Customer Love: How To Make Customers Love Your SaaS?
“Customer love” is the last thing you think about in a B2B SaaS environment.
But in the end, customers who love your brand are the ones who:
- Engage with your product.
- Stick around and become loyal.
- Refer your product to their network.
So how do you encourage customers to love your brand?
In short: by loving them back.
Let’s see what it means to love your customers.
- Customer love is the emotional connection between customers and your brand. It drives customer loyalty, positive word of mouth, and user engagement.
- Customer love is a precursor of customer loyalty. Hence they’re not the same.
- Although customer success (CS) leads to a positive experience (which benefits customer love). CS is more about getting the job done, whereas customer love is more about connecting with users on an emotional level.
- Customer love improves word of mouth, positive reviews, customer retention, customer loyalty, and customer stickiness.
- Customer love can be measured by:
- Sending NPS surveys to identify promoters and detractors.
- Tracking customer experience across your entire user journey.
- Collecting passive feedback with in-app surveys.
- Customers will love you more if you:
- Personalize their first-time user experience with branched and interactive onboarding.
- Help them discover essential features through secondary onboarding.
- Reserve upsells for when the customer really needs them.
- Act on the data you get and close the feedback loop.
- Build an in-app help center, so users don’t have to leave your product to find answers.
- Use emotional design and messaging to develop brand consistency.
- Communicate through social media and be part of your user’s community.
- Show your love and appreciation with small gifts.
- Implement customer loyalty programs to give users more reasons to become loyal.
- You can quickly implement a lot of these strategies with customer success software. Get an Userpilot demo to try it yourself.
What does customer love mean?
Customer love is the emotional connection the user has with your brand, and it’s one of the drivers of loyalty, positive word of mouth, and high engagement.
Customers start loving your brand when they have a positive experience with your business, be it a personalized product experience, an emotional design, recurrent communication, or more.
Customer love vs. customer loyalty
Although customer love and loyalty collaborate toward the same goals, they’re not the same.
Customer loyalty is more about staying with your brand without peeking at your competitors and being habituated to providing positive feedback or referring you to their network.
In contrast, customer love is the precursor of loyalty, as it connects with your users on an emotional level so they can become loyal eventually.
Customer love vs. customer success
Great customer success leads to positive experiences—that in turn drive customer love and loyalty.
However, CS is more about hand-holding users to do their job using your tool with minimum friction and following an onboarding playbook.
This approach makes it more functional, while customer love is mostly about creating emotional connections.
The benefits of customer love
Customer love as a business strategy can lead to a lot of benefits, including:
- More word of mouth. Those who love your brand will inevitably talk about it with their friends and defend you against detractors. Learn more about driving customer loyalty, love and word of mouth.
- Positive reviews. Customers attached to your brand are more likely to leave reviews on sites like G2 and Capterra, becoming a great source of social proof for your marketing team.
- Increased customer retention and loyalty. If a user loves your brand, they’ll keep doing business with you and are more likely to become your best customers.
- Drive customer stickiness. Even if a user doesn’t become a loyal follower on day 1, an emotional connection makes them more likely to stick with you for longer (and highly increases their chance to become loyal).
In short, “lovable” companies are the kind of business you want to work with, buy from, and refer to your friends—which results in more returns.
But how do you know your company is worthy of your customer’s love?
How to measure customer love
Despite sharing the same goals, measuring loyalty is not the only way to track customer love.
There are more (and better) ways to do so. Let’s go over each of them:
Implement a Net Promoter System
A Net Promoter System allows you to regularly track NPS and understand how your customers feel about your brand. It labels users as promoters (users who feel positively about your product) or detractors (users who are unhappy with your product).
Remember that love is about emotional connections? An NPS survey lets you measure your customer base emotions, quantitatively.
Combining this approach with qualitative questions is essential because it’d also allow you to get deeper insights into your product experience and listen to your customer’s voice.
Track customer experience (CX) across the entire user journey
Positive experiences nurture love. Hence managing customer experience is vital.
So put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about how you’d perceive your brand across every stage of the journey.
Though not with your imagination, but using data instead:
- Conduct customer effort surveys to know how much friction they’re facing with your business.
- Lead customer satisfaction surveys to see if your users are feeling satisfied with your product.
- Use heatmaps to spot friction when navigating your website and using your product.
- Do session recordings to have a detailed idea of how customers leverage your product.
Once you have different channels to get data, you need to set up your customer experience KPIs to know where you’re at and track improvements.
Regularly collect customer feedback
The feedback collection methods we’ve mentioned are all active. They involve directly asking customers to participate.
But, you need both active and passive feedback.
Passive feedback is initiated by the user without being prompted by your brand. It involves tracking user-generated content like social comments, product reviews, forum threads, etc.
However, you can also encourage passive feedback. For this, you can embed in-app surveys across your product’s UI that allow users to submit feedback while using your product when they want to.
For instance, check how Miro implements surveys within their UI without disrupting the product experience:
How do you make customers love you?
Now that you know if your customers love your brand. What can you do to improve it?
