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Not just when you’re developing or marketing a product, but through every stage of the customer lifecycle. It sounds simple — but it’s not easy: talking with your customers through every stage of the customer lifecycle. There’s been a lot said about the value of talking to your customers before you build the product to ensure market fit, but very little said about continuing the conversation past marketing and past the sale. Why do I know talking with your customer is *the* very best predictor of, and contributor to, SaaS business growth? Because creating a constant flow of customer feedback, input, and conversation makes Customer Experience (CX) better. Multiple studies show that CX leads to revenue growth. CX also drives brand advocacy (aka. word of mouth), creating a virtual sales army, which leads to: Decreased cost-to-acquire. “Customers with the best past experiences spend 140% more than those with the poorest past experiences.” — Harvard Business Review Increased customer lifetime value. “Customers with the best past experiences have a 74% chance of remaining a member for at least another year.” — Harvard Business Review Plus, qualitative customer research leads to making data-informed decisions that streamline product management, ensure customer success, and make marketing and sales far more efficient. In short, as Laura Klein, author, VP of product, and co-founder of Users Know says, “User research saves time. Period. When you actually understand what your user needs before you build things, you have a much lower chance of having to go back and rebuild everything after shipping something that nobody uses.”

  • CZ

    Chintan Zalani

    about 1 year ago #

    Beautiful breakdown Nichole. Love the examples and the tools you have mentioned. A couple of brands come to my mind (though not hardcore SaaS) - Ryan Robinson (a course creator and entrepreneur) had one-on-one meetings with his most engaged subscribers to understand their needs. And second, Pinterest user experience researcher regularly conducted house calls to see how people are using the product - and he always came up with insights on how people use the product that the UX engineers weren't exactly thinking.

  • JQ

    Jason Quey

    about 1 year ago #

    In the past two years, I've come to realize that if you ask your customers, they can help:
    1. Plan your marketing strategy.
    2. Pave your product roadmap.
    3. Really, figure out 80% of your business plan...

    I agree that talking to your customers = best SaaS "hack"

  • DH

    David Hoos

    about 1 year ago #

    This is true outside of SaaS as well. It's just good practice. It also makes a great case for building a business by building a community first.

    • ND

      Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

      about 1 year ago #

      Sure, but I wrote for SaaS because that's my audience and I also broke down in the article the ways it impacts SaaS specifically.

      • DH

        David Hoos

        about 1 year ago #

        Totally agree. Sorry if my first comment came across as disagreeing with it. I meant that the point of your article has great application beyond SaaS too. Some great takeaways even if you're in the ecommerce space like I am.

  • AG

    Ashley Greene

    about 1 year ago #

    Can't wait to read Nicole. You've got me hooked already.

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