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6 ways to ensure subscription renewal of SaaS clients

6 ways to ensure subscription renewal of SaaS clients

Companies following Software as a Service (SaaS) business models can face challenges regarding generating revenue and growth. The issue is that success is tied to customer renewal rates. SaaS businesses provide services across online markets that are saturated with software offering similar services. A SaaS business’s growth depends on its ability to acquire customers and more importantly, retain them.

By maintaining high subscription renewals, SaaS companies are able to ensure financial stability from customers. By lowering customer churn and increasing customer retention, the company can put energy towards customer acquisition or upselling. By keeping customers happy you will see a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.

How Important Are Customer Renewals?

In SaaS, no business could survive without the ability to renew its customer subscriptions. It is easy and relatively cost-free for a customer to change service provider when unhappy. In order to exist in the SaaS sphere, a business needs to maintain low churn rates while increasing customer acquisition to have a meaningful impact on the business.

According to research, it is cheaper to sell to an existing customer than it is to sell to a new one. An existing customer is more likely to spend money on a business they feel loyal to. 60% of customers say they would purchase more frequently from their preferred business. On average, a customer will spend 67% more in their third year with a business when compared to their first year. 

By finding faithful customers, your business is able to spend less on acquisition and gain higher profits. It is also easier to upsell, as loyal customers are more likely to spend more with your business. The way your business handles customer subscription renewals will determine its fortunes. 

In this post, we suggest six ways you can keep customers and renew subscriptions of SaaS clients.

1. Know Your Customers’ Needs

It may seem obvious but clients are not uniform. There are differences in the way they use your service and the reasons for adopting your service will vary. To provide a good service and encourage subscription renewals, it will be important to know everything about your clients. 

Know your client’s goals and help them on their way

By taking the step to learn your client’s goals and requirements, you can uncover the ways they benefit from your service. This enables you to collect data and create reports highlighting the value your service added to them during the contract. You can also use the data to inform the clients of ways your service cuts back on resource costs.

A VoIP business offering a cloud based call center service could generate in-depth call data near the subscription renewal period. That report would focus on information that would be relevant for key decision-makers. Showing the volume of calls, call duration, etc. will also show the value of your service.

It is also important to discuss your client’s needs because you want them to gain the maximum value out of using your service. Knowing their targets makes it easier for your business to suggest or teach useful features to clients. This could lead to higher adoption rates for your service. You will improve customer retention when clients are happy and frequently using your service. 

2. Have Proactive Customer Success Teams

With a good customer success department, you can improve the levels of customer satisfaction and the general customer experience (CX) among your clients. To seal the deal, move clients from the sales management team, and focus on leaving them with a lasting positive impression. From there, customer success staff will have the chance to establish a connection of trust while onboarding them. 

Each client should have at least one customer success manager or team dedicated to their account. Your customer success teams will assist clients in achieving the goals they set when committing to your service. These teams will welcome new clients and fully onboard them.

Share tips to get clients on the path to mastering your service

Your customer success team can share tips and tricks to getting the best out of your service. This is when you can teach customers more about features within your service. You can write articles on unfamiliar topics, e.g. a VoIP company could publish a blog post posing the question, “what is call routing?” and display how call center dashboards benefit from its services. Clients will renew when they see your value from day one.

Your customer success teams should also keep track of any indicators of dissatisfaction among clients. They can monitor things like login sessions and support tickets as a means to assess the client’s experience with your service. By checking in regularly, teams can quickly address challenges and pain points clients are facing. This can lead to better customer retention down the line.

3. Set Expectations and Outperform Them

Focus on delivering a killer customer experience and clients will want to renew subscriptions on their own. Keep communication channels open and take the time to set client expectations regarding your service. Your brand communication strategy could factor in ways to set expectations. Be transparent. Let your clients know how their accounts will be managed and clarify the ways your product will benefit them.

Outperform your client’s expectations

After making agreements with clients, your business will want to outperform the expectations. This will leave customers with a favorable impression of your brand. Focus on providing a smooth and convenient experience for all of your clients. Do not be afraid to show some flexibility if a client needs certain features tweaked to perfect your solution for them.