Well, by loving them back.
Which, in business terms, means becoming more customer-centric, having better communication, and educating them.
Let’s go over some strategies for this.
Personalize the first-time user experience
First impressions are critical in any kind of relationship.
That’s why you need to ensure that the first-time user experience is the best possible, so the user can experience the “Aha moment” as quickly as possible.
The best way to do this is by branching the onboarding process and letting new customers choose the path that’s most relevant to them.
For instance, asking customers if they’re first timers or if they come from another tool (so they have to migrate, etc.), just like ConvertKit sign-up process offering different paths based on their needs.
Help customers discover relevant features that bring them more value
First impressions aren’t everything.
Onboarding is progressive, so once your users have activated their account (i.e., adopted the critical features of your product), you must help them discover other relevant tasks they can do with your app.
In short, you’re into secondary onboarding.
For example, to encourage users to discover relevant features, you can trigger a feature adoption checklist after the user has activated the product:
Prompt upsells when customers need it
People don’t like to be sold.
So if you want to keep your friendship with customers, the least you want to do is to push upsells randomly and at every opportunity.
Instead, do better, contextual upsells.
Use data to personalize thoughtful messages and offer a plan your customer would truly consider helpful.
To give an upselling example, check how Loom only tries to offer an upgrade when you’re using their freemium plan to its maximum capacity:
Collect customer feedback but also close the feedback loop
Collecting feedback does nothing if you don’t close the feedback loop.
You see, when you receive feedback, you should act on it and communicate with your customers to make them feel heard—or else it feels like wasted time.
For instance, you can follow this process when you’re conducting NPS surveys:
1. Tag NPS responses to identify recurring themes that correlate with low scores. You can do this using customer success software like Userpilot.
2. Create a custom segment to group those users. Not all tools will allow you this type of user segmentation but Userpilot does. Get a demo here to check it out.
3. Analyze their response and contact them. You have many options:
- Offer help in achieving their job without that feature. Users just need to solve their problems using your tool, so they need product functionality, not a specific feature.
- Point out an already existing function for that (for feature adoption).
- Let them know you are currently developing a feature for that problem.
4. Finally, announce a new feature that solves that problem to close the loop.
Offer help when and where users need it
Too much friction will kill your relationship with your customer.
And one inevitable source of friction is when users have to experience a bug or figure out how to perform a specific task.
Especially, when they have to leave your app, google your website, scroll down to find the support button, and browse through messy documentation to find answers.
As a solution, offer self-service support, so your customers don’t have to go through this tedious process.
A great help center widget offers multiple resources such as articles, video tutorials, and training. It’s the best way to offer proactive support and to be there when the user needs you.
Use emotional design to show your brand’s personality
Using emotional design is another way to connect with customers on an emotional level (and foster love).
But how does emotional design work? According to Dan Norman’s book, there are three levels of emotional connections:
- Visceral. Which reflects your first impressions and how you “feel” about the design.
- Behavioral. Driving how the customer actually uses the product and how “intuitive” it feels.
- Reflective. The final stage when the user has a conscious opinion about your product based on the first two levels.
For example, Asana uses celebratory creatures to celebrate success at each task completion. This motivates users to keep engaging with the product since we are all inclined to repeat actions that lead to success.
It also gives a positive feeling and helps build a connection with the brand.
But visual design isn’t everything. Your product’s copy also plays a huge role. And here’s when you want to employ brand messaging and have a consistent voice across all your channels. Just like Asana’s friendly tone and playfulness – just look at the funny error message codes they add to their error messages.
This is a great example of adding some positivity to a negative experience.
Build customer relationships on social media
We’ve said communication is key in every relationship.
If you only communicate inside your product, users will identify you as a product instead of a brand.
That’s why you need to embrace social media and use it proactively to:
- Do brand monitoring and reply to mentions, whether positive or negative.
- Support customers in the DMs.
- Create polls on LinkedIn or simply post a question.
- Congratulate users for their success:
Increase customer love by showing appreciation
The most explicit way to express your love for your customers is with a gift.
Think of the loyal customers you know and how you can show them that you appreciate their loyalty–there probably are many ideas in your head by now.
Small gifts won’t only cultivate customer love but also condition your users to stay in the long term. Here’s one great example of how we do this at Userpilot:
Implement loyalty and rewards programs
Although we said customer love is not the same as customer loyalty. Loyalty programs and rewards do help reinforce emotional connections.
Loyalty programs provide limited deals, point-based discounts, access to premium features, etc. And they encourage customers to engage with you for the long term and become loyal.
For instance, you can check how Evernote runs its point-based loyalty program.
Evernote rewards you with points for inviting friends. Your friends get access to premium when they sign up, and then you can exchange points for a paid plan (plus, you can get even more points when a friend buys a premium plan).
Customer love is intrinsically related to loyalty and retention.
That’s why any SaaS that wants to see growth needs to embrace it so they can hold customers for longer and better.
Now that there’s software for customer success, why not get a Userpilot demo to implement some of these strategies yourself?