Posted by Jessica Render on Jun 24, 2016
Jessica Render

How do you make company purchasing decisions? Do you send out a general RFP, or do you start by asking colleagues about what products and services they buy?

We in the B2B SaaS marketing world tend to ignore a simple truth: B2B consumers are still consumers. At its heart B2B marketing is still B2C.

When facing a major financial commitment on behalf of your business, you want the security of knowing the provider will be as invested in success as you are. That often starts with great word of mouth. Your customers want a company that lets them get started quickly, has top-notch references and offers a solid reputation for great customer care. With all the competition out there, you need to show your B2B SaaS company to the best advantage, and customer engagement is one avenue where you can excel. Show your company as an effective and interested partner by prioritizing engagement.

What is customer engagement from the B2B SaaS perspective?

No matter what the industry customer engagement is the process of getting customers to use the product holistically. The best ways to drive customer engagement all lead back to communication. You can’t exactly call a customer engaged if they never hear from you.

If your customers never hear from their B2B SaaS service provider, they are less likely to adopt services across their organization and keep up with new product offerings.

Be sure to keep those lines of communication open and offer a comprehensive library of informational resources. Why make your customers call for information when you can anticipate their needs? The best B2B SaaS companies offer resources that demonstrate innovative ways to utilize the service. They incorporate use cases and step-by-step instructions. This allows customers to get more excited about the product, without a lot of invested employee time on your end. Of course, that all starts after you get them on-boarded successfully.

Streamlined on-boarding is the key to customer satisfaction

When taking on a major infrastructure and workflow change, rapid on-boarding is a key indicator for customer satisfaction. If the process takes months on end, business customers find it difficult to identify the value in your service. The faster you can get them up and running, the faster you can start showing improvements to KPIs. After all, the SaaS industry spans everything from CRM software to messaging services. Showing value for a specific SaaS offering starts by making the on-boarding process quick, intuitive and easy to sell to employees. Before a buyer can sell the B2B SaaS product to their employees, they need to be on board with the change. So, how do you generate interest and motivate those potential customers to close the deal?

The importance of customer reviews

Like any product, there is the temptation to try before you buy. With business products, that is not always a real option. After all, every time a business changes software they have productivity losses while employees get up to speed. They need solutions that are already proven, before they agree to any sort of trial offer. This is where customer reviews come into play.

Reviews allow you to show off what you do best, from the customer perspective. This means potential customers can see how you have addressed pain points. They can also take in real life experiences of how the service has improved other businesses’ processes and performance. Customer reviews speak directly to your prospects about the services you offer, with none of the marketing speech that can get in the way of decision making. You wouldn’t hire a new employee without checking their references, and a business won’t hire a vendor without doing the same. Testimonials are your references, so show them off, front and center.

Building the best reviews

To get the reviews you need, you must offer an outstanding customer experience. After all, people are much more likely to post a negative review than a positive one. This leaves you with two options. The first is simple — just ask! Send out emails asking for client experiences. This helps drive engagement, gives you reviews to work with and allows you to tailor services for individual customers. Customers can share their concerns and let you shepherd them through the switch to your service. The better they like the service, the more likely they are to spread the word.

Customer care is both essential for customer retention and a sales opportunity. The more frequently you contact customers, the more opportunities you have to offer them an upsell or upgrade. When a customer mentions a problem or calls in for help, you have the chance to offer them a premium or add on service to address their pain points. Yes, customer service can be challenging, but it can also be a very effective method of B2B SaaS marketing.

Keep those retention numbers high

The easiest metric for measuring customer engagement is through retention. Customers that use and renew services are the basis for your business. Get customers on-board quickly and make them feel like they are getting the white glove treatment. The result is high engagement numbers and a reputation for quality.

Resources:

http://www.evergage.com/blog/customer-engagement-saas/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecrandell/2014/06/07/solving-the-customer-experience-vs-engagement-vs-omnichannel-puzzle/

http://www.quora.com/SaaS-Marketing/What-are-the-best-customer-engagement-strategies-when-it-comes-to-products-adoption

http://vingapp.com/top-3-customer-engagement-strategies-for-saas-companies/

https://growthhackers.com/companies/slack-fastest-growing-b2b-saas-business-ever/

http://www.evergage.com/blog/top-5-barriers-saas-customer-engagement/