How to help your customers grow with SaaS

Customer growth in any industry is important, but for a software developer, customer success could now be the difference between their own triumph and failure.

There are a number of factors that make a software house successful, but customer happiness has to be the number one priority. With SaaS, customer issues and growth can impact a developer directly in a number of different ways.

This blog explores some of these topics and how developers can help their customers to grow within the cloud.

Customer commitment 

It has always been important for software developers to look after their customers and pay attention to their needs, but due to SaaS and the cloud service trend, it has never been more important.

As you’re probably aware, with SaaS, customers rent the software as opposed to purchasing it outright.  By trading Capital expenditure for Operational expenditure, the user is consequently less invested in the software they’re renting so they may be tempted to move to the competition, exploring other avenues and software solutions.

 

Helping SaaS customers grow

A fulfilled customer means growth for the software house. The happier the customer is the more likely they are to sign up for longer term subscriptions, add additional users, increase storage facilities and even provide referrals! This all results in direct revenue for the developer.

So how do you actually make a customer happy and encourage growth?

Customer service

Creating a quality piece of software is only half the battle, customer service has a massive impact on experience. Optimising websites, sales processes and technical articles can also help.

The importance of customer service is also mentioned in one of our previous articles called ‘Being a SaaS hero is all about the customer service’, but as customer service in SaaS is so important, we thought we’d mention it here and talk about it twice!

Feedback

It’s time to avoid death by data and speak to customers. Not only does speaking to them directly help to enhance the connection between the provider and the customer, but it also opens up opportunities for market research. Direct feedback is the best way to ensure your software remains relevant, with features and updates in line with their requirements.

Consequently, any feedback taken on board will help the customer to increase their productivity and free up time to generate further growth.

We can help

We’re one of the only businesses in the world to provide a completely free 30-day package, designed to help developers host and improve the delivery of their software in the cloud…. Whether you have new software or an established application, we can help.

If you’d like to speak to our team about our trial or how we can help your business grow, simply fill in the form below.

 

Are you a SaaS hero? It’s all about the customer service.

With the right team, Software as a Service (SaaS) is a simple and effective distribution model, but you still need excellent customer service to help you stand out from the crowd.

By 2020, Gartner estimates that the cloud computing industry will be worth $390B and SaaS will be leading this growth with an 18% compound annual growth rate. To keep up with competition and trends, hosting has become a necessity, but it’s still increasingly hard to establish a unique selling point for many.

SaaS application hosting

SaaS companies typically concentrate on making their application relevant and ensuring the app has enough features to keep customer’s happy. Although this is part of the solution, many forget that customer service is vital and can make all the difference.

As an example, accountancy software is one specific vertical that’s growing from strength to strength and customer service is especially important in this area. If a customer has a choice between a brilliant system that only offers email support or an equally brilliant system where you can pick up the phone and speak to someone, then they’re going to pick the latter.

The cloud, application and customer service are now all equally important and happy customers lead to recurring revenue.

Simple steps to happy customers

Your website makes a massive impact on a person’s opinion of your business. Having a good navigational structure, no 404s and content that’s easy to understand can make all the difference in avoiding click rage. You should also have an easy to sign up process, with a comprehensive knowledge base full of common FAQs for your software.

Speaking from experience, one of the most frustrating things is when you need to contact someone and they don’t pick up the phone! Speaking directly as a customer, you need to offer a range of contact options, including live chat, email, telephone and social media. The faster you respond to customers, the happier they will be. Customers also want an excellent service, knowing that there’s someone they can get in touch with quickly to manage and resolve their problems, so account managers are usually a good option to implement.

As I mentioned above, in addition to excellent customer service and feature filled application, you need to offer a highly available cloud deployment method. Partnering with a reliable hosting provider can mitigate a lot of the issues of hosting the software internally, while also providing additional benefits to both you and your customers.

Some of which include:

  • Lower cost of entry
  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • Trading customer CapEx for OpEx
  • Faster implementations
  • No internal setup costs

If you’re interested in changing providers or exploring cloud software hosting in general, we’re more than happy to help. We offer a free 30-day proof of concept for developers that includes free evaluation servers, technical and business advice with pay as you grow hosting.

If you’d like more information or just to speak to a member of the team, feel free to contact us using the form below or call us on 03453 888 327

 

Top challenges for software developers

As a SaaS hero, we’re sure you’ve encountered and defeated your fair share of challenges when it comes to developing and hosting your application online.

Over the last few years online software hosting has grown from strength to strength and is now undoubtedly the fastest growing element under the cloud computing umbrella. This staggering growth is due to both a change in customer demands and the efficiency of new technology.

The benefits

SaaS superheroSome of the more popular benefits from Software as a Service driving the change include; lower cost of entry for both end users and developers, pay as you grow hosting, lower cost of ownership and higher end user adoption rates.

Although SaaS is one of the fastest growing technologies, there are still a few common issues that software developers face when exploring deployment, but in the end, the benefits far outweigh the complications.

I’ve compiled this blog together to hopefully help and prepare you to make your transition to the cloud as smooth as possible.

Choosing the right partner

For the majority of businesses, partnering with a cloud hosting provider is a no brainer in terms of the cost and service benefits received, but with seemingly hundreds of providers shouting ‘pick me’, ‘pick me’, how do you narrow down your search for one that suits you?

Information is power and research is its sidekick, the only true way of knowing if a cloud provider is a natural fit for your business is to investigate them. It sounds simple but it’s actually surprising how many companies simply go for the cheapest provider, but unfortunately the well-known saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is also true with the cloud.

What reputation does the provider have? Have you looked at their terms and conditions? Are they UK based or international? What are their support levels? Are they available 2/4×7? How do they protect your data?

All these questions are just the tip of the iceberg and a reputable provider will be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss your business requirements.

Customer expectations

Customers, service providers and employers can often be a victim of crossed wires in regards to expectations. It’s important that all parties know what their role is in the transition and how it will be managed. If your existing customers are migrating over to the cloud, they need to be fully briefed on any changes that will be made and what it means for them in both the short term and the long term. This is something that personally, as a service provider, we help with, but you may have to explore this with other vendors.

Handing over the reigns

So you’re all ready to migrate, everything is planned and scheduled but you have to release control of the hosting to your new provider. Even if you’ve selected the best provider in the world to host your software, there is always going to be a bit of reluctance to the change! Taking a leap of faith will pay off in the end, as SaaS is only anticipated to grow, it would be crazy not to try it and the right vendor will be able to mitigate all of your concerns.

Want to SaaS?

If you’re interested in exploring software as a service with virtualDCS, we’re more than happy to offer you a free proof of concept and for you to try the solution for free, with free business advice and no setup costs.

If you’d like any more information about software as a service or how to migrate your systems to the cloud, feel free to contact the team using the form below or call us on 03453 888 327.

 

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