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As businesses continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of customer experience, it's essential to seek out innovative approaches that can help drives growth and increase retention rates. One CS leader who's leading the way in this arena is Dana Alvarenga, VP of CX at SlapFive, a customer marketing software that helps organizations engage and mobilize their customers. Dana's unique approach to customer engagement has helped SlapFive maintain more than 90% renewal rates consistently time after time. Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dana about the company's existing customer engagement program which aims to help customers explore the full potential of their solution, resulting in increased retention rates.
In this blog, we'll dive deeper into how this program works and how it's benefiting both customers and the company.
The challenge: Use Cases Expansion
According to Dana, one of the biggest challenges they faced recently was driving customer adoption of various modules within their product. This is a common challenge for many SaaS companies, as a lot of SaaS buyers are often exposed to specific features or needs at the beginning without understanding the full potential and capabilities of the product. As a result, customers tend to use only a fraction of the product's capabilities, leading to siloed use cases and minimal overall adoption. This negatively impacts customer satisfaction, retention rates, and ultimately, revenue. The challenge, therefore, is to find a way to help customers explore and utilize all available features, unlocking the full potential of the product and making it more valuable to them. This is where SlapFive's customer program comes in, offering a comprehensive approach to customer engagement and education that helps customers fully leverage the benefits of the product.
The solution: Harnessing the Power of Customer Community
The primary goal was to optimize the capabilities of the SlapFive platform for its customers. To achieve this, the customer community was utilized as a marketing tool to broaden the scope of use cases.
How To Leveraged the Power of Community to Increase Expansion & Engage Customers
In order to increase customer engagement, Dana implemented a customer program called "The BackStage Pass," which correlates perfectly with their RockStars customers. This program involves inviting customers who are utilizing a certain feature or use case to host a session and share their knowledge and experience live with other customers via Zoom. RockStar customers are able to participate in live Q&A sessions during the event, and there is also a private Slack channel where they can post questions or share feedback.
During the SlapFive onboarding process, each new customer is invited to join the "SlapFive RockStars" program, where they can choose to participate in various knowledge-sharing opportunities, such as networking with peers, speaking at events, doing a reference call, or sharing a written or recorded use case. The company tracks the activities of RockStar customers and uses them to determine who to invite to participate in certain activities. The company also utilizes its own product to capture feedback from customers and showcase the cool things that customers are doing within their community, even if it does not involve the company's product directly.
By highlighting the successes of other SlapFive customers, a feeling of FOMO was generated among customers, resulting in a win-win situation. Customers were given the opportunity to share their triumphs with the platform, fostering a sense of accomplishment and recognition. Simultaneously, it piqued the curiosity of other customers about the various ways to utilize SlapFive for better outcomes.
The 3 elements for a customer program that actually drives growth:
1. Customer Empowerment Strategies.
- Socialization Calls: Help your champion gain acknowledgement of their hard work within their organization with other departments.
- Maintain a Unified Brand Experience: SlapFive's RockStar Customers & The BackStage Program are all tied around the company brand. On a deeper psychological level, this creates a true sense of belonging and community.
2. Community Engagement.
- Showcasing Customer Accomplishments and Celebrating Them With Your Customers - For example, the "BackStage" Program by SlapFive.
- Social Proof - Having customers speak for themselves about their accomplishments creates a strong sense of trust.
3. Knowledge Sharing - We are all in the same boat, so let's learn from each other. This is highly beneficial for the customer who came to learn something new, but also for the customer who came to showcase their story by having others acknowledge their success.
FYI, think of all the valuable insights SlapFive's product team and marketing team can extract from these activities.
A Successful Customer Metrics Outcomes
Although there are no set metrics, Dana explains that they consistently maintain a renewal rates of 90% or higher year over year. Long-term customers are a testament to the success of their efforts in driving adoption and expanding usage. The biggest impact of these efforts has been seen with customers who originally used their platform for one specific use case but have now expanded their usage to other areas, even moving from competitors to their platform. This has been a huge win for them. As the first employee of SlapFive, Dana has built and maintained relationships with most of their customers, and the "SlapFive RockStars" program has helped in keeping their customers engaged and satisfied.
Their marketing team also leverages the program's capabilities by taking customers on a journey to showcase their experiences and success stories. The program has been instrumental in generating leads and promoting the use of different features. The success of the program has been nothing short of amazing.