Do you want to enjoy an excellent long-term relationship with your customers? Do you want your customers never to churn and keep giving you a business? This is possible only when you deliver what your customers specifically want and expect from you.
But how’ll you know this? After all, you do not know such omniscience that helps you know everything in other people’s minds! Well, the simplest way is to ask them. And how to do it? The only way is to survey them. Customer Surveys are a significant way to collect Customer Feedback and ask the customers what they are looking for and deliver it, thus enhancing their satisfaction ultimately convincing them to stay with you through your actions.
When we talk about SaaS companies, it becomes essential to ask your customers what they feel about their experience with your services and what they expect in this changing environment. The SaaS industry is ever-changing, and so are the choices and desires of the customers with it. Even if you have a group of loyal customers for years, you cannot sit behind and relax with a myth that they will always remain with you. 30% of the SaaS companies reported an increase in their churn rates in recent years.
You need to be aware of the market and keep asking what your customers want from you; otherwise, they can get attracted to your competitors' different offers and features. You will have to know about the changing market trends and the customers' preferences so that you can deliver to them what satisfies them.
The business in a SaaS company is not just based on selling a product. Instead, it requires maintaining a relationship with the customers. But it is not enough to only ask about the overall experience of your customers. You have to ask for feedback about different aspects of your business at various touchpoints. So, to attain success in the SaaS industry, you typically need to know the customer journey and then survey your customers to know their insights.
This article will take you through the different stages of the customer journey and tell you where you should choose to survey your customers and what type of surveys you should choose to send at which stage of the customer journey. Let’s understand what a Customer Journey is and what are the different stages of this journey.
What is a Customer Journey and its Stages?
A Customer Journey is a set of different experiences that customers go through while communicating with a brand or an organization. It covers the whole journey starting from discovering a brand or its products, including the stage of buying and using them and finally getting satisfied or dissatisfied with them and ultimately deciding to repurchase the product or renew the services, or not.
When we talk specifically about the customer success journey for the SaaS industry, the different stages of the customer journey are as follows:
- Website Research
- Product Demonstration
- Product Purchase
- Product Implementation
- Customers Onboarding
- Product Adoption
- Customer Support
- Product Renewal
Let’s explore more about these stages of a customer journey and simultaneously learn which surveys are best for which stages.
Stages of Customer Journey and Surveys to be Used
Customer Surveys are essential to know how customers perceive your products and services, and they help get real customer insights and guide you to improve. But the key lies in conducting the proper customer surveys at the right moment.
However, there are some standard survey metrics which you will need to use at many stages. These three types of metrics are NPS, CSAT, and CES. Let’s take a look at them first and then explore the stages of the customer journey.
1. Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) Survey
NPS® or Net Promoter Score® is a popular survey metric used to measure Customer Loyalty with a brand or an organization. It helps to gauge the likeliness of the customers to refer a brand to their known ones. The NPS survey asks the customers a straightforward question known as ‘The Ultimate Question.’
“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues?”
Based on their responses, the respondents are categorized into three groups viz. Promoters, Detractors, and Passives. Customers who rate 9 and 10 are considered as Promoters who are the most satisfied customers. Those who rate 7 and 8 are called Passives, who are usually happy but are at risk of churn if somebody offers a better deal. In contrast, those who rate anywhere between 0 to 6 are considered detractors who are the most dissatisfied customers and are most likely to churn and spread bad word of mouth against the company.
2. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score Survey
CSAT or Customer Satisfaction Score Surveys help measure the customers’ happiness with their experience with your products and services and the overall experience with the brand or organization. In this survey, customers are asked to rate their experience with a product, service, interaction, or other business aspects. A CSAT Survey asks this question:
“How was your experience with our product/service?”
They are provided with 5 rating options expressed through adjectives like ‘Awesome’ and ‘Poor’ or through other ways like emoticons, star ratings, etc. A rating of 5 conveys the Most Satisfying Experience. In contrast, the rating of 1 represents the most dissatisfying experience.
