There is nothing more flattering in the SaaS world than repeat business and referrals.Not only is it flattering, but it’s also cost-efficient. Encouraging repeat business and taking care of your current customers enough to warrant their recommendation to others is by far the cheaper alternative to prospecting for new customers. But is your company really doing all it can to extend customer lifetime value?
A Successful Buyer's Journey Needs High-Quality Education
The easiest way to maximize customer lifetime value is to properly educate your target audience through their buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is broken into three stages along the sales funnel.
- Top of the Funnel (Awareness Stage): Where people are searching for resources, answers, data, insight and opinions.
- Middle of the Funnel (Evaluation Stage): Where people are conducting research on whether your product is right for them.
- Bottom of the Funnel (Purchase Stage): Where people are deciding who they are going to make a purchase with.
Each stage along the buyer’s journey brings with it the need for different types of content that you can share with prospects. You wouldn’t give a sales pitch to a person that is already a paying customer, so why should content distribution be any different? Using inbound marketing principles to inform your content creation plan will meet the needs of your contacts exactly where they are. For potential customers at the top of the funnel, this means educating them to establish trust and introduce them to your company and values. For current and past customers this can mean reinforcing your expertise and showing reliability - you're continuing to produce content helping them succeed. There are many different content types that a SaaS company could use to educate customers along the buyer’s journey.
Awareness Stage: During this stage, a buyer is looking for something to solve a problem, so they need a wide range of information. Some examples include an e-book, an educational webinar, or a tip sheet.
Evaluation Stage: At this point, you have captured the interest of a buyer. Ways to carry this interest to the next stage could be through a case study, demo video, or FAQ sheet.
Purchase Stage: Now a buyer has finally made a purchase decision. Ensure that they buy from you with a free trial, coupon, or estimate.
How To Increase Customer Lifetime Value in Your SaaS Company
Once your team truly comprehends the stages of the buyer’s journey, they will also need to have a thorough understanding of each of your products. This will allow you to maximize repeat business and cut down on the time spent prospecting. While creating content for current customers, you'll already be in the mindset of how your products can serve them better down the line. You may choose to offer an expanded complementary product or ingenious ways to continue using the software to serve customers well into the future. This proves how strong your commitment to your customers is, which expands your sales return.
Another strategy is to monitor customer satisfaction through surveys, net promoter scores (NPS, which measures customer growth and predict future growth), or with tailor-made tools like HubSpot Service Pro. Covering all of your bases will ensure that you aren't missing an opportunity to improve the customer experience.
How Outsourcing Will Improve Customer Lifetime Value