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For customer success leaders, achieving long-term customer satisfaction and value is a top priority and drives many team decisions. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to distinguish which strategic decisions will drive customer value forward and which are just ‘spur of the moment’ choices.
This is where the customer journey map comes into play. In the new SaaS-based economy, customer journey maps are built to help customers reach their goals and to show value. Thus, the customer SaaS journey – while varied from industry to industry – widely remains the same. By staying on course and mapping each stage of the SaaS journey out for different accounts, your customers will see value and be prepared for long-term success.
Let’s take a closer look at the four stages of the customer SaaS journey you’ll need to keep in mind:
The onboarding stage of the customer SaaS journey is the best chance to make a good impression about your product, your company, and your team. Onboarding gets customers excited right out of the gate and sets the stage for the rest of the customer SaaS journey. Simply put – without a great onboarding experience your customers will be way behind the rest of the stages.
A good onboarding experience starts with a smooth handoff from the sales team, identifies the value and outcomes customers are looking to achieve, and sets up KPIs and metrics that both the CSM and the customer will use to measure success throughout the entire customer journey.
When new customers first start out using a new product, the first users are typically the buyers, decision makers, and maybe some key stakeholders. These people give input and help shape the direction of the product for the specific customer. But soon, it’s time to spread adoption throughout an entire organization.
For CSMs, this stage of the customer SaaS journey can be achieved by measuring product usage across departments, staying on top of issues and product alerts, and gathering feedback from users to monitor health scores.
One reason why SaaS organizations lean so heavily on the CSM role is that customer renewals make up a huge part of the SaaS business model. In the customer SaaS journey, renewals are an incredibly important piece of the puzzle and are, ultimately, what many CSM’s key operational objectives are working toward.
By building a clear, strategic renewal process into your customer SaaS journey right from the beginning, your customers will be ready and willing to have renewal conversations with your team without any apprehension or confusion.
Finally, one of the most beneficial parts of the customer SaaS journey to many vendor organizations is the growth stage, where CSM-driven up-sells or cross-sells can benefit both the vendor and the customer. A key differentiator of SaaS products is the ability to update and grow alongside customer challenges.
By leveraging product usage data, customer satisfaction metrics, and other customer insights, your team can confidently pitch growth deals to customers.
Building a clear, scalable customer SaaS journey map won’t happen overnight. If your team is ready to map out the optimal customer journey for your customers, the ClientSuccess team can help. You can set up your personal consultation here or check out the Customer Journey Toolkit for more information: