Consumer Preferences in Digital Banking Trends 2020 post COVID-19: Coming Soon

Posted on May 21, 2020May 21, 2020Categories Research  Leave a comment on Consumer Preferences in Digital Banking Trends 2020 post COVID-19: Coming Soon

Our new research, Digital Banking Trends 2020, assesses the changing consumer preferences to use digital baking channels in a post-COVID-19 world.

In July 2020, we’ll be publishing research on changing consumer preferences in our new research: Digital Banking Trends 2020. We have asked consumers about their changing opinions after COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have forced many consumers to use digital and virtual options where they otherwise may not have.

Digital Banking Trends 2020
Consumer preferences are changing quickly in 2020.

Will these consumers continue to use those digital options after things return to normal? Or will they go back to “in person” options?

We’re excited to share this information with you very soon.

In the meantime, here are some other banking resources from The SaaS CX Group.

Adam Elliot on online account opening fraud.

Episode 035: Search Engine Optimization with Geoff Atkinson

Posted on May 20, 2020June 24, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags   Leave a comment on Episode 035: Search Engine Optimization with Geoff Atkinson

The Search Engine Optimization industry is worth around 95 billion dollars, but it is dominated with agencies and service-based companies that try to tackle a problem they just cannot solve, granting this industry an NPS score of 0. This episode of the SaaS CX show we talk with Geoff Atkinson, founder and CEO of Huckabury, as he introduces his company’s technical-based solution to this industry’s core problem.

Show Notes

The Search Engine Optimization industry is worth around 95 billion dollars, but it is dominated with agencies and service-based companies that try to tackle a problem they just cannot solve, granting this industry an NPS score of 0. This episode of the SaaS CX show I talk with Geoff Atkinson, founder and CEO of Huckabuy, as he introduces his company’s technical-based solution to this industry’s core problem.

Search Engine Optimization- How to Get it Right

For small and big companies alike, Search Engine Optimization can become one of their core ways they receive website traffic, and in turn create new customers and clients. So why then are there so many service-based agencies that leave customers dissatisfied at every turn?

Search engine optimization with Huckabuy and Geoff Atkinson
Geoff Atkinson

As I discussed with Geoff, it seems that the one thing these service agencies cannot get right is that they just do not understand or have the tools necessary to work with Search Engine Optimization. You can only do so much with marketers and advertising specialists, Geoff and I concluded. To truly get satisfactory and real results you need to take a technical-based approach, instead of having marketers and employees outsource jobs that they do not understand, which leads to a not optimal work force.

How Huckabuy Changes the Industry

I talked to Geoff about what his company, Huckabuy, is doing to clean up the Search Engine Optimization industry.

Search Engine Optimization
Software-based solutions are the key to Search Engine Optimization.

Huckabuy specializes in creating software that can be installed to create Search Engine Optimization. Because the fundamentals of this industry are technology-based, there are many technical roadblocks typical agencies run into that they are not equipped to handle, some of which could make your website unqualified for over 50 percent of search volume.

His company also aims to be more upfront and honest, as an NPS score of 0 speaks for itself when it comes to this industry’s loyalty and satisfaction ratings. Huckabuy aims on being more communicative to their clients, to show them how they are helping and what it means to create an optimal website.

Huckabuy’s two scalable products: Structured Data and SEO Cloud, have helped their average client grow at an average of 62% over a 12-month period. They aim to be transparent with their technology and give every client a positive experience on-boarding. These two products handle all google traffic and within an average of two weeks delivers their clients an optimized website that aligns with search engine traffic.

The Google Algorithm and Customer Success

Many agencies in the industry make claims that all you need for Search Engine Optimization is really good content, choosing to ignore algorithms from search engines like Google. However, as we discussed with Geoff it seems that working with instead of fighting against these algorithms is key to an optimal website.

Huckabuy tries to be predictive with the macro trends that Google follows, allowing their company to stay ahead of the tide instead of being washed to shore like so many agencies after Google’s constant algorithmic updates. It seems aligning yourself with the algorithm is key to a smooth, constant transition for your clients’ optimization.

As Geoff and I discussed, there are always potential problems that come from specializing in Search Engine Optimization software. One he has found is the difficulty definitely showing their customers just how much their software has grown their website and traffic.

