A combination of market forces has converged to spark the rapid growth of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and broader Cloud Computing market. The growing interest in these “on-demand” service alternatives to traditional, on-premise applications and systems has also created greater challenges for aspiring SaaS/Cloud solution providers. These challenges include:
- Rising user expectations regarding the features and functionality of today’s SaaS/Cloud solutions.
- Intensifying competition from a myriad of startups and established players seeking a share of the widening marketplace.
- Declining customer loyalty and lowering barriers to abandonment among users of today’s SaaS/Cloud solutions.
The economics of the SaaS/Cloud marketplace make it imperative that providers of these solutions minimize customer churn in order to maximize their profitability in order to sustain their businesses. This means that SaaS/Cloud providers must have unprecedented insight into their customer’s preferences via satisfaction surveys to ensure customer are getting what they want and expect. They must know which features their customers like and be able to quickly remedy those aspects of their solutions which don’t appeal to their customers.
The problem with traditional satisfaction surveys is that they are often only used periodically or for specific purposes, such as immediately after a customer support call. As a result, satisfaction surveys are viewed in a limited context by only a select group of people who may not fully understand the full value of the customer feedback and how it can be applied to various aspects of the business.
Fortunately, the direct connection which SaaS/Cloud solutions provide to the end-customer can give the provider unique insight into these preferences. But, this information must be properly tapped to be effectively utilized. One of the problems with traditional satisfaction survey tools is that they are often deployed in a siloed fashion, and looked at by a select group for a narrowly defined purpose.
As a result, the satisfaction survey data doesn’t provide an overall assessment of the customer’s satisfaction, preferences, or likelihood to remain loyal. Even worse, the satisfaction survey data can be forgotten and possibly lost if it isn’t properly stored and shared across the business. Therefore, it’s important to tie every satisfaction survey completed to the particular customer record in a manner that is easily accessible by right people across the enterprise such as field sales, customer support and product management.
It is also important to have a multiple customer feedback mechanism which can be utilized in a flexible fashion to capture insights about customers’ changing needs and preferences. For instance, being able to issue satisfaction surveys via email, embed them within applications with a timed activation, or when a service agent contacts a customer.
Today’s leading CSM solutions provide a combination of monitoring and measurement tools to track customer preferences and provide users with insights about how they should continuously enhance their offerings. The right combination of features can give the user customer intelligence. The key features to achieve meaningful customer intelligence include:
- Customer and Product Usage Monitoring
- Adoption Monitoring
- Relationship and Transactional Satisfaction Surveys
- “At-Risk” Customer Mitigation Management
- Churn Analytics
- Revenue Health Performance
- 360 Reporting and Visualization
Gainsight’s Customer Satisfaction Module enables users to conduct a variety of “Relationship Satisfaction Surveys,” including Net Promoter Score (NPS) and “Transaction” satisfaction surveys. The module automates the satisfaction survey creation, publication, distribution, collection and analysis processes. This saves valuable time and resources, and enables users to obtain valuable information and insight into customer preferences more quickly and on a continuous basis.
The fully customizable features also enables users to determine the type of questions, response options, participants, deployment method (email, agent activated, embedded within application, etc.) and delivery schedule to best fit their specific needs. They are also able to quickly generate reports which can be shared with others that include a variety of presentation quality graphs to make it easy to identify key findings.