From product landing pages to eCommerce to SaaS, improving conversion rates is the goal of nearly every web-based business. The journey begins the moment they land on your page and reaches a critical point when they become your customer. Along the way, they may fill out forms, choose service or product types, or opt for a free trial or freemium plan. Keeping your Leads’ interest and removing roadblocks to that final submit are key to converting them from interested visitor to successful user.
Turn your funnel into three simple stages that improve conversion rates by designing every step in the process for conversion.
An oft used adage is that 90 percent of a product’s users will only use ten percent of that product’s features. Whether it’s an operating system, smart phone, or ecommerce website, people tend to learn only what they need to get by and don’t expand on that knowledge unless they have a compelling reason.
SaaS users are no different. They begin using the platform and learn how to make it work for their needs. Most will don’t bother to learn what other features or options are available. Often, small steps or tracking micro-conversion goals can increase user engagement and lead them to try or adopt new features.
Unless a company bills customers directly for support services, SaaS Customer Support can be a drain on company time and monetary resources, and never is this more true than when a customer is using a free version of the platform, or operating during a free trial. Converting such customers requires good SaaS customer support or they may abandon the service at the end of the trial period, or not see the worth of purchasing the full version.
Reducing customer support costs is important to the company bottom line, but no less important than the customer having access to the information they need to be successful. Platform providers can turn to a number of tools that help reduce SaaS customer support costs while ensuring users are successful.
The experience of a hotel guest determines whether or not they return in the future or look elsewhere the next time they are in town. Guests are also the first source of information that families, friends, and coworkers turn to when seeking information on the best hotel lodging. Word-of-mouth advertising such as this plays a big part in adding new customers and retaining old ones. A customer is far more likely to return to a hotel or recommend it to others when everything from booking their stay to checking out is easy and trouble free.
Conversion optimization for hotel online booking is mainly about a good browsing experience and a smooth booking process, but offering other incentives also increases conversions.
Probably best not to take a cue from Basil and co.
One way some companies offer self-service support is through public support forums where peers and sometimes company representatives offer problem-solving advice. The concept benefits the company by taking the load off support staff when a simple, commonly known answer will fix a problem. Customers also benefit from a unique point of view by experienced users.
There are pitfalls however. Choosing a customer-support forum as the only available form of self-service support is a poor practice and in most cases will lead to poor customer satisfaction and the migration of customers to another platform with better service options.
The usability of your SaaS product will determine in part how successful it is. Easy-to-use products are quickly accepted by users and the acceptance stage of user onboarding becomes much smoother.
Finding the ideal medium between ease of usability and features that are useful should be the goal of every SaaS platform provider. It goes almost without saying: A product rich in difficult-to-use features is also difficult to adopt, while another product with similar features that is easy to use will garner the highest user acceptance.
Improve usability by utilizing the tools at your disposal including predictive analytics, A/B testing, user feedback, and raw experience to improve SaaS product usability and design.
Most people have used a software or web-based product that was designed with the best of features, but lacked a decent user interface. The products are difficult to use and unless the provider has a monopoly on the technology, they face poor user conversion rates and are eventually relegated to the bottom of the product list.
Without a good user interface, users find the product difficult to use from the onset and everything from implementation to user onboarding and acceptance become more difficult or may even fail altogether. Conversion optimization begins with the design of the user interface and includes all aspects from signup and tutorials to site navigation and feature implementation.
A concern to all e-commerce shopping sites is the user who adds products to the shopping cart and then leaves the site without making a purchase. Of particular issue is the potential customer that makes it to the “Pay” screen and then abandons their cart.
If one considers the ease with which a customer can make a purchase in a brick and mortar storefront as opposed to an e-commerce site, perhaps it is not surprising that users give up when confronted with a complex payment process and leave a site to visit the local mall or other store. Predictive analytics can help reduce the number of users who leave a website by providing insight into the reasons why they may have left, which allows conversion optimization to improve sales.
Image source: Danilo Rizutti @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Forming a good SaaS training strategy prior to implementing a new software platform is a critical part of planning the implementation.
Even SaaS platforms that are relatively easy to learn require employee training for successful onboarding. Through SaaS training, new users learn how the platform works and how to use it to do their jobs. A good employee onboarding program acclimates users to the new platform and helps them overcome their fear of change. It shows them how they will use the new system to do their jobs, where to find help when they need it, and how it may affect their work flow.
Most importantly, employee onboarding vests the new users in the platform and makes them a part of the successful implementation. The employee training program should employ a combination of training methods including training videos, presentations, instructor led classes, remote sharing tools, and hands-on walkthrough guides.
We’ve written before about the critical role of customer service in the onboarding process. Customer service is a tricky, elusive factor in your customer success plan – on one hand, the customer service usually revolves around responsive interaction (responding to needs). On the other hand – it has been scientifically proven that companies sending long feedback forms to their customers, thereby creating work for them instead of alleviating the pressure – are annoying.
It’s time to delve into what we at iridize like to call “customer service tells”, that will give you a better indication of where you stand with your customers, in terms of customer service, and where that is on the via dolorosa that leads to conversion.
Le Chiffre, considering his customer service options
Screenshot from the film Casino Royale. Image source.