The ability tocommunicate withcustomersis what drives the most successful software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies forward. Acquisition costs, customer churn rates and the profitability of your organization depend on how well you can provide value to the relationship and tear down the barriers toSaaS customer engagement. From the first touch-points to the last, it’s critical to track how perceptions, sentiments and engagements are shaping the very nature of your success, and to make decision in light of the information.

Whether you’re just getting started or improving your current strategies and tactics, here are the top 5 barriers to saas customer engagement (in no particular order), along with some suggestions on how to reduce friction and keep your customers satisfied and coming back for more.

5) Lack of Communication –When customers are left in the dark fending for themselves, chances are they’ll be far from satisfied. By using the proper tools to communicate with customers, it becomes easier to scale customer happiness with your business. If you want to know which pieces of your software are causing headaches, ask the very people who are getting their hands dirty. Through talking to customers and measuring customer data, you’ll start to see the pain-points and the friction from the customer’s ends. With good data, you can then turn around to the engineers and make the processes easier for the next time.  Having your voice heard as a customer helps to build positive relationships and SaaS customer engagement.

4) Lack of Resources –SaaS companies are faced with a dilemma- how can they scale their business without dedicating a huge amount of resources to customer service?  While it’s important to maintain relationships with users and to have consistent communication, a lot of valuable time can be lost when efficiency is not in focus.  One core aspect of efficiency with a saas business model ia, as more and more users sign on, there has to be a better way to get customers oriented with and fluent in the software. Herein lays solutions such as webinars, whitepapers and automatedbehavior-based messaging.

3) Lack of Trust –In order to retain customers, there has to be a relationship built on value and trust. If you analytics are shoddy or unreliable, the customers and the trust go right out the door. The same goes if every touch point is an attempt to upsell or renew. People are sold through solutions- by helping your customers reach their goals they will help you to reach your own.

2) Lack of Time – It seems that everyone today is constantly on the go. From social networking to the rigors of daily life, people simply don’t have the time at their disposal to spend hours learning new processes. To help the users learn your software, meet them where they are and show them the way.  If you can truly engage with your users, you begin to speak their language and understand their mindset. Once you have an understanding on the life of a customer, you can then work on solving the problems that hurt engagement and retention.  

1) Lack of Clarity –Some of the world’s most successful SaaS offerings are wildly complex. You can literally spend hours doing analysis with powerfulweb analytics softwarelike Google Analytics or Hubspot. As a time-sensitive customer, the value is in knowing where the gold nuggets are and how to get the best return on time.  While all of the add-ons and reporting tools provide valuable, they’re side dishes to the main functionality. If you design with that in mind, you’ll find customers diving deeper as they realize the power of what they’re using.

What have you found as a good way to increase customer engagement?