engagement, between you and your customers. For many businesses, these touchpoints are the foundation of customer experience. They are aimed to meet the customer’s needs and exceed their expectations, with the intent of creating a positive interaction. The more positive the touchpoints, the better the experience, and the happier the customer, right?
The problem is that in many cases, touchpoints, while on their own are positive, are part of a larger experience. And instead of thinking about customer experience as the end-to-end journey, the touchpoints focus on the specific task at hand. Consider, for example, a company that receives a call regarding a billing question.
The customer may have an overall positive experience on the call, as he or she was able to resolve the specific issue. In terms of that specific interaction, the customer feedback is that it was satisfactory. What feedback alone doesn’t consider is the fact that the customer was displeased about the billing issue in the first place, and wasn’t necessarily happy about having to make the call.
In this case, the touchpoint — the customer’s call — wasn’t fully integrated into the customer experience. And when that happens repeatedly, with a billing issue here and confusion about features there, then the overall customer experience suffers, which can lead to churn. In other words, if your customers love the product, but hate your service, your business will suffer.
Using a Customer Growth Platform™ to Improve Touchpoint Integration
Integrating touchpoints into your post-sale customer retention efforts requires a deep understanding of your customers and their needs, motivations, and expectations, as well as a clear view of where the touchpoints are in the grand scheme of things and what can be done to improve those interactions.
A Customer Growth Platform goes beyond the typical metrics to provide real-time, deep insights into your user’s and how they are using — or not using — your SaaS product, which sets the stage for how to plan your touchpoints. Through a series of customized, targeted actions, you can create touchpoints that are meaningful and immediate, increasing the value of your product and your user’s experience within it. For instance, new customers can be offered real-time tutorials or tours at specific points during their onboarding to help them overcome common barriers to adoption and successful use. Or, you can monitor the overall customer health scores for patterns that indicate a need for more outreach or support. Customer success software that provides these insights eliminates the need to wait for customer feedback related to problems, giving you the opportunity to proactively address issues before they lead to churn. Instead of waiting for your customers to create touchpoints, or creating touchpoints that don’t address important issues, you’re integrating meaningful touchpoints into the customer experience.
The more you know about your customers and their experiences with your software, the better positioned you’ll be to reduce churn and increase your revenue. Better integrating touchpoints into the post-sale stage of the customer journey can go a long way toward creating that bond, and maintaining a thriving business.