What SaaS CEOs Can Learn From Waiting Tables

Evergage Blog

Ideas and Strategies for Real-Time Personalization

June 15, 2014 by

 

 

Imagine that you are out for dinner. Maybe it’s with a customer, your family, or even a date. Something goes wrong. Anything from the lack of silverware to the gross type of errors that can happen with food service. Either way, it’s time to decide what to do.

Do you inform the waiter? Or do you do nothing?

It may surprise you to know (unless you’ve been a waiter) that a large amount of people avoid the confrontation until one particular point. Any guesses?

The tip!

The whole meal has gone by and right before standing up and walking out the door, the frustrated (or happy) customer gives the waiter their evaluation in the size of the tip.

Waiting on your trialists

Now transport those piping hot dishes and cheesy wall decor to your office. The hungry patrons are the customers participating in your free-30-day trial. You’ve got all sorts of data on why you think they picked you over the others and ROI calculations on that ad campaign you launched last week. You really know how to get them in the door, but can you keep them?

Okay, so here are all these customers sitting at your table:

  • Can they read their menu? – Do they understand your offering?
  • Are they enjoying their meal? – Is it solving their problem?
  • Is the chair wobbly? – Is their a frustrating workflow that is causing them headaches?
  • Are they satisfied? – Did they get a good value for the cost?

Bad waiters only find out the answers to these questions when they receive their tip.

But your SaaS can’t afford to wait for the tip. If it was a positive experience, your customers will come back again and become a revenue stream. But if it was negative, they leave- crossing you off their list of future solutions.  So what do you do?

Be a good waiter

A savvy manager will train his waiters to both observe and check in with their customers throughout the meal. At a well run restaurant, the whole organization is watching and checking-in to make sure everything is satisfactory at each step of the meal. At an excellent restaurant, the waiters are anticipating your needs and refilling your glass or bringing the next course at the right moment.

The problem with waiting on your SAAS customers and helping them use, understand and be happy with your software as a service is two-fold. First, we encounter the same avoidance of conflict issue as before. People often won’t tell the waiter about a problem until the tip, won’t fill out the comment cards you see next to the hard candy bowl, and won’t fill out your survey. Second, you don’t have 12 tables of customers…you have a thousand or a hundred thousand!

Don’t wait for the tip!

The solution is to measure each customer’s engagement from the moment they’ve begun using your solution as a trialist or customer. Some of the things you will want to measure include:

  • Web visit data like how frequently they visit or deeply they use your application.
  • Insight into whether they have performed specific actions.
  • Their path through the application 

Then you will want to compare each particular customer’s use of the application to customers who have been highly successful with your business or who started at the same time as this customer.

Apptegic provides a SAAS solution for SAAS CEOs that lets you measure and respond to customer engagement with your application and business. Our Beta customers are finding this helps them better convert, upsell, and renew their trialists and customers because they can better understand and respond to what each customer does.

No good waiter waits until the tip comes to understand his/her customer’s experience. SAAS CEOs can use customer engagement solutions, like Apptegic, to better understand their customers experiences and proactively respond.

 

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