What is a SaaS Customer Journey: Mapping, Benefits, Stages
The peculiarity of the customer journey in SaaS is that a customer can go through all the stages without contacting company representatives. To optimize it, increase sales efficiency, and improve retention rates, you need to create a model or map that shows all interactions. We will explain in detail why mapping is necessary and what methods are used in it.
What Does Customer Journey in SaaS Mean
The SaaS customer journey is a set of all contact points between a user and a product, brand, or company. In this area, it is more linear and predictable than in other industries because the rules are set by the business. Moreover, you can control it at all stages by tracking and analyzing user behavior.
The customer journey in SaaS has other differences as well:
- self-service comes to the fore - direct sales are involved only in non-standard scenarios;
- familiarization with the product begins at an early stage thanks to free plan options and presentations;
- post-conversion interaction is critical, as the business must not only sell the product but also retain subscribers.
What is SaaS Customer Journey Mapping
Customer journey mapping in SaaS is a visualization of relationships with a user at each stage. By creating such a model, you can identify all the problem areas and obstacles that narrow the sales funnel and make your company lose potential subscribers. Its thorough analysis allows you to make the right management decisions to expand your customer base and improve your financial performance.
SaaS customer journey maps are based on different principles. Most companies choose the usual flowcharts, which mark the main stages of cooperation. Others prefer timelines that show the average duration of a product subscription. Another interesting option is a storyboard that tells about the experience of an average user. You can also choose an alternative model based on your business requirements.
Benefits of SaaS Customer Journey Mapping
By modeling the SaaS buyer journey, you understand at what specific points they interact with your product or company, what communication methods are available, and what marketing tools you can use. This gives you a lot of advantages, which we'll consider in more detail.
By identifying the main pain points, you can solve the problems. This will smooth a customer journey, increase product satisfaction, and help you retain more users at every stage.
Modeling also helps to identify the typical needs of the target audience. By using a SaaS customer journey map in your marketing, you can focus on the relevant features and benefits of your product.
Improving product policy
If you find needs not covered by your software features during the mapping, pay special attention to them. By adding new features or modules, you can significantly expand your customer base.
Increase sales efficiency
Creating a customer journey map in SaaS can give you ideas for new promotions - cross-sales, up-sales, discounts, coupons, promo codes, etc.
Even if most of your customers are satisfied with the service, you can continue improving it. This will allow you to turn some of your subscribers into brand advocates who will increase your marketing efforts.
Stages of Customer Journey Mapping in SaaS
Every company has a unique set of interactions with its subscribers. However, we can create a standardized model of the SaaS user journey. It will serve as a framework that you can rely on when designing your own map.
Customers learn about a product for the first time. They evaluate its compliance with their needs, capabilities, and requirements. Users also compare the software with alternatives, studies, reviews, ratings, and testimonials. Typical points of contact at this stage are:
- search engine results (SEO);
- contextual advertising (PPC);
- affiliate programs;
- expert recommendations;
- mentions in social networks;
- webinars and video tutorials.
By using Claspo widgets on your website, you can simplify the introduction stage for potential customers. For example, they can prompt website visitors to read reviews about your product and quickly redirect them to the appropriate platform. Moreover, you can easily add a tutorial or product demo video from your YouTube channel to your widget.
Usually, this stage of the buyer journey in SaaS begins with testing a free version of a program or a demo. At this stage, they become full-fledged users, although they have yet to make any transactions. The first company task will be to sell a paid product and then retain a customer. The following contact points are available:
- product presentation;
- help section and knowledge base on the website;
- email newsletter;
- advertising in app stores and catalogs
A product is not simply used. It becomes part of a routine - habits of an individual client or a company's business processes. At this stage, a user can get acquainted with the community that is created around the software. Its main points of contact will be:
- personal account on the website or in the application;
- notifications in the program;
- contacts with the support service or personal manager;
- email newsletters for users of the premium version;
- forums, chats, groups, and communities.
If your company has a community on various social platforms, help the user find and join it faster. With Claspo widgets, you can promote your social media accounts directly on your website and redirect users to the chosen platform.