Huckabuy’s goal this year, Geoff said, is to develop a mechanism and work on how to communicate to their clients Huckabuy’s software has contributed to their growth.

In this episode we talk a lot more about Search Engine Optimization, so check out the episode here. And if you want to learn more about Geoff Atkinson or get in touch with his company, you can learn more at Huckabuy.com. Also, if you use their Contact Us form and mention this episode of the SaaS CX podcast, you will receive a discount on their services.

Episode 033: Sales and Marketing Coordination with Randy Wootton

Posted on May 18, 2020May 19, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags , ,   Leave a comment on Episode 033: Sales and Marketing Coordination with Randy Wootton

On the surface, it would certainly seem that sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. What we really want to create is sales and marketing coordination. However, in reality, there is usually some extreme division between those on either side, to the point where it almost seems like they’re on two different paths. In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, I talk with Randy Wootten, president and CSO of Seismic.

Show Notes

On the surface, it would certainly seem that sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. What we really want to create is sales and marketing coordination. However, in reality, there is usually some extreme division between those on either side, to the point where it almost seems like they’re on two different paths. In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, I talk with Randy Wootton, Chief Strategy Officer and President at Percolate, a Seismic company.

Achieving Sales and Marketing Coordination

Ideally, the marketing department would talk with the sales team, and vice versa. However, in many companies, sales and marketing coordination does not exist. On the sales side, they complain that the leads are weak or improperly vetted. On the marketing side, they say that the sales staff aren’t closing, despite having such highly qualified leads. Obviously, both statements can’t be right.

Talking sales and marketing coordination with Randy Wootton of Seimic.
Randy Wootton

As I discuss with Randy, it seems like the fundamental difference between the two sides is that one uses data a lot more than the other. In my experience, because the sales staff is out there building relationships and talking with clients, numbers and statistics are met with derision. Most high-end sellers aren’t going to rely on charts and graphs to close a deal – it’s all about how you talk to the prospect. Overall, the sales team puts much more emphasis on specific points and details, even if the data is mostly anecdotal.

On the flip side, since so many marketers use analytics religiously, they don’t interact with clients regularly. So, when trying to capture new leads and push them through the sales funnel, marketers rely on data to qualify a prospect, rather than talking with the person directly.

Unfortunately, this lack of sales and marketing coordination can increase customer churn rates because the marketers are selling one thing while the sales team is selling another. A lack of communication about what’s going into each sale can lead to disaster.

Being Customized Without Being Creepy

Seismic is a firm that helps companies – both large and small – create tailored content to reach customers. These days, the “shotgun” approach doesn’t work anymore. Users are far savvier than in years past, which means that they expect a certain level of personalization in each interaction.

Marketing vs Sales
The fundamental difference between the two sides is that one uses data a lot more than the other

The struggle, according to Randy, is to provide that customization without being creepy about it. We’ve all had that experience where an ad pops up on Facebook or Instagram that seems to have come straight from our thoughts. We don’t remember searching for that product or service, but here it is in our timeline.

As a SaaS company, the content has to tow that line well, and that messaging needs to get to both the marketing and sales team. All too often, marketing has created content that speaks to an individual customer, but once that person talks to a sales rep, the rep has no idea about it. In most cases, that sales and marketing coordination disconnect can lead to higher customer churn. Clients expect the company to have a cohesive strategy at all times.

Quality Over Quantity

One anecdote that Randy recounts is how he sold Seismic to one of his enterprise-level clients. Evidently, the company was spending $40 million per year on advertising content but estimated that only about half was delivering toward the bottom line. So, with a perceived loss of $20 million, the cost of Seismic pales in comparison.

What Randy and his team do is go in and figure out what messages are getting to clients and how they can be tailored even more to compel action. So many companies believe that quantity is necessary to stay above the competition. However, a targeted message at the right time can get a lot more traction than 10 generic ones. It’s all about figuring out the when, the why, and the how.

We talk a lot more about creating better sales and marketing coordination, so check out the episode here. And, if you want to find out how to reduce customer churn with Seismic, you can learn more at www.seismic.com.

