Explore our entire show on SaaS Retention.
Most startups tend to focus most of their energy on acquiring new users for their product or service. During this phase, you tend to hear terms like growth velocity, viral marketing, and growth hacking in most meetings as their major objectives.
And although these teams are doing nothing wrong planning their marketing funnel, they forget to understand the customer journey. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't end with the customer buying the product: that's just where it starts.
Getting customers to use your service is only one part of the challenge; the other is getting them to stick to your product or service. While stickiness isn't ideal in some situations - in the context of your service or product, it's always a good thing.
Making Your Products Sticky
By definition, sticky products generate repeat usage. A customer can be using the product or service because it generates value. Whether it is easy to use, simple in design, or just interactive, as long as the service generates value, a customer will stick around and use it. And although most teams implement stickiness into their product in later stages, they should consider implementing it much sooner. Here are a few ways that you can implement stickiness into your product much sooner:
- Habits Hook Customers
In the modern age of the internet, every app, website, software, product, and service, is fighting for a user's attention. In other words, you're already in the fight for a user's attention, whether you like it or not. Therefore, you will have to make your product stand out just enough or add features that leave the audience coming back for more.
What you may not know, software as a service has an advantage over most other apps and products. This is because SaaS can send prompts, emails, and other notifications to users in order to pull them back in. And if the SaaS has a mobile version, you can reel your customers back in with the help of push notifications.
- Decrease The Time-To-Value
Every product poses some value to a consumer. While it may not be obvious at first, every product is useful. Nevertheless, some products are more useful than others, and you will have to be quick to show your service's distinct features without overwhelming your customer.
While this may feel like an impossible task, a report by CallMiner shows that US companies lose close to 136 billion dollars a year due to avoidable customer switching. Just like we said before, a lot of apps are fighting for your customers' attention, so you will have to be quick to educate them about your service.
- Rely On The Basics
A sign of good service is always the diversity that it provides to customers with its features and customization. That said, too much customization and choice early on is not good for your new customers. These features and options may feel a little overwhelming to your customers as they have just started using your service and want to use a default setting first.
According to a press release by American Express, 33% of Americans are willing to switch companies after a single instance of poor service. This means it is better to use default settings or options, and gradually introduce your new customers to detailed options, rather than flooding them with endless choices in the initial stage.
- Eliminate Repetition In Workloads
This is the best way to introduce the element of stickiness to your product. Convenience is a key feature among Millennials and is a major reason why most startups work in the first place. Services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Xbox Gamepass, provide instant access to everyday essentials and entertainment, and customers are more than happy to pay for them. So if you offer convenience with your product, customers will stick for sure.
In other words, if your software takes everyday mundane tasks and automates them, customers will look over most flaws that may come with your service. When subscriptions happen automatically, and customers instantly get what they paid for, they stay with your service for a longer time.
- Ask Them Why They're Leaving
Sometimes, customers leave, and there's nothing that you can do about it. No matter how many extra rewards or perks you offer to keep a customer, they are going to leave. However, even if you can't stop a customer from leaving, make sure that you, at least, get some information on why they are leaving. This is essential, as you want to make sure that customers don't leave for the same reason twice. And even if they're leaving in the end, they can still provide vital information to your customer.
Making your product sticky is an essential part of your product design. Because you don't just want customers to buy the software, you want them to use it too, and you want them to keep using it.