No business wants to lose customers, and most have customer support strategies in place to retain them. A significant part of that retention is how you handle customer inquiries. A terrible experience can leave your customers feeling undervalued and frustrated, which leads to an increase in your software-as-a-service (SaaS) churn rate.
In this post, we’ll explain why churn happens for SaaS companies and how to avoid it.
The SaaS Churn Rate Landscape
Churn rates can vary in the SaaS environment. Many factors impact it, including contractual obligations, the platform’s complexity, the proficiency of users, and the company’s size. A SaaS customer doesn’t churn as quickly as a consumer. In most cases, you’re competing to win the renewal.
Research tells us these things about SaaS churn:
- One industry survey found that most respondents had an annual churn rate of 10 percent or less.
- Longer contracts produce lower churn rates, with the ideal being two years or more.
- Aggregated data from multiple sources identified the ideal benchmark for SaaS churn rate as between 5-7 percent annually.
To mitigate customer loss and fall under these benchmarks, the customer experience you create is just as important as the product. Your software may work well and solve a user’s challenges, but they have greater expectations around service and support. A gap here can turn delight into despair.
Common reasons that SaaS customers churn include inaccurate and inconsistent responses, long wait times, multiple transfers, and other customer support failures.
You can control and minimize these issues with the right processes and technology. Your customer service workflows should be seamless to protect against churn.
The Systems You Need in Place to Reduce Your SaaS Churn Rate
These elements can help you get a handle on churn.
Combining and analyzing all your customer data, from user logs to customer service interactions and more, yields numerous insights. With this information available, you can pinpoint the causes of churn and work to remove barriers or bad practices.
Effective Onboarding and Ongoing Assistance for Customer Service Agents
Training and preparing your customer service team to interact with customers is imperative. They need to have excellent communication skills and they must thoroughly understand your product. Continuous learning is key to keeping this knowledge fresh.
Additionally, customer service agents need tools and information at their fingertips. They can access this with an AI-powered agent assistant, which includes:
- Smart search and custom filters
- The ability to work across channels to support all queues (email, phone, and chat)
- The surfacing of existing macros, past relevant tickets, and current ticket history within the agent help desk
AI-Powered Self-Service Provides Instant Answers
Your customers have many questions and needs that don’t require human intervention. Many businesses only think of self-service as involving rules-based, traditional chatbots. However, this option often annoys customers because it only uses and responds to keywords; it’s not intelligent. AI-powered self-service expands these capabilities by understanding human language at scale.
The AI is conversational, meaning that it comprehends such things as sentence structure, meaning, synonyms, tone, and nuance. Based on this understanding, it provides more complete and meaningful answers than traditional chatbots are capable of. You can use custom workflows to build customer experiences that deliver the responses customers need with an accuracy of over 90 percent.
With this conversational AI in place, you’ll be able to deflect tickets, reducing the strain on your customer support agents so they can focus on higher-level tickets.
Sophisticated Routing and Tagging Tools
Self-service won’t work for every user. Often the issue is too complex and urgent. In that case, you need a system that will route the query to the appropriate agents and assign the proper tags.
With these capabilities, you can predict, prioritize, and triage tickets with automation. As a result, customers won’t suffer through transfers and long wait times.
Additionally, the system tags the priority based on the information provided by the customer. The improvements with these features can directly impact your SaaS churn rate.
Conversational AI Plays Major Role in Reducing SaaS Customer Churn
Having a well-designed, user-friendly software product is only half of what it takes to meet customer expectations. The other half is delivering delight in interactions when they have issues or need help. If things go wrong here, churn becomes a much greater risk. The best tools you can use to avoid SaaS customer churn are those that leverage conversational AI. It’s a powerful tool that drives more positive customer experiences.
Learn more about deploying conversational AI in your customer support systems by downloading Why You Should Care About AI in Customer Support.