Customer Retention 101

Customer Retention 101

When it comes to customer retention, especially when looking at SaaS, it’s a no brainer when looking at the time it takes to acquire a new customer versus retaining an existing one.

SaaS business models definitely have their differences compared to traditional business models. When it comes to SaaS, the acquisition is not the end game. In fact, that is where the customer journey begins – which opens up so many doors to the future. Now how do you make customer retention a priority?

One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself if you are trying to grow your SaaS business, are you measuring your churn rate? Churn rate is the rate at which customers stop doing business with your company over a given period of time. This is very important as you want your customers to stay and grow with your business.

So how do we retain our customers?

1. Set Expectations

One of the top reasons a customer will leave is because they expected something different than what was received. From the demo to the onboarding process, it should be clearly defined to them as what to expect.

Some things to consider – how long does it take to onboard new users? How long does it take for support to fix issues? How often is there downtime or maintenance time with the software? Are there any training documents or videos? What are some of the future improvements? can we submit suggestions for future upgrades?

Remember, retaining a customer is a lot less time consuming than attracting new customers so they should always come first.

2. Upgrades & Improvements to your Software

This is major when it comes to customer retention, but most importantly making sure the upgrades work before deploying them. We’ve all been there, whether it’s a conversational intelligence platform or online registration software, QA is vital. This means having multiple people involved to test the software on multiple devices, browsers, etc. The goal of the QA team should be to break it.

Another key factor is giving a realistic timeline for deploying these upgrades so you aren’t promising your customers one thing and delivering late each time. Be realistic with them. Last, but not least, with upgrades and improvements – allow your customers to have a say. Include them in what’s happening in the future and ask for their feedback constantly.

3. Stay Involved

Staying involved means providing the best customer service you can. This can make or break your company when it comes to the churn rate of your customers. If you sense a customer is unhappy or maybe something happened outside of your partnership with them – find time to be involved still.

Show them that you’re more than just a provider of their software, you are a partnership to see their company grow and reach their goals. Keep customer retention on your mind at all times and find ways to keep them for life!

4. Upsell

One of the biggest benefits you can have with your current customers is being able to upsell them and create a long-lasting relationship. If your customer sees the value that you provide, there will be no hesitations in upgrading.

For example, let’s say we have a conversational intelligence platform that shows a recap of a sales call so the sales rep and their manager can see how they did and where they can improve. It works great, but we just added a new feature that allows you to get the transcripts immediately instead of having to wait for them to process. Upselling that customer to show the time savings of having the transcripts right away vs. later will be a great way to get them to upgrade.

Plus with higher billing amounts, the overall customer commitment increases. This makes them more likely to stick around longer with your software.

5. Create a Community

When a company feels like a part of something, it’s more than just a software. Allow your customers to talk to each other and you can even create a forum or Facebook Group for them. It’s important to make sure you are providing the same level of customer service to them all though – as this might backfire if you don’t.

What’s Next for Customer Retention

Pick 2 or 3 items from above to focus on for your current customers. Build out a plan of how you’re going to complete the items and then create a timeline for you and your team to divide and conquer. Remember, it doesn’t matter what your software is – it can be something simple like a calendar booking tool or something complex like a next-gen conversational intelligence platform.

This isn’t your typical blog post coming from us about customer retention, but we thought we’d shed some light on something very important to us. We love our customers and want them to stay for life! If you’re interested in learning more about what we do, book a demo to see what we offer.


Greg Reffner - CEO

As one of the very first power users of Conversational Intelligence as an Account Executive, Greg fell in love with how technology enabled his success. As Abstrakt's leader, his vision and "why" is to help every sales rep and leader avoid the pain of missing their number.