Allie Janoch - CEO / Mapistry
We all want loyal customers; and, churn is the death knell of any SaaS company. There are many ways to destroy loyalty: outages, slow product development, an unclear ROI, poorly executed onboarding, inaccessible customer support, the list goes on and on. You are a startup, growing quickly, so things are going to go wrong. You’re going to need amazing relationships with your customers, because that way, even when the shit hits the fan, your customers will forgive you.
So how do you create those loyal customers? Well, lots of ways, but one way is by getting your customers to say that “your team is so knowledgeable, I don’t know how we would do our job without you.” If you can get your customers to say this, they’ll stick with you because they need more than your tech, they need your team too.
At Mapistry, getting our customers to say this has meant picking a niche, for us it is industrial stormwater compliance, and building a team of world-class experts in that niche. We created environmental services and customer support teams that can prove to our customers every day that we are way more knowledgeable about our niche than any other company. We often start a customer relationship with environmental services. Sure, it isn’t as scalable as software, but when you’re selling to huge corporations, getting a foot in the door can be tough. Our customers are accustomed to paying for environmental services, so compared to selling them software, it is an easy way to start a relationship. Once we’re in, we blow them away with our expertise. And it doesn’t stop there, we are prolific bloggers, we hold frequent webinars, and we even put on our first conference with a team of only six. And perhaps most important to our customers, they know that we are only a phone call away when they need a stormwater expert. At Mapistry, customer support doesn’t just mean helping our customers to use our software, in fact that is rarely what it means. Usually, we support customers by advising then on environmental program strategies, permit compliance, and how to deal with regulators.
We all need more loyal customers. We need them to believe that they couldn’t do it with us. Creating an amazing product is crucial, but don't stop there, make your customers depend on your product AND your team.