One of the biggest issues that SaaS businesses face is keeping consumers engaged long-term. To ensure that your users don't drop off after their first visit or during the initial few days, you need to optimize your SaaS user experience.
A good UX has:
- Nothing more than the bare essentials. Most websites and apps that are considered to have good UX, follow minimalism. If you don’t think something needs to be there, it probably shouldn’t.
- Personalized design and content. Any interface that appears to know its users, is a guaranteed heart-winner.
- The more memorable your UX is, the more likely you are to keep your visitors. There are several opportunities in UX design that allow for expression of personality. The 404 page is one such example.
So wondering how you can improve product user experience, then here are 7 ways.
1. Make an impression with onboarding
Onboarding is critical because this is where your consumers decide if they should stick with you or find an alternative solution. Don’t be fooled. A poor onboarding experience can kill your growth and your business.
Used correctly, onboarding can help you:
- Create a great first impression
- Set a positive tone for your relationship with clients
- Offset churn and wipe out the competition
That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that your customer onboarding strategy isn’t overwhelming, confusing or intrusive, and seamlessly integrates into your clients’ work lives.
Flow is key. Since you’re probably using your SaaS platform and email to run onboarding, it’s important to create a winning combination of the two to initiate people who sign up. Here are a few great examples.
- The benefit-focused flow: Describes the top 2-3 advantages your service enables and explains how users can experience them via your tool.
Duolingo’s onboarding begins with the service, so users get a taste before they’re led to a sign-up form that clearly states its USP.
- The action-focused flow: Talks about the basic 2-3 actions on the tool and explains how they can be orchestrated.
- The account-focused flow: Explain to users how to create their accounts and get them set up, step-by-step.
Some tools that are complex require a combination of all three flows to create an onboarding experience that is compelling enough.
2. Establish systems of support across platforms
“The entire customer or user experience-from raising awareness, to buying a product/ taking action, to getting customer support-is going digital.” – Colleen Jones
While UX (User Experience) and CX (Consumer Experience) may be separate concepts, it’s essential for the two to meet where client interactions with your tool require extra support.
For instance, Kevin Hale has shared that his team spent 30% of their development time building support systems within their tool, Wufoo. Instead of forcing users to rely on documentation for support, Wufoo create an in-app notification of updates, helping users quickly overcome their knowledge gap each time they logged in.
These days, several Saas tools have in-app videos explaining basic navigation and functions.
For instance, multi-channel communication platform Acquire use video hint to brief about product onboarding which not only improves user experience but also helps in understanding the use of the tool.
Many Saas business has also begun to adopt live chat support solutions, like acquire, to ensure continuous and convenient support for users.
Here’s a short, precise video by graphic design tool Canva, explaining how users can make the most of what it has to offer
If you have apps to complement your desktop solutions, you should ideally have mobile-friendly support solutions built within them as well.
When creating support systems, remember to:
- Place them intuitively within your tool, so they’re exactly where users will look if they’re in trouble
- Also, mention an alternative support solution that users can access if your in-app systems fail
- Use support as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with clients
Wufoo used emoticons on support forums to give users a way to vent their frustration, dramatically improving clients’ moods during tough situations.
3. Ensure what you deliver surpasses your claims
If your marketing messaging doesn't represent the product well, you might lose consumer trust. Your packaging shouldn't oversell your product. Click-bait may sell content, but it’s a bad idea for product descriptions. Transparency can help you create a great customer experience.
Car rental company Avis not only admitted they were second best but advertised the fact to win over customers.
Saas tool SumAll offers pricing and salary transparency, inspiring trust in clients.