Creating Better Enterprise-Level SaaS Product

Posted on May 14, 2020April 19, 2020Categories ArticleTags , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Creating Better Enterprise-Level SaaS Product

If you build your SaaS product with these goals in mind, you can reduce customer churn and create a much better program.

Usually, the process of building a new app or software product is pretty straightforward. A company is founded, a development team will work on validation, the product goes live, fixes and patches come out, and it grows from there.

However, what if you’re trying to create a SaaS product for an enterprise-level business? Because the brand has such a broad scope, both in terms of marketing and user base, the standard development process won’t necessarily work.

In this article, we want to discuss the best practices for creating software for big companies. Think Microsoft, Facebook, and Comcast. To help us understand what it takes to achieve success, we’re talking with Wolf Ruzicka. Wolf is the chairman of Eastbanc Technologies, which incubates new programs before selling them to massive corporations. He has some valuable insight to share for building SaaS products and learning how to reduce customer churn.

Understand the Enterprise Challenges

As a startup, the company has much more flexibility during development. Because the user base is so small, the primary pain points are just getting the product to work correctly. Typically, the mantra of a small SaaS company is to launch with an MVP and little else.

With enterprise software, however, the challenges are much different. You have to go way beyond the MVP. Simply put, good enough isn’t good enough. Additionally, as Wolf puts it, you have to consider the following hurdles:

-Security – An enterprise-level business has high-value assets and executives. This data has to be protected from day one. Patches aren’t a viable solution.

-Scalability – A startup may launch with a handful of users. An enterprise company may have thousands or hundreds of thousands ready to use the software. Scaling has to be baked in from the get-go, including customer retention strategies.

-Durability – With so many people relying on software, delays, and downtime are not an option. The program has to be reliable enough to work smoothly and consistently. While bugs are sometimes inevitable, they can’t be detrimental to operational success.

So, if you build your SaaS product with these goals in mind, you can reduce customer churn and create a much better program. However, these components are just the beginning.

Incorporate the Various Layers of the Customer Experience

If you want to improve the SaaS customer experience, you have to recognize the value of different technology. Today’s user is much savvier than years past, which means that the same person can use a smartphone, tablet, or computer to work on the same software. Rather than focusing your attention on one element, you need to build a multifaceted SaaS product.

The layers of the customer experience can include:

-Cloud – Cloud-based technology is more vital than ever, with more people working from home and remote workers logging in from around the world.

-Mobile – Smartphones are only getting more sophisticated, and users are relying on smartphones and other mobile devices to handle more data and transactions. For example, more people shopped via mobile during the 2019 holiday season than on a desktop.

-Design – It’s not enough for your software to be functional; it has to be user-friendly as well. Design elements help your users get more out of the program and can help reduce churn.

-AI – while machine-learning isn’t that commonplace today, it’s a growing industry. So, you have to plan accordingly. If you build your software without AI capabilities, you’ll fall behind during the next tech boom. Wolf admits that AI is going to change the game in the next few years, particularly with how we interact with technology.

Bottom Line: You Have to Be Prepared

Eastbanc Technologies can produce enterprise-level SaaS products because the team understands innovation and high-functioning customer experience. Overall, as long as you’re prepared to handle the challenges that come with the terrain, there’s no reason you can’t do the same. You can find out more about Wolf and Eastbanc Tech by listening to the latest episode of the SaaS CX Show here. You can also learn more at www.eastbanctech.com.

How to Make SMS Marketing Work

Posted on May 12, 2020April 19, 2020Categories ArticleTags , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on How to Make SMS Marketing Work

While the engagement rate for SMS marketing is high on the user end, many sales reps have a hard time incorporating it into their daily habits

If you’re looking for new ways to reach your customers and enhance their experience with your brand, SMS marketing is a valuable tool. However, although the technology has been around for over a decade, many companies are hesitant to make texting a core component of their marketing strategy.

So, in this article, we want to show you how to make SMS work for your SaaS business. Not only is texting ideal for reducing customer churn, but it can give your brand a leg up over the competition. Also, considering that SMS marketing is just a few years from becoming the norm, now is the perfect time to adopt it. Here’s how.