3. Customer Effort Score (CES) Survey
“To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “The company made it easy for me to handle my issues.”
The respondents are provided with the options ‘Strongly disagree, Disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neutral, Somewhat agree, Agree, and Strongly Agree. These all surveys are used to measure the three standard CX metrics NPS, CSAT, and CES. And along with these central questions of these surveys, it is vital to add a follow-up question or send a follow-up survey to ask for the reason behind the ratings given by the customers. With this action, you can know the why behind the customers' ratings and close the customer feedback loop.
Let’s start now with the first stage of the customer journey.
1. Website Research
The first stage of the Customer journey of a SaaS-based company is when the customers search for the product and do research regarding it on the website. The customers explore your products, services, and their features, and all other aspects. This is the stage where the customers make the first impression about your brand in their minds.
At this stage, the customers go through a digital experience with you and your brand. This is the ideal time to ask for feedback from them with Website Surveys. You can present them with website surveys in the form of popups, feedback buttons, and embedded surveys on your website. With these surveys, you can gather Website Feedback that helps you measure your website's effectiveness, gauge user experience and satisfaction with your website, manage and improve the overall digital experience of your customers.
You can use CES Surveys and CSAT surveys for this purpose and also ask open-ended questions to get the customer insights about your website in their own words. Here are some questions that you can ask:
- How was your experience with our website? (CSAT question)
- Do you agree that you were able to find easily on our website what you were looking for? (CES question)
- Feel free to share your views and suggestions for our website. (Open-ended question)
2. Product Demonstration
In this stage, the customers put an inquiry about your products and services. You reach them and explain to them the products and services they are interested in and give them a demo of your product.
For instance, you are a company that develops and sells educational apps for children. The school staff visit your website and express their wish to know more about your educational app. In this stage, you will contact them back and give them a demo of how your app works and explain all the details about the subscription plans and everything related to it.
In this stage, you can send them Post-Interaction Surveys to know what they think about their interaction with your salespersons. You can use the feedback to improve your marketing and sales strategies. You can also send them CSAT surveys for this purpose. You can ask a question like:
- How was your experience with our representative today? (CSAT Survey)
- How was the meeting today? or How would you rate the meeting?
- Did you get all the information you wanted about our products and services?
3. Product Release
This stage is the most crucial stage of the customer journey. In this stage, the customers finally purchase your product or subscribe to your services. The importance of this stage is not only confined to sell the product and getting money for it, but also getting the most valuable feedback from your customers when the customers have just bought a product.
At this stage, you must conduct Post-Purchase Surveys to know what customers feel about your organization. With this survey, you can measure customers’ buying experiences, gauge Customer Satisfaction, and ensure that the customers feel good and happy that they chose your brand.
You should ask 3-4 questions to know about the Customer Experience. Here are the questions you can ask from your customers at this stage:
- How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues? (NPS Survey)
- How was your buying experience with our company? (CSAT Question)
- How was your experience with our salesperson? (CSAT Question)
- How much do you agree that our staff helped you enough to make your buying experience a great one? (CES Survey)
4. Product Implementation
In this stage, the transition of the product is done with the customers. In this stage, you can survey your customers to ensure that the implementation and transition process runs smoothly with customers. You can do NPS Surveys and CSAT surveys to ask about the Customer Experience at this stage and add an open-ended question to know more about how customers are feeling and if they are facing any issues in this process. You can ask questions like:
- How do you feel about the transition process with our company? (CSAT Survey)
- How likely are you to recommend our company to your known ones? (NPS Survey)
- Feel free to share your views and suggestions here. (Open-ended question)
5. Customer Onboarding
The next stage of the customer journey is Onboarding. This stage focuses on introducing the final product to the clients and training them on using the product and all its features. This is a crucial stage as it also creates the first impression of your product and its usage. It is essential to ensure that customers perceive your product as an easy-to-use product and feel comfortable about it.