The key feature of SaaS is that it is an ongoing process rather than a particular stage with fixed time limits. The task of any business is to maintain interest in its product. For this purpose, various marketing tools can be used, such as newsletters, incentive bonuses, testing new functionality, etc.
Pay attention to the following points of contact:
- notifications of subscription fee withdrawal;
- contacts with the sales department;
- transactional emails;
- offers on the website or in the app;
- list of tariff plans.
Moving to the next subscription level. Usually, the initiative at this stage belongs to a customer. But a company can also motivate them through advertising, discounts, personalized service, etc. The contact points are the same as in the previous stage.
Claspo widgets are a simple and effective way to advertise discounts and incentive bonuses on your website. But it is not necessary to show the widget to all visitors. Instead, configure it to be shown only to those users who came to the site, for example, from a specific email campaign. This widget can remind them of your offer and redirect them to a pricing plan page so they can get one at a discount.
The final stage of a perfect journey - in reality, many customers may not reach it. A user takes on the mission of spreading the word about a product, defending its reputation, and attracting new subscribers. The company can encourage them by providing advantages over other customers. The points of contact at this stage are:
- portals of reviews and feedback;
- ratings and catalogs;
- referral and affiliate programs;
- social networks;
- direct contacts with the sales and support departments.
With Claspo widgets, you can ask users to review your product, mention it in a social media post, or vote for it on Product Hunt.
7 Steps for Effective Customer Journey Mapping in SaaS
The right approach to modeling the SaaS user journey will help you optimize your marketing, pricing, and product policies, improve service, and choose the right communication channels. Here's how to do it in seven simple steps.
1. Formulate research objectives
Before you start mapping, determine what you want to achieve. Typical examples of SaaS goals are:
- reducing the time to product adoption for the effective usage of all functions;
- creating a high-quality and convenient support system to minimize churn;
- improving retention rates through preliminary customer training.
2. Create user profiles
Divide subscribers into groups and identify their key characteristics — for example, separate premium and free subscribers. It's also worth remembering that in the B2B segment, you need to focus on both end users (professionals) and decision-makers (managers). It is advisable not only to create theoretical portraits but also to test the hypotheses in practice. Conduct a questionnaire or survey with Claspo widgets. Use our ready-made templates or easily create a survey widget from scratch. Thanks to Claspo's flexible display rules, it can appear on selected pages at the right time.
3. Map the key milestones
Above, we've considered a typical SaaS buyer's journey model. However, you don't have to stop there. You can add your own stages: obligatory team training, management decision-making, support, expanding product functionality, etc.
4. Identify the points of contact
Think about the ways you can communicate with users at each stage. Sort them from the most convenient and popular to the more rare and costly. Create customer interaction scenarios and determine how you can promote your product.
5. Make the map cyclic
It would be ideal if you constantly increase the value of a customer to your business. For example, you can offer the next pricing plan, a customized subscription, or additional software features. Promoting your offers is easy - just add Claspo widgets to your site. Our platform easily integrates with any CMS via Google Tag Manager.
6. Define the triggers
These events move a customer to the next stage or interrupt their journey by terminating cooperation with the company. They can be represented by subscribing, contacting your support team, requesting a demo, or canceling a payment. It's important to mark them on the customer journey map in SaaS to track changes in user status.
7. Set up a monitoring system
Remember that you're doing mapping for a reason, and strive to achieve those results. So, you need to choose metrics to track the effectiveness of your marketing strategy optimization. These can be:
- churn and retention rates;
- customer satisfaction and net recommendation index;
- the average cost of subscription;
- cost per new subscriber;
- customer lifetime value and its components.
Establish KPIs that will define success. This will enable you to make data-driven decisions and automate key business processes.
Improve Your SaaS Customer Journey with Claspo
Claspo can help you at different stages of the customer journey, and our widgets can be used for different purposes. For example, using our widgets to promote product benefits, Devart IT company increased its downloads by 48%.
Claspo requires no programming or design skills, so you can easily create your widget today. Get acquainted with Claspo with a free lifetime plan with no bank card linking, and upgrade to a paid plan when your strategy requires it.