Our instant-gratification world of technology has created a huge hurdle for brands: the need for immediacy.
Customers generally expect a response within 30 minutes of contacting a brand.
Depending on the size of your brand and audience, this can be a daunting task. Whether you’re a SaaS startup, SMB, or enterprise, it’s time to prioritize communication and the customer experience.
SaaS customers want to hear from you—now
Before the iPhone era, brands could get away with releasing bullet point features about their software. However, today it’s about building a relationship with your customer based on value and transparency. And a fast response time won’t hurt you, either.
The problem is that SaaS brands aren’t prioritizing quick replies. Whether you’re too small to provide an immediate answer or feel you’re putting out other fires, brands don’t view response speed as an important KPI.
But if you want to be relevant to your software customers, it’s time to embrace immediacy in your communication, from the first marketing message to closing the deal.
Immediate communication has three benefits for SaaS companies.
1. Meeting customer expectations
Customers expect to hear back from you within half an hour. Whether that’s fair to you or not isn’t their concern. What matters is that, if you don’t live up to their expectations, they’re going elsewhere—and often to a competitor.
Immediacy means you’re able to meet customer expectations by giving them the information they want, and quickly.
2. Minimizing your workload
If you fail to reply to a customer within 30 minutes, it takes them just one hour before they’ll try reaching you in a different way. That means you’re receiving duplicate messages and expending more resources to answer them.
By embracing immediacy, you’re able to streamline the communication process for your team, saving time, money, and sanity.
3. Growing your business
When you quickly answer a customer’s query, they’re much more likely to continue their SaaS subscription because you’ve met their expectations. This alone will build brand loyalty, increasing your LTV per customer.
How to Implement Immediate Communication
But we know it’s easier said than done to communicate immediately with your customers. Both SaaS SMBs and enterprises struggle to answer high volumes of customer inquiries; it’s stressful to answer them all in a timely manner.
Use these strategies to not only reply quickly but to streamline your business practices and gain loyal customers.
1. Get proactive
Communication is all about setting expectations. When you’re proactive, you can mitigate potential issues that could cause customer dissatisfaction.
When a customer contacts you, give them an estimated wait time. This prevents them from contacting you through another medium, cutting down on duplicate requests.
If you’re chatting with a customer, try to resolve their situation in real-time. Customers feel like you don’t care about their problems when you let the resolution process drag on.
FAQ pages are a great way to be proactive, too. Frequently asked questions are your chance to address common questions about your SaaS product. This gives customers the information they need right now and minimizes the time your team spends answering simple questions.
Content is another way to stay proactive. Whether it’s in the form of a newsletter or highly detailed product pages, content informs customers when you can’t be there for a quick answer.
2. Choose the right methods
Live chat, email, social, SMS, websites, and face to face interactions give you an opportunity to connect with customers.
While it’s important to give customers options, you should only use the platforms that make sense for your audience. For example, if your audience is primarily Gen Z, you should be available on live chat or social media.
Don’t invest in a communication avenue if your customers aren’t going to use it. That’s a waste of your resources and frustrates customers.
Instead, issue a survey asking customers how they want to communicate with you. Send the survey automatically after their purchase with an incentive for participating, like a coupon or giveaway entry.
Depending on your customers’ preferences, you might decide to invest in a different communication channel. For the most efficient and immediate contact, consider the following communication channels.
SMS and RCS
Smartphones are the hub of our daily lives. People check their phones an average of 52 times a day. For that reason, many customers prefer texting about their SaaS subscription directly from their phone instead of making a call.
SMS marketing is popular for loyalty programs, but it’s also useful for sending tracking information or two-step verification.
RCS is a new SMS marketing feature that allows brands to send media-rich texts to their customers. It can even integrate with AI-powered chatbots to speed up information exchange.
Social media gives customers unprecedented access to your brand. You’re probably already on social media, but SaaS brands can optimize their social channels even more for better customer communication.
If you have a brand page, Facebook will feature how quickly you reply to customer messages. Make sure you answer them within 24 hours to earn a badge for quick response time; this builds trust with customers.
Facebook Messenger is another great feature where you can get in touch with customers. Messenger also integrates with chatbot tech so you can quickly answer customer queries with AI instead of a fleet of customer service reps.
The drawback to social media is that it’s difficult to find every mention of your brand across the platform. For example, if your customers are on Twitter, it can be hard to see when they’re trying to contact you. The best solution is to use a social listening dashboard to monitor brand mentions and answer customer questions.
Your customers want answers right now. They don’t always have time to scroll through your website for reviews or FAQ. That’s why more and more SaaS businesses are enabling live chat on their websites.
The truth is that customers often prefer live chat. They can go about their busy lives without picking up the phone to call you. On the business side, you can implement a smart live chat solution to quickly answer customer chats while streamlining your process. It’s a win-win.
3. Create templates and common replies
Over time, you’ll realize that there’s a pattern to your customer communication. Use this knowledge to create templates and responses ahead of time. This significantly cuts down how much time you spend crafting a response; it’s just a simple copy-paste.
Autoresponders are great for customer emails. This lets them know you received their email and when you’ll get in touch with them again.
Templates give your employees the power to reply to customers with confidence. Of course, make sure the templates are customizable by the situation. They shouldn’t sound stuffy or cold; your voice as a brand should still come through.
AI tools can also help you automate the communication process. Funnelfly’s AI-powered templates save time while giving customers the information they need fast.
The Bottom Line
Communication and care are the future of marketing. It’s time to take the guesswork out of growing your SaaS business. Embrace processes and tools that make immediate communication a reality, whether you’re a startup or legacy enterprise. Invest in your customer relationships with immediate action and they’ll invest in you.