Understand Your Audience

If you’ve already built up a marketing strategy, then you understand the value of creating customer profiles and personas. By focusing your attention on a specific need or problem, you can improve your SaaS customer service immensely.

The same approach works well for texting. However, because the tool is relatively limited, you need to get a little more creative when approaching your ideal user. For example, it’s not usually best to send pictures and videos via text unsolicited. So, rather than crafting the perfect message, it’s all about timing and engagement.

An excellent way to approach this strategy is to ask how and when you would appreciate getting texts from companies you like. If there’s a new sale going on, what kind of message would get you in the door? As we’ll discuss later, authenticity is better than a sales pitch, so sending an ad isn’t the best option. Instead, a simple notification about the sale or a query asking if the customer is interested might be better.

Because the methods are still relatively new, feel free to experiment and gather feedback. Over time, you can craft more engaging messages based on these responses to push your marketing even further.

Make It Easy For Your Sales Team

While the engagement rate for SMS marketing is high on the user end, many sales reps have a hard time incorporating it into their daily habits. Part of the reason is that many programs are independent, so reps have to log out of a CRM to send a text. This also means that the data doesn’t integrate.

Fortunately, new programs are coming out regularly that alleviate that problem. However, you have to take things a step further and help your sales team get used to the idea of texting a prospective or returning customer. In many cases, once a rep sees the potential of SMS marketing, including how easy it is to close a sale, he or she will adopt it immediately.

Overall, just as you’re making it simpler for your customers to buy products from you via text, you have to make the process easier for your sales team.

Start a Conversation, Not a Sales Pitch

SMS Marketing Changing the Face of Sales

Finally, if you want SMS marketing to help decrease customer churn, you have to know what to say. Users are far more likely to open and respond to a text for several reasons, but nothing will turn a customer off faster than spam. We’ve all grown accustomed to seeing marketing emails, but a text feels too personal for it to be “salesy.”

So, the best way to ensure engagement is to start a conversation. Enabling user responses beyond “stop” or “more info” can go a long way toward building loyalty. When customers can ask questions and even start a dialog, they are much more invested. As long as it stays professional and relatively casual, you’ll see better results.

If you want to find out more about SMS marketing, check out the latest episode of the SaaS CX Show here. We talk with Brandon O’Halloran, CEO of Reply By. His company specializes in SMS integration, and he offers some valuable insight into what makes this platform work so well.

Episode 034: Great Project Lifecycle Automation with Mark Robinson

Posted on May 11, 2020May 20, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags , ,   Leave a comment on Episode 034: Great Project Lifecycle Automation with Mark Robinson

In this episode we discussed with Mark Robinson about Kimble Applications is a project automation system that helps SaaS companies figure out how to anticipate needs and address them efficiently

Show Notes

For many SaaS companies, part of the struggle to reduce customer churn comes from a lack of foresight and planning. All too often, projects come along that require various tools and systems, but the company doesn’t adapt its processes to meet demand hence automation can be a solution. In the end, the businesses struggle to retain customers and can’t figure out why.

In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, I’m talking with Mark Robinson, CEO of Kimble Applications. His company helps businesses discover the root problems that come with a project-first mindset and puts them on the right track. We talk a lot about changing one’s perspective and how it can shift a company to become more streamlined and profitable. Here are some highlights.

Looking Forward vs. Looking Back

According to Mark, one problem that plagues most SaaS customer service companies is that they take a hindsight approach to fixing problems and cutting costs. Once a project comes in, so many businesses play catch-up, or they focus on the immediate needs without looking at the road ahead.

Project Automation
Mark Robinson CEO of Kimble Applications.

It’s like looking in the rearview mirror instead of the windshield. Rather than planning ahead and anticipating needs, SaaS companies instead do an autopsy after the fact to see what worked and what didn’t. The worst part? Rarely does that spur any meaningful change. Why? Well, that brings us to our next highlight.

Processes vs. Systems

Another issue plaguing SaaS businesses is that they like to focus on new tools and systems without understanding the need behind it. Yes, it’s nice to upgrade to new software or put everything in the cloud, but what’s the point?

