This post was originally published on May 10, 2018.
It’s far easier to retain current customers than to gain new ones – and it’s much more profitable. In fact, acquiring a new customer can cost as much as five times more than keeping an existing customer, and that’s only the beginning. According to the results an oft-cited study by Rosetta Consulting, engaged customers purchase 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction, and deliver 23% more revenue and profitability over their lifetime. Thus, the need to focus on customer retention is a no-brainer.
The question is, how do you improve your SaaS customer retention and save your piece of the $1.6 trillion pie lost each year due to customer churn?
It all starts with proper SaaS training.
5 tips to boost retention rates
Here are five things you can do to ensure high retention through an improved training program:
1. Track your KPIs
Appropriate Saas training can have a significant impact on your business in a variety of ways; the key is to track its benefits. For example, report the impact that training has on your renewal rates. According to Brevet Group, continuous training can give as much as 50% higher net sales per employee.
Other training metrics that you should consider include answering the following questions:
- How often does a well-trained customer renew a subscription? How often does a less trained customer?
- Do well-trained customers buy more add-ons?
- Do well-trained customers contact your support department less often?
In each case, answering these questions will let you show upper management the benefit of training and will help you determine how best to focus and design your SaaS training to maximize customer retention.
2. Provide Self-Paced and Hands-on Learning Opportunities
Training is only as valuable as it is available. If your trainees can only learn and access materials during certain times or in certain situations, they won’t receive the full benefit.
Make sure you enable your trainees to learn when it is convenient for them. This way, they are in control of getting what they need and when they need it.
Just as important is providing trainees with a virtual training lab where they can get a real, hands-on experience using your software in a safe isolated environment. However, when these sessions are interactive, accompanied by a live instructor, trainees learn better and are more likely to use your software and follow best practices (which will also increase their organization’s dependence on it and increase renewal rates accordingly).
3. Expand Your Definition of Training Material
Training shouldn’t be relegated to just “training courses,” whether in a physical or virtual classroom. You can start training from the moment you market to new customers by creating a technical marketing video that displays your software while also teaching customers how easy it is to use.
You can also supplement it by embedding short performance support videos that explain how to do specific tasks. These will help improve user knowledge at the moment of need.
And don’t forget, training materials can also encompass informative articles, white papers, simulations, quizzes, webinars and more.
4. Consider the Goals of the Support Department
Training shouldn’t happen in a bubble. Don’t keep it separate from the rest of your customer experience processes. Instead, think outside the traditional training box to make your SaaS training an integral part of your company’s entire customer success program. This means that you’ll need to look at your training in a whole new light.
Without the right content and focus, your training program with fall short of its maximum contribution to customer retention. You’ll do much better if you align with your support team. Your support team has in-depth knowledge of the difficulties that your customers face day-to-day. For example, they might be able to tell you that your customers’ greatest frustrations are with point-of-sale, not configuration. So, if you address your training content to focus on the right areas, you’ll not only help to reduce demand on your support services, you’ll also be helping to increase customer satisfaction and retention.
It can be a challenge to align your training and support teams. But by working together you can better drive product adoption and renewals. The key is open communication to obtain a clear understanding of customer pain points, so you can provide the best and most valuable training experience possible.
5. Show Customers the Value of your Training
Use your SaaS training as another selling tool. Provide your customers with statistics of the value they’ll receive from sufficient training. Reveal how much more efficient and effective they’ll be with proper training on your SaaS software. Use case studies to demonstrate the improvement that can be gained from your training services and to explain how they provide an advantage over competitive products.
Once you show customers the value of your training services, you also realize a significant opportunity for monetization. Training provides great value to your customers and partners that many are willing to pay for.
What do all these 5 tips have in common? They all show that the key to increasing SaaS customer retention rates is to provide an exceptional customer experience with training that provides real value and relevant content. Be creative in finding ways to package it, price it, and make it more consumable on your customer’s terms.
A quick customer survey can provide you with great information about what your SaaS customers want and need in a training program. If you give it to them when and how they want it, then you can increase their satisfaction and, ultimately, their loyalty.