The software as a service (SaaS) industry has grown steadily, with businesses adopting more cloud-based solutions each year. In 2022, organizations used an average of 130 SaaS applications.
This also means the industry is increasingly competitive, and SaaS businesses must stand out. One of the best ways to do so is to provide a positive and consistent customer experience, from onboarding to customer service.
However, with innovations and trends come new challenges for businesses that can get in the way of creating a positive customer experience.
The good news is that once you know the challenges, you can transform them into opportunities to improve the customer experience. So let’s explore the top 4 customer experience challenges in the SaaS industry and how to overcome them.
1. Collecting valuable customer data
Personalization is vital to every industry because it directly impacts revenue: 57% of consumers report a willingness to spend more on brands that offer personalized experiences.
The challenge is collecting the right data to personalize customer experiences.
Part of the challenge is that the end of third-party cookies is approaching, and customers’ attitudes toward their data are shifting accordingly:
- 31% of consumers always or often reject website cookies
- Two-thirds of consumers want brands to only use first-party data to personalize engagement
This means businesses must collect first-party and zero-party data to create personalized experiences. However, that’s easier said than done, as only 4 in 10 brands claim excellent zero-party data collection and access.
Every customer interaction is an opportunity to collect data, but mountains of data won’t do much for your business if it’s not stored and organized in an accessible way.
That’s why a customer data platform (CDP) is vital for businesses to personalize the customer experience. A CDP like Twilio Segment can help you collect, unify, and activate customer data in real time to create precise personalization.
2. Connecting siloed teams
Customers today want to connect with brands digitally: 60% of brands report that investing in digital engagement has improved the ability to meet evolving customer needs.
But as businesses add new channels and platforms, it can be challenging to connect them and create an omnichannel experience.
For example, let’s say your customer service team uses one system to engage customers and collect data, while your marketing team uses another system. If data doesn’t flow between these platforms seamlessly, it’s challenging for each team to provide a consistent customer experience.
However, when you connect these systems and enable data to flow, you can create a positive customer experience by carrying through the context of previous interactions. This means customers don’t have to repeat their issues, and customer-facing employees can view the full customer journey and provide tailored support.
The key is to use tools and platforms that integrate seamlessly. For example, a Twilio Flex contact center allows businesses to add new channels that integrate with existing tools and software, like a CDP. This gives different teams access to the same data, enabling them to create consistent customer experiences.
3. Analyzing customer sentiment
To improve the customer experience, first you need to understand it.
The first step is to measure customer experience metrics, like conversion rate and net promoter score. These metrics give you quantitative data that helps identify areas of improvement.
Next, to understand customer experience better, analyze customer sentiment. This can be more challenging to measure than quantitative metrics, yet it’s equally valuable. And innovative solutions like AI tools can help you get this insight.
For example, Google Cloud Contact Center AI allows contact center agents and managers to analyze customer interactions and identify actionable insights based on customer sentiment and common issues. This enables contact centers to make the necessary adjustments and keep up with customer needs.
4. Retaining customers
As we mentioned earlier, the SaaS industry is a competitive space, and with so many solutions for customers to choose from, customer retention can be a challenge. That’s because customers are quick to switch to a competitor after a negative interaction. In fact:
- 66% of consumers reveal they’ll discontinue using a brand if the brand doesn’t provide a personalized experience
- 56% of customers reveal they’ll discontinue business with a brand after a frustrating encounter with support
- 83% of customers reveal an experience with a company is equally important as its products and services
So what can you do to improve retention?
Personalizing experiences, as we discussed above, can make a huge difference. Additional customer retention strategies include optimizing your onboarding process, providing quality customer service across channels, and reengaging inactive customers before they churn.
Improve the customer experience with Twilio Flex
As we’ve pointed out in this post, the key to creating a positive customer experience is using tools that integrate into your existing tech stack and allow the flow of customer data.
A contact center platform like Twilio Flex can help you improve customer experiences, thanks to:
- The seamless integration with your existing solutions
- A single user interface that gives customer service agents access to first-party customer data
- The flexibility to iterate and tailor every layer of your contact center
Want to see how it works? Here at Twilio, we used Flex to improve how sales development representatives connect with customers, enabling them to create personalized experiences. Check out how we created a custom solution with Flex and how other companies use the platform.