Take the time to collect data on your customers. With information, it will be easier to create experiences that match the customer or go beyond expectations. You could analyze your customer journey data to get a holistic view of how your customers are interacting with your brand. This will make it easier to improve the ways customers interact with you at every touchpoint available and improve customer satisfaction.

It is important to go above and beyond when providing a positive customer experience for your clients. Beyond creating a stronger brand reputation and generating trust, your business will also stand out from other providers offering similar software solutions. If you can consistently impress your clients, they will not miss the chance to renew their subscriptions. 

4. Increase Service Adoption

One of the best ways to improve subscription renewal rates is to have people adopting your service. Having high adoption among customers and clients means your product will indicate its value. If you have clients using your product extensively, then it is likely that they would renew their subscription as they are benefitting from it. 

If your business has a high adoption rate, it will be easier to improve on the services provided to the customers. Your business can analyze data to see which features are popular. You can also gain feedback from users to fine-tune your product. This could be a subtle way to remind them of the value your software solution provides. You can employ this tactic a few months before subscription renewals.

Tweaking your software to suit a client’s needs will allow you to increase the value they are getting. If you follow the right recommendations it is possible to optimize your product for certain clients. With useful updates, your clients will appreciate the product more.

You can also find product features that a client can not stop using once they have started. These features may be embedded into a client’s workflow, like project management apps, and would cause a headache to remove. In these cases, it is likely that a client will renew their subscription as their operations are somewhat dependent on your product.

5. Show Appreciation – Incentivize Renewals

Your business thrives because of customers that enjoy its services or products. It is important to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Sending “thank you” notes to clients adds a personal touch to the relationships your business develops. By using customer appreciation ideas you can thank your clients with sincerity. Let them feel appreciated and they will want a relationship with you too.

When it is time for clients to renew subscriptions, you should reinforce how much you value them. Most companies prioritize acquisition over retention. An everyday example could be a utility provider. They offer new customers discounts and deals to encourage them to switch energy or landline providers. Older customers are typically left out. Hence, they can become disenchanted and opt to churn for other providers.

Incentivize subscription renewals through giveaways and discounts

By offering incentives to all customers and clients, your business will give new and old customers reasons to use your service. Incentives can come in many different forms. A VoIP company could offer its call center management software at discounted prices. Other options could include account upgrades, small gifts, or a free month of service. Commit to your clients and they will commit to you.

6. Improve Your Renewal Process

Take the time to analyze your renewal process. Assess the steps your clients need to take, and make subscription renewal a simple or minimal task. Your analysis should take everything into account. That would start from the point at which you seal a contract with key stakeholders to the moment they renew later. Use CRM software to cultivate a positive relationship with clients and prepare them for renewal.

Analyze your renewal process, you can always improve

You want to remind clients why you offer them the best value for money. Before it is time to renew their SaaS subscription, reopen dialogue with key stakeholders. Communicate with them throughout the months leading to renewal. Then, your business should ensure that the close is straightforward. If it is convenient for them, your business will reduce the likelihood of a client considering a churn. 

To simplify the closing step, your business can install an automatic renewal policy and use automated tools to collect payments. With automated payment tools, you can agree to keep a client’s card details on file and make subscription renewals automatically. These tools will lower the possibility of invoicing and payment collecting errors. This will encourage the client to trust your process and professionalism.

Final Thoughts

You can not overstate the importance of ensuring subscription renewals of SaaS clients. Without the ability to retain customers, it is a challenge to grow and develop a successful business. Try out the recommendations in this post, and see how they impact your business’ customer retention.

It is important that your business understands why a client needs your product. Provide them with an impeccable experience by adapting to address their needs. Focus on the agreed-upon targets that highlight how your product makes your clients successful and communicate regularly. By focusing on these key areas, it will be easier to build long-term successful partnerships with your clients.

Richard Conn

Richard Conn

Richard Conn is the Senior Director, Search Marketing for RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications and CTI software provider. He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton, and Kia. Richard has written for sites such as Cincopa and Multibriefs.

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