So, rather than focusing on the systems being used, Mark and his team like to focus on the processes. What is the process for getting new clients? What are you doing to reduce customer churn? Where are there shortfalls? Ultimately, it should be the process that dictates which system you use, not the other way around. By focusing attention on the root of the problem, Mark can create a much better automation system around it.

Onboarding vs. Activation

Finally, we discuss the difference between onboarding a new customer and activating them. In many cases, SaaS companies view going live as the “mission accomplished” milestone. However, just because you completed onboarding doesn’t mean that your customers are getting the value they want.

Business Planning
Project automation system that helps SaaS companies figure out how to anticipate needs

Another issue that drives customer churn rates up is that these companies are focusing on the wrong metrics. It doesn’t matter how many times a user logged in or played around with the tools if he or she isn’t getting the work done. Instead of looking at system metrics, how well are your clients achieving the goals they set out to accomplish?

We talk a lot more about project lifecycles and the pitfalls that SaaS companies encounter, so check out the rest of the episode here. You can also find out more about Mark and Kimble Applications at www.kimbleapps.com.

Building a Plan for Disaster Recovery for Your Business

Posted on May 7, 2020April 19, 2020Categories ArticleTags , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Building a Plan for Disaster Recovery for Your Business

A disaster doesn’t have to spell the end for your company. No matter how long you’ve been around, the right planning can make all the difference. If you want to learn more about how to protect your business.

For most entrepreneurs, the prospect of having their business fail seems somewhat abstract, particularly when they’ve been operating for several years. However, so many companies are just one or two disasters away from shutting down for good. As we’ve seen time and time again, a business can collapse without warning.

So, if you want to avoid sleepless nights and high levels of anxiety, you need to prepare for the inevitable. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ways a disaster could impact your business. We’ll also discuss how to formulate a strategy of survival.

Disaster Can Come Anytime, From Anywhere

Unexpected Disaster
Disaster can happen at any time.

As 2020 proves, events beyond anyone’s comprehension can strike, catapulting the world into uncharted territory. However, while the COVID pandemic does illustrate the need for disaster planning, the fact is that there are plenty of other ways your business can go under. Here are a few examples that may not come to mind immediately.

-SEO Blacklisting – Google is notorious about how it manages its algorithms, and the tech giant isn’t afraid to throw its weight around. If you’re using third-party ad software, a single bad apple could blacklist you from showing up in searches. When that happens, you’re left holding the bag.

-Platform Updates and Rule Changes – If your company relies on third-party software to exist (i.e., Facebook ads, YouTube, etc.), then you’re assuming that platform will remain steady forever. However, because another company runs it, they can drop you or change the rules without warning. Suddenly, you could be left without a substantial revenue stream, all without doing anything to warrant it.

-Customer Churn – All SaaS companies have a customer churn rate, but you want to learn how to reduce it for your big clients. Many variables can cause a client to drop your service, and if they were a significant chunk of your bottom line, you have to replace them ASAP.

As you can see, disaster doesn’t always have to be of Hollywood-level proportions. Now that we’ve gotten your attention, let’s discuss some tips for handling a downturn and how to move forward with customer retention strategies.

Learning to Prioritize Costs and Expenses

When a company is hit with a massive setback, two priorities come into play – reduce costs and increase revenue. However, while the first part may seem easy, it’s actually quite tricky. All too often, CEOs and founders will cut away the low-hanging fruit, such as snacks and drinks in the break room. However, saving a few hundred here and there isn’t going to salvage your business.

Instead, you have to make a list of priorities and chip away at the most considerable costs for your business. For a SaaS company, these can be labor, cloud hosting, and vendor relationships. Assuming that you weren’t wasting thousands of dollars each month on unnecessary tools, you’ll have to make some hard choices.

Also, when talking about cutting down on “perks,” you have to evaluate the value that they bring to your staff. During a downturn, your employees are the lifeblood of your business. If they’re hurting, a small perk or reward can make a huge difference. Cutting these elements can lend a sense of “profits over people” mentality, which will permeate the workplace.

Setting a Path for Moving Forward

Once you’ve established where you can make cuts, it’s time to focus on building a healthier and more resilient revenue stream. Here are some tips to help you weather the storm and come out better off when things return to normal.

