Customers now expect round-the-clock support and artificial intelligence (AI) triage. People's expectations have changed a lot.
Have your customer marketing strategies kept up with the demands of your B2B SaaS clients?
- eliminate friction
- invest in automation
- create self-service resources
- build a community
- host great online events
Why It's Time to Rethink Customer Marketing Strategy
We've just gone through a decade of digital transformation. And so many people now are consuming products and services digitally that didn't in the past.
A perfect example is my family, even though pretty digitally savvy, who had never ordered perishable groceries online until about a year ago.
But now everything's being delivered digitally. That's our new grocery store. It's not just a single grocery store. It's a couple of different apps. And it saves a ton of time. And we get the best of precisely what we want.
All of these purchase preferences have changed so much, whether streaming video, streaming audio, or how you go about researching and purchasing cars, houses, clothes, and food.
And people bring the same purchase preferences with them into the workplace.
So what can you do from the perspective of B2B SaaS to make sure that your company is set up for success with customer marketing?
The only practical way for startups to achieve this is by:
(1) Eliminate friction from sales and support
What can you do to eliminate friction from sales and support?
How do you figure out where friction is?
Start by documenting an external party's, prospect's, or customer's steps to interact with your sales or support team.
And if you're concerned that you may need to be more objective about it, hire somebody external to you and watch over their shoulder while on a Zoom call, GoToMeeting, or something like that.
So you can figure out exactly where the sources of friction are and then take steps to eliminate those sources of friction to make your company easier to deal with.
Please don't make your customers jump through so many hoops. Because if you don't do that, at some point, your competition will make it easier to deal with, then they're going to win.
So many use cases over the past five years or so of companies winning by providing a great customer experience and being able to command a premium price for that.
(2) Invest in automation
Second, people want immediate gratification.
Think about trying to satisfy the expectations of a baby boomer compared to somebody that's middle-aged compared to a millennial compared to, you know, a 10-year-old.
And when I look at just my kids, there's a five-year age difference where one grew up just before the iPad came out, and the other has never known life without an iPad.
The levels of immediate expectations are very, very different.
But the thing is, this has now infiltrated all generations.
So even when you're selling to people nearing the end of the late stages of their career, they still have this expectation of immediacy.
Anything you can do to put simple automation in place, whether it's a self-booking calendar, email workflow automation, or sales workflow automation, you want to make sure that it's improving the user experience and not frustrating people.
But that will make a world of difference in improving your customer marketing.
(3) Create amazingly helpful self-service educational resources
Think about what you can do to help people self-serve by creating beneficial self-service resources, like how-to videos, troubleshooting wizards and knowledge articles, even a chatbot; anything you can do to allow somebody at two o'clock on a Sunday afternoon to get answers to their problem without having to wait until Monday morning.
Or someone at two o'clock on a Monday afternoon getting self-service answers to the problem without having to wait a couple of hours for a callback or sit on hold or something like that is generally a win-win.
There's a ton of research on people preferring to self-serve and troubleshoot their problems to the extent that it saves a lot of time and effort on their part compared to dealing with us annoying humans, right?
(4) Build communities for peer-to-peer support
Build communities of like-minded peers among your happy customers to provide peer-to-peer support.
When you think about selling to similar buyer personas with similar goals, plans, and challenges, where they hang out online and offline, what they're worried about, and what they get excited about...
They generally like to talk to each other. And to the extent that you've done well with delighting your customers into promoters, think about setting up a virtual community where they can interact and help each other, whether it's a LinkedIn Group, a Facebook Group, a Slack channel, or something like that.
Of course, you may want somebody from your team helping to moderate it, keep it on track, and jump in when things get a little bit off the rails, but people generally enjoy participating in those kinds of experiences.
(5) Host webinars and live virtual events to help customers
Think about what you can do to host webinars and other online events to help people better utilize your products or services.
So if you're looking for five simple steps for customer marketing for B2B SaaS, look no further than eliminating friction, investing in automation, creating self-service resources, building a community, and hosting great online events.
What's your favorite customer marketing strategy for B2B SaaS? Let me know in the comments.
And if you're trying to level up your customer marketing so your B2B SaaS company can grow better and faster, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.