One way to embrace transparency is by taking the focus away from the appearance or how buzzworthy your UX is and focusing on functionality. Sometimes, the best UX isn’t what looks best, it’s what:
- Gets out of the way and lets users accomplish their goals
- Saves users time and other valuable resources
- Enables users to perform tasks that are otherwise elusive
Ensure that your packaging focuses on the functionality that you do provide. If you’re using images on your website, and stock images, it pays to be careful about what you’re trying to project. Don’t use fancy images that don’t accurately portray your tool or brand. Here’s how you can create trust with your UX design:
- Use a clear, honest product description and simple, precise imagery
- Avoid hiding behind a clever copy
- Disclose your security measures and how you intend to produce client data
People are getting more paranoid about data trade and security breaches, and addressing that issue is an important part of creating a safe and reliable SaaS user experience.
4. Use intuitive hints when releasing updates
The way you help users level up matters. That’s why you sometimes see new players enter and take over the market, in the presence of old timers. There’s always a learning curve that users need to climb, before getting comfortable with any software, and the tool that makes it easiest usually commands an advantage.
When introducing updates, it’s essential to do so in a way that your users can adapt easily, without being thrown off or facing unnecessary frustrations when it comes to using existing features. You can do this by:
- Creating an optimized feature update hierarchy, so the most intuitive features are released first. Plan your updates in such a way that users can discover them as they're using your tool, effortlessly.
For instance, if you want your users to click on a certain button on logging in, you could make it vibrate, or draw attention to it with contrasting colors or position it prominently.
- Using hints within the tool, and releasing the support documents needed. Create little hints that make discovery fun and rewarding.
For instance, social media management tool DrumUp uses hints and dialogue boxes to explain what some features within the app are supposed to do.
5. Build an optimized email outreach schedule
Each contact with user’s matters. The goal of any SaaS tool is to smoothly become an integral part of users’ lives, but getting users to that point is a challenge. Typically, users are most active in the beginning and start to lose interest over time. To keep them engaged, you need a properly designed email outreach schedule.
- Carefully plan what you say in every email. Your content should be a mix of what provides support and keeps users enthusiastic.
- The subject lines of your emails are equally important. If they aren’t personal and convincing, your open rate will get affected.
- The frequency of your email schedule requires some thought. Many SaaS businesses send out emails daily after signup and reduce the frequency only after the client has settled in well.
- It’s important to create room for feedback and replies. If your email is no-reply, you should include alternative contact details in the email.
- Your first email gives you a unique opportunity to make an impression on your client and make a permanent place for your emails in their inbox. Use it wisely. Some businesses directly request recipients to add them to contacts within this email.
Some SaaS businesses that have mobile versions also use notifications to get to their clients.
6. Include ego boosts for savvy users within your tool
The idea is simple; users should feel like it’s easy and fun to use your tool, not like they have to expend a lot of effort to learn how it works.
When users successfully interact with your tool or accomplish something, they should be met with some form of celebration. The goal is to create the same type of satisfaction you feel when friends like your posts on Facebook, for important tasks/actions on your tool.
- Aim at creating an experience that inspires, excites and emotionally rewards users.
- Use the human craving for predictability to get users to love you. Make the actions within your tool obvious, and reward users who get it right in a fun manner.
For instance, MailChimp gives out high-fives to congratulate users on queuing their campaigns.
7. Taking User Feedback Personally
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of leaning.” – Bill Gates
Developing a usable product is an ongoing process it will go through hundreds of iterations. Try to build the best product based on your ability but it’s difficult that you get success on the first try. You will need to take user’s feedback or need to communicate with your team to develop a product.
Saas Company should create such atmosphere that team members feel motivated and work together with an aim to create an amazing user experience. Accept feedback from users whether positive or negative so that you can get clear picture where you are lacking. Negative feedbacks are good. If users get stuck than only you will be able to improve your product in a much better way. Thus by taking feedbacks on regular basis will improve your product and SaaS user experience.
Using your UI, you should respond to users’ interactions and complement their journeys. What you can’t do within your tool, can be supplemented by external communication like email and notifications. Ultimately, the goal is to create an experience that is as effortless and enjoyable as possible, so your users are inspired to stay on long-term.