Focus on Your Current and Past Customers

As a rule, it’s easier and cheaper to market and upsell your current customers than to attract new ones. During a global crisis like COVID, your clients are probably hurting as well. Now is the time to reach out and see how they’re doing and what they can use from you. While we don’t advise raising prices immediately to compensate, perhaps you can add more value to the software and charge more accordingly.

Use Downtime to Create a Better Product

Moving forward in a downturn

No matter what, people are willing to buy items that have value. So, as long as your software delivers on quality, you can build a loyal audience. If you find yourself with downtime suddenly, work on fixing any issues or making the customer experience better. Then, as things start to improve, you can rebound that much faster.

Bottom Line: Preparation Can Enable Your Business to Weather Any Storm

A disaster doesn’t have to spell the end for your company. No matter how long you’ve been around, the right planning can make all the difference. If you want to learn more about how to protect your business, check out the latest episode of the SaaS CX Show here. We talk with James Avery of Adzerk, who went through this exact situation himself.

Episode 031: Worker Productivity and Connectivity with Brad Palmer

Posted on May 6, 2020May 17, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags , ,   Leave a comment on Episode 031: Worker Productivity and Connectivity with Brad Palmer

Our guest for this episode of the SaaS CX Show is Brad Palmer, CEO of Jostle. Brad’s company specializes in creating custom-made intranet solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We discuss how Jostle’s model has been so influential over the years, and how that has translated to a lower customer churn rate. He also help maximize productivity of employees.

Show Notes

Productivity seems to always be on our minds – especially as of late. Our guest for this episode of the SaaS CX Show is Brad Palmer, CEO of Jostle. Brad’s company specializes in creating custom-made intranet solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We discuss how Jostle’s model has been so influential over the years, and how that has translated to a lower customer churn rate. He also help maximize productivity of employees. Here are some of the highlights.

Boosting Intranet Usage – Context and Relevance

If you look at Jostle’s success, the brand regularly has five times the engagement of its intranets over the competition. However, when you look at some of the reasons why it becomes blatantly apparent.

Jostle focuses on connectivity and productivity.
Brad Palmer

All too often, companies believed that an intranet had to be a single entity for everyone within the organization. The reality, though, is that individuals want customized information. For example, why should the sales team get a notification related to engineering? Why should U.S.-based workers see details for crews in Canada?

Overall, Jostle succeeds in two ways – by making content relevant and providing the right context at all times . Data can be parceled out by department and by individual so that no one is getting extraneous information. Not only that, but as a person looks something up within the intranet (i.e., a document or video file), that item comes complete with all of the necessary context. That context can be who made it, who edited it last, and where it’s being stored.

These elements make Jostle a SaaS customer service company as well as a vital tool for any workplace. No wonder engagement is through the roof.

How Coronavirus Has Made Remote Work a Reality

Living in the age of a pandemic has revealed a lot of truths that weren’t readily apparent before. One of the most disruptive has been the need for adapting employees to a remote style of work. Almost overnight, businesses who decried the value of remote workers are discovering that it’s not as dire as they believed. Thanks to SaaS products like Jostle, more and more enterprises are seeing that communication and growth are still possible when employees are not in the same building.

According to Brian, this shift has only been a boon to his company’s bottom line. While Jostle has always had high engagement rates (usually around 85 percent), that number has gone up substantially in recent weeks. What will be interesting to see is how long-term these solutions wind up being.

Remote work
Even with distractions like kids, workers can get more done at home. Ironically, it’s because of the lack of time that employees have to focus when they are able to work.

Productivity and Remote Work – the Future of the Workplace

The ramifications of this pandemic are going to be widespread and far-reaching. In fact, it’s almost impossible to predict how everything will play out once life gets back to normal. However, for Brad, the feasibility of an intranet is likely going to become a significant component of the post-corona workplace.

Some of the reasons for this prediction include productivity, communication, and integration.

Higher Productivity

Even with distractions like kids, workers can get more done at home. Ironically, it’s because of the lack of time that employees have to focus when they are able to work. Essentially, individuals can work fewer hours while accomplishing the same workload (or more).