You should do Onboarding Surveys to ensure that the process of onboarding is friendly and smooth for the clients. You can do a survey during the process as well as after the process is complete. When you take feedback during the process, you can take timely actions to make the required improvement in the process, so Customer Satisfaction improves.
Similarly, you can use Post Onboarding Surveys just after the onboarding of your product with the new clients. This survey will help you know the Customer Experience with the overall onboarding process and its various aspects like training, You can ask questions like:
- How was your onboarding experience with our product? (CSAT Survey)
- How likely are you to recommend our product to your known ones? (NPS Survey)
- How much do you agree that our training and onboarding staff made your onboarding process easy and smooth? (CES Survey)
- Would you like to share with us the reason for your rating? (Follow-up Question)
- What was the most helpful part of the onboarding process?
What was the least helpful part of the onboarding process?
6. Product Adoption
Product Adoption is the stage when your customers become users of the product and get to know whether they find your product helpful or not. In this stage, they also decide whether they want to use the product for the long term or not.
In this stage, you should send surveys to your customers to obtain Product Feedback. The valuable information shared by the customers will let you know the strengths and weaknesses of your product and thus help you in product development and product improvement. It would be best if you ask these questions to get Customer Feedback about the product, its features, and other aspects:
- How is your experience with our product? (CSAT Survey)
- How likely would you recommend our product to your known ones? (NPS Survey)
- What do you like the most about our product? (NPS Follow up Question for Promoters)
- What is the one thing you would like to change about our product?
- What did you dislike the most about our product? (NPS Follow question for detractors)
- How innovative did you find the product?
- How did you feel when you first used the product?
7. Customer Support
Merely selling a product is not enough. You need to provide world-class services to your clients to ensure a long-term and smooth relationship with your clients. Did you know that companies in the U.S. lose around $62 Billion just because of poor customer service? So you need to provide good support and services to your customers whenever they need them.
There can be any situation. For instance, you are a company providing internet service to other companies. There may be situations when the internet network becomes slow or goes entirely. Customers will reach out to you for support in such cases, and you must provide them quick and effective support to resolve the issues and make all things up and running.
After this, you should survey your customers to know their views about the support provided by you. CES surveys are ideal for this purpose, and you can also use CSAT surveys to get feedback about customer interactions. You can ask these questions:
- “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “The company made it easy for me to handle my issues.” (CES Survey)
- How was your experience with our customer support team? (CSAT Survey)
- How would you rate the support we provided?
You can further ask a follow-up question to know the reason for customers' ratings.
- What is the reason for your rating?
8. Product Renewal
Product Renewal is the stage that happens when the customers are satisfied with your products and services, and the customer journey is a successful one. But you need to ensure that this happens at the right time so that if things are somewhere wrong, you can fix them up at the right moment before your customers churn.
So you should send Customer Surveys well in advance before the renewal date of the clients. You should send CSAT and NPS surveys for this purpose at least a month before the renewal date. Suppose there is negative feedback about your company or product. In that case, you will get to know in advance and utilize this time to resolve customer issues, enhance their satisfaction and improve their experience. You can ask these questions:
- How likely are you to recommend our brand to others? (NPS Question)
- How do you feel about the overall experience with our product and brand? (CSAT Question)
You can also do a Client Satisfaction survey to know the overall experience of your client throughout their journey, and whether they wish to continue working with you or not. These surveys help you know what customers perceived your products, services, and brand while doing business with you. You can ask questions like:
- How was your first impression of the company?
- Did we serve you well as per your expectations?
- Would you like to reuse our products and services in the future?
- How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues?
Moreover, along with these surveys at various stages, you should also send Relationship Surveys to your customers from time to time to ensure a good and smooth relationship with your customers. You can send quarterly surveys, half-yearly surveys, or annual surveys for this purpose.
Using Customer Success Surveys at various stages of SaaS journey help you to get a clear picture about the customers' requirements and expectations. This enables you to provide enhance Customer Satisfaction and provide a great Customer Experience that fosters lasting relationships with your customers.