Few business innovations haven shaken organizations and their processes the way digital technologies have. SaaS and e-commerce platforms, social media, and mobile apps have challenged traditional sales funnels and the way B2B customers engage with products. But today a more profound business trend is emerging with SaaS products being delivered and used seamlessly without ever taking physical form.
On-demand services offer an excellent opportunity to understand customers better since almost all interactions — clicks, bounces, conversions, transactions, interactions, and much more — are happening online and can easily be tracked. But sometimes that’s too much of a good thing. The quantity of customer data generated across channels and touchpoints between the buyer to customer journey can become so massive that it becomes impossible to keep track of what matters.
Companies across the board have adopted different types of solutions to overcome this challenge with the objectives of breaking organizational silos, uncovering actionable insights, and improving the customer experience throughout the customer journey. Let’s take a closer look at what these technologies are and how they can contribute to customer growth.
A brief look at today’s customer technology landscape
There are now more than 5,000 martech solutions available on the market to help you digitize interactions with prospects and customers. As you can imagine, the breadth and depth of functionality is extensive, so we’ve done the legwork and identified the categories that are specific to the customer technology landscape:
Customer Communication is the piece that allows you to engage with your customers in multiple ways. It can take the form of email, SMS, or in-app messaging like feature announcements, callouts, or guided tours. This category also encompasses Customer Satisfaction tools that usually focus on administering surveys and measuring users’ feedback, Net Promoter Score (or equivalent) or feature feedback.
Customer Experience tools come down to user intelligence. It’s about gathering data that allows you to understand how different your users and segments within your customer base are using and engaging with your product so you can make data-driven decisions about their experience. With it, you can answer questions like:
- Which features or touchpoints should we deploy or adapt?
- What are the most common frustrations faced by our users?
- Which features are providing the most value to our customers currently?
Customer Success applications help businesses nurture the relationship with their customers and monitor the health of accounts, segments, and users. For instance, you can design an advocacy program with exclusive benefits for VIP users when they upgrade subscriptions, try out new services, or recommend your business to their friends and relevant review websites in your industry.
Each of these software categories has a role to play in supporting customer growth, but individually, they don’t help you connect the dots between data, engagement, and overall customer health. More robust customer success solutions have been introduced on the market as a way to integrate these capabilities and facilitate interactions beyond the sales funnel.
But the real power of customer growth calls for a seamless integration between customer success, product, marketing, and sales functions — therefore requiring SaaS businesses to think about the buyer and customer journey as an hourglass-shaped funnel:
That’s the concept behind Customer Growth technology, the newest category in the customer tech stack, combining all the capabilities we’ve discussed into one solution and delivering various advantages.
Benefits of a Customer Growth Platform™
Synergies occur when the buyer and customer journeys are considered as a whole, enabling your business to manage customer relationships end to end and maximizing both customer lifetime value and company valuation. With more cohesive, data-driven touchpoints, a seamless experience is possible.
End-to-end customer relationship management
Once you understand the connection between both journeys, you can take more control of your customer’s experience — from the moment a prospect first hears about your value proposition to the point when they become a loyal user pleased to recommend your products to others.
Every bit of information nicely integrates as you rely on the same data all the way through, decreasing the amount of time and money spent cobbling multiple tools together. But most importantly, you’ll have consistent, actionable data to help you understand how users progress at each step of the pipeline with deep user intelligence and highly-targeted engagement points.
There is no longer any disconnect between your marketing, sales, product and customer success functions. Everyone in the company gets access to the same data leading to a unified value proposition being marketed, sold, and delivered — an excellent way to manage customer expectations and deliver on brand promises.
Maximized customer lifetime value and company valuation
A well-implemented Customer Growth Platform™ is a win-win for users and SaaS companies alike. Integrating journeys reduces friction points with customer acquisition and referral processes creating a positive feedback loop with higher quality referrals resulting in more qualified leads and more successful users.
That means userbases are not only growing. Existing users become far more likely to stick with you in the long term and add more services to their stack. As they do, average customer lifetime value (CLTV) goes up, the likelihood of churn decreases, and net revenue generated increases by 150%.
More and more customer-focused solutions are entering the digital technology landscape as companies realize the significant value of their existing customers, and many of these solutions do an excellent job at improving either customer communication, experience, or success. But since the capabilities offered are typically fragmented, these applications, unless perfectly integrated, can fail to enable customer growth and maximize CLTV and company valuation.
UserIQ’s Customer Growth Platform offers a 360° view of every account throughout the customer journey through deep intelligence, customer health scoring, and targeted engagement points. Learn more about why customer growth is a critical strategy for SaaS businesses in our Complete Guide to Customer Growth.