Better Communication

One reason why companies resist the idea of remote teams is that they believe in-person interactions are more valuable somehow. However, the reality is that being isolated forces workers and managers to communicate more often. Just as productivity per hour increases, so does communication. Because individuals can’t randomly chat around the water cooler, they have to be more deliberate about their interactions.

Smoother Integration

Programs like Jostle make it easy to have conversations with groups and one-on-one. The system is fully customizable to fit a variety of needs, all without sacrificing quality or operational efficiency. As companies begin to realize this, they will learn to embrace intranet technology as a tool, not a liability.

We talk more about Jostle and intranets in this episode, so check it out here. Brad also illustrates how his customer retention strategy is helping his business reach new heights. Sure, the coronavirus certainly helped, but they were already capable before it hit. You can find out more about Brad and his team at www.jostle.me.

Episode 027: Virtual Interviews and Hiring with Matt Baxter

Posted on May 5, 2020May 17, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags , , ,   Leave a comment on Episode 027: Virtual Interviews and Hiring with Matt Baxter

In today’s episode Matt Baxter discussed that with coronavirus turning the world upside down, everything is becoming virtual – including virtual interviews.

Show Notes

The time for virtual interviews has come. For many companies, the hiring process is still relatively antiquated. Hiring managers and HR representatives typically rely on a mixture of resumes, rounds of interviews, and assessment tests to find viable candidates. Unfortunately, without a cohesive strategy in place, the whole system can be slow and unresponsive. Considering how much of an investment hiring a new employee is, why isn’t there a better alternative? Enter virtual interviews.

Gone are the days of relying on resumes and a single in-person interview. Technology has made the hiring process easier, particularly in today’s topsy-turvy world. In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, we talk with Matt Baxter of Wedge, a video-interviewing program. Learn how Wedge is changing the game, helping their own customers succeed and thereby reducing their customer churn.

In today’s episode, I’m talking with Matt Baxter, CEO of Wedge. His SaaS product enables hiring managers to find high-quality candidates with virtual interviews. We discuss how Wedge has changed the process and how the company leverages customer success to grow through the growth of their customers. Here are some highlights.

The Dangers of a Resume

As with all software, there has to be a problem in need of a solution. For Matt and his team, he recognized that the current tools for hiring candidates were still old and inefficient. Even worse, workers these days are much better about over-preparing for both the resume and interviews.

We talk with Matt Baxter of Wedge, about virtual interviews.
Matt Baxter

You may have seen the meme already, about how to write down “I changed a lightbulb” on a resume. If you’re clever, you can use terms like “increase energy output by 50-percent while maintaining high-efficiency standards.” Resume padding is a real problem, which means that businesses have to find an alternative.

Streamlining with Virtual Interviews

Wedge is the perfect tool for weeding out unqualified candidates. First, those who aren’t interested in filming responses and submitting them won’t move forward. Second, it allows candidates to provide answers to a variety of questions without the pressure of being in an interview. Finally, it’s collaborative, meaning that hiring managers can share responses and give feedback without having to align schedules or conference rooms.

However, as useful as Wedge is, Matt and his team had a hard time reducing customer churn at first. The main problem was that Wedge was its own entity, so users had yet another account to log into and manage. Once the development team made Wedge able to integrate, the company’s success skyrocketed.

Matt’s story is indicative of SaaS products as a whole. The more accessible and more streamlined the process can be, the more likely that clients will use and love the software. And we love to talk about customer retention.

Interviewing vs. Assessments

New Customer Service
Video responses from candidates help whittle the talent pool faster.

One of the significant trends coming around these days is the assessment test. Rather than relying on resumes and interviews, companies are forcing candidates to perform various tasks related to the position. Wedge exists in the middle-ground between a person applying and then getting assessed. There are two reasons for this.

First, Wedge enables hiring managers to ask any questions they like, including those that get to a person’s personality, not just his or her skills. Second, because the software allows for multiple takes and refined answers, hiring managers can get a much better idea of who a person is before moving him or her to the next phase.

We talk a lot more about Wedge and how virtual interviews are changing the hiring process, both with the current pandemic and as AI hits the scene. Be sure to check out the rest of the episode here. You can also find out more about Matt and Wedge at www.competitivewedge.com.

