5 quick strategies to reduce customer churn for SaaS businesses

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Nothing sends customers running faster than a frustrating user experience.

A recent McKinsey study implores software leaders to look function by function and identify areas where even modest restructuring can improve efficiency and the customer experience.

When you can reduce SaaS customer churn, it’s more money you can invest in business-growing activities like sales, marketing, and feature development.

So what exactly does a good user experience look like?

As Armando Torrealba Echiburú, Product Design Director at Xero describes it,

“A great user experience helps a product demonstrate its value proposition in a more compelling way. It also creates a better first impression on the customer — ease of use, friendliness, task completion.”

But that doesn’t always require a complete website or product redesign. You can make your users’ experiences markedly better with a few quick and simple tools .*

Check out these 5 quick user experience strategies that SaaS operations can deploy to reduce SaaS customer churn.  

*We know, speed is relative (especially in the fast-paced SaaS world). But for argument’s sake, we’re talking under a week.

1. Keep in constant communication with your customers

Just because users aren’t using your SaaS product doesn’t mean they don’t want to know what’s going on. Salespeople want to know if a fresh lead has come in, recruiters want to know if a candidate has agreed to a position and developers want to know if something has broken. But that doesn’t mean they want to sit in your product all day.

Communication tools can extend your product beyond the browser to keep it useful. And there are plenty of fast-to-implement tools out there that you can quickly plug into your SaaS product and see near-immediate results.

Quick API-powered tools like Twilio and Leanplum send user-personalized SMS, mobile, in-app and push notifications and emails out to your users, informing them of important changes and updates as they happen.

When you can provide a helpful experience to your users even when they’re not inside your product, it’s a huge convenience for them and another reason to keep using your product.

2. Track your customer’s every move

The more you know about how your customers interact with your product, the more you know how to keep them happy and away from the dreaded black hole of churn.

So how do you learn more about your customers’ behavior?

There’s a trove of user-experience insight tools to help you and your team understand how customers view and use your product.

API-based heat mapping tools like HotJar and Mouseflow, for instance, track users’ mouse movement and browsing activity as they move through your platform. If it’s a new user, you can see just how much of the product onboarding they pay attention to. Or perhaps it’s a feature customers are disgruntled by — in which case you can see exactly where they’re getting stuck and make the necessary improvements.

When you can track your customers’ every move across your product, you can figure out which parts of it works — and which don’t — so your customers stay happy.

And when customers can do what they want with ease, they don’t get frustrated and leave.

3. Simplify document signing

Filling out documents is no one’s favorite task. So when customers have to do annoying things like download files, use an application to sign them, and then reupload them to your platform, you’re making life a lot hard for them than it needs to be.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. API-powered eSignature tools create signing experiences users love. By embedding the signing experience into your product, users can easily prepare, send, and receive signatures without ever leaving your product.

And more advanced eSignature tools even offer white-labeling, so you can keep your signature flow and emails on-brand by adding your logo, color scheme, and legal copy.

From what we’ve seen at HelloSign, an improved signing experience has a significant impact. Contracts are signed up to 80% faster with electronic signatures and document completion rates increase by up to 26%.

4. Streamline your customer support

A bad support experience is a customer retention killer. Over 51% of customers will never do business with a company again after one negative experience.

Even if customers do become frustrated by your product, there’s still a chance to pull them back from the brink of churning.

And that’s on your support team.

But there’s one hard and fast principle that SaaS support teams need to stick by if they’re going to keep customers around: when something goes wrong, customers want an immediate response.

There’s nothing worse than not being listened to. So when a customer makes a complaint and it take you three hours to email them back just acknowledging their message, they’re as good as gone. Even the simple act of telling customers when you’ll respond to their problem has a huge impact on a customer’s sentiment.

There are plenty of tools you can plug in to make supporting your customers feel more instant. Tools like Help Scout or Zendesk come with in-built automated chat tools that can triage problems, sending customers to information for self-help issues and escalating more complex issues to a real person to help.

When you can respond to customers’ issues in a fast and convenient way, your chances of losing customers to churn drop significantly.

5. Collect user feedback

One of the biggest sources of insight for any SaaS business on why customers churn is from churning customers themselves.

Even if you’re not getting their money anymore, you can at least learn what turned them off your product to prevent more customers from following in their footsteps.

One way to gather churn feedback is to embed forms into your cancellation processes. And there are hundreds of API-based tools out there that are quick to implement and easy to use — Typeform and SurveyMonkey, to name a couple. All of these use APIs to embed feedback forms directly into your web app’s user interface, increasing the chances you’ll get valuable feedback.

Still looking for tools to improve your SaaS operation?

There you have it, how to reduce customer churn. For more help boosting your SaaS product’s user experience, check out our latest guide Everything you need to know about eSignature APIs for SaaS, where you’ll learn how eSignature APIs are driving greater acquisition, retention, and productivity for SaaS business.

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