How to Maximize Your Contact Center

Posted on May 5, 2020April 19, 2020Categories ArticleTags , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on How to Maximize Your Contact Center

Companies big and small will generate hundreds or thousands of data points from a wide array of programs and systems.
Unfortunately, while all of this information is crucial, it’s worthless if we can’t digest it. Thankfully, artificial intelligence is here to help. In this article, we want to discuss how an AI customer experience can provide the analytics possible to build a better sales team and a streamlined customer experience.

Now that we’re living in the age of technology, it’s never been easier to create and cultivate data. How does an AI customer experience play into that contact center? Companies big and small will generate hundreds or thousands of data points from a wide array of programs and systems.

Unfortunately, while all of this information is crucial, it’s worthless if we can’t digest it. Thankfully, artificial intelligence is here to help. In this article, we want to discuss how an AI customer experience can provide the analytics possible to build a better sales team and a streamlined customer experience.

To help us understand the possibilities, we’re talking with Todd Abbot, COO of InsightSquared. His software compiles data and makes it easy to understand with customizable dashboards. Here’s where the future is headed with CX and AI.

Improving Productivity With Machine Learning

When it comes to customer retention, most companies assume that the primary selling point is the quality of the product itself. While that does have a significant impact, one element you might be overlooking is the contact center. How easily can a customer get a hold of someone when he or she has a question? How many channels do you offer, and what’s the satisfaction rating for each? If you’re not paying attention here, you could have a hard time reducing customer churn.

In this article, we want to discuss the best ways to improve your contact center operations. To help us out, we’ve enlisted the help of Patrick Dennis. Patrick is the CEO and founder of Aspect Software, a SaaS company that focuses on building better contact centers for businesses. Let’s go over his customer retention strategies in SaaS.

Step One: Understand Your Customer’s Needs

OLD WAY – NEW WAY – how a good contact center helps you and your customers better communicate

In many cases, the problem that companies have is that they are too focused on product development and marketing to recognize the value of a contact center. Yes, the business might have multiple channels, but it doesn’t utilize them as effectively as it could.

Rather than adding new communication methods, you need to focus on how your customer will want to use them. Patrick outlines this as the “coffee and car” model. On some days, Patrick wants a fast cup of coffee – the quicker, the better. On other days, he prefers quality over speed, even if that means waiting half an hour for a quality cup. Your customers likely have preferences that shift based on a variety of factors.

So, as a business, you need to understand how these interactions and touchpoints will differ for your customers. Are they in a rush and need quick service, or do they have questions and need additional help? You can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach.

Step Two: Look at Your End-to-End Customer Experience

These days, most companies are getting better about analyzing specific interactions. Data analysis and machine learning make it easy to gather insight into various channels individually. However, you need to take a step back and see how they flow into each other to get a sense of how satisfied your customer is from end-to-end.

Patrick puts it like this. Let’s say there are four interactions on average with a customer. That customer has a 90-percent satisfaction rating for the first two, but only 85-percent with the last two. Individually, those ratings seem high. However, when taken together, it results in 58-percent satisfaction.

Overall, by taking a macro-level look at your contact center, you can begin to see where you can boost interactions. Remember that they don’t exist in a vacuum. The same customer can reach out via email, chat, and a phone call, so each touchpoint has to be consistent and high-quality.

Step Three: Let Your Customers Determine the Channels, Not the Other Way Around

Because technology is developing so rapidly, there’s a tendency for companies to adapt to specific channels, believing that it will improve interactions. However, that can be a mistake. For example, what’s the good of building a system around SMS messaging if your customers have no interest in using it?

While some channels have stood the test of time (i.e., phone calls), various apps and new technology will drop off and get replaced. Yes, Facebook Messenger might be big now, but what about in 10 years?

Because channels will continue to evolve, and considering that your customer’s preferences will change, your contact center has to be adaptable. Rather than focusing on one or two communication methods, focus on the priorities of your customers and let them choose the channel that works best. Overall, you should have a cluster of channels available for each customer, not the other way around.

If you want to hear more about how to reduce customer churn with the contact center, check out the SaaS CX Show here. You can also find out more about Patrick and Aspect Software at www.aspect.com.