Oct 4, 2022
Customer Experience
min read

The Product-Led Growth Movement Is Really All About Customer Experience


SaaS businesses can gain a competitive advantage by broadening their perspective when evaluating product effectiveness and customer satisfaction. When businesses think about customers exclusively from a product usage lens, they narrow their focus to how people use the product and risk misunderstanding how they are actually feeling.

For years, companies have aimed to increase their bottom line by optimizing and refactoring their products according to new customer expectations and needs. In fact, many SaaS companies have been employing this kind of product-led growth business strategy without even knowing it. 


In general, a product-led growth (PLG) strategy involves giving customers (or potential customers) a free trial of a companies’ SaaS software. Users sign up and start using the product, providing the company access to engagement and usage data which helps them qualify potential leads. Sales teams can then “cherry pick” and focus on building relationships with the highest value customers.

Eventually, these relationships escalate into pipeline opportunities.


With the widespread adoption of the PLG business strategy, we’ve seen a number of new monikers arise, including Sales-Led Growth (SLG), Operations-Led Growth (OLG), Customer-Led Growth (CLG), and more. Amid this alphabet soup of business operational frameworks, it’s important for business leaders to stay focused on what truly drives growth for SaaS businesses.


It's All About Your Customers

When we consider what actually drives this growth for SaaS businesses, it boils down to customer experience.

Customers are the ultimate gatekeeper in business growth because simply put, they’re the source of revenue. Without engaging customer experiences that continuously deliver value, companies risk losing even their most loyal customers to more innovative customer-obsessed businesses.


Here are three ways businesses can focus on customer experience, which will in turn lead to more growth across product, sales, customer success, and all other functions of the business. 

Improving Customer Experience Starts with Listening 

When businesses pigeonhole themselves into thinking about their entire business as revenue or product, they miss important signals from other channels in which customers engage with their brand. Moreover, when businesses are laser-focused on one aspect of the whole, the signals that are communicated from customers are easily misunderstood. 


For example ...

A product-focused customer success manager might see that a customer is logging into their platform every day and engaging deeply with the technology 🤩

but in reality, she is having difficulty with the user experience and growing more frustrated with the product and UX every day, resulting in her spending more and more time in the product trying to figure things out 😤.


From a product usage perspective, the customer is a frequent user and therefore seemingly satisfied with the product.

When in reality, the customer is getting more and more frustrated each day.

... to make matters worse, companies often have automated workflows in place to have sales reach out based on these product usage signals. 


These tone-deaf interactions can be infuriating for already upset customers 🤬.


Engaging With Empathy

SaaS businesses can gain a competitive advantage by broadening their perspective when evaluating product effectiveness and customer satisfaction. When businesses think about customers exclusively from a product usage lens, they narrow their focus to how people use the product and risk misunderstanding how they are actually feeling.


By incorporating customer data from your helpdesk tickets, intercom chats, call transcripts, CRM notes, and social media success managers can build a much more precise representation of the customer's overall experience and sentiment.


For example, you could analyze all of your unstructured text data for contextual insights.

To identify at-risk customers you might examine all of the sources listed above for occurrences of keywords and phrases like: 

  • Frustrated
  • Annoyed
  • Broken
  • Doesn’t work
  • Can’t find
  • Crashed
  • Frozen
  • Lost
  • Need Help


This type of analysis when combined with product usage data becomes incredibly powerful. By understanding your customers' feelings you’re able to communicate with empathy and precision to ensure you deliver exactly what your customer needs when they need it.

Empathy + Context = 😍

Listening to customers starts by understanding that they communicate with brands in a variety of ways. For businesses to truly listen, they must look for customer data with an omnichannel approach.


To reap the benefits of infinite sources of data, businesses should start by identifying where the customers are in the digital realm and work to solicit data from those places – such as email, web traffic, platform usage data, help desk inquiries, Slack messages, social activity, community, and more. Typically, businesses will use surveys to collect specific data they want about customers.

However, survey bias may not show them the entire picture, particularly with customers who are dissatisfied.


Many businesses are actively listening to some of these conversations, but deriving insights from large volumes of text-based data is challenging, and connecting it to existing CRM and product data is a massive engineering undertaking. This can result in brands analyzing this data in isolation and only getting a small piece of the larger picture when it comes to what customers are saying. The end result is less than ideal, and often these insights may be misinformed.


By using a tool like LoudNClear that connects all of your disparate customer data sources, SaaS businesses are able to unify their customer data and paint a much more accurate picture.


Imagine building customer segments that include data from your:

👉 CRM notes
👉 product
👉 helpdesk
👉 in-app chat
👉 call transcripts
👉 social media
👉 community
👉 reviews, and
👉 survey responses


Your customer segments become infinitely more precise, which in turn enables you and your team to communicate more effectively with each specific segment to ensure you are delivering value with every interaction.

There is no more guesswork.

You’re able to build a robust and accurate profile of each customer and give them exactly what they expect.

Personalize Experiences For Customers 

When businesses focus on the entire customer experience, rather than just how customers are interacting with the product, they gain deeper insights into their customers’ wants, needs, and challenges.

And perhaps most importantly, how their customers feel about the product and/or brand. This is the first step. 


To truly have an impact on the business, companies need to put this data and associated insights to work by building processes and automation that are in line with each customer's state of mind (sentiment) and expectations.


To personalize experiences for customers' benefit, businesses must take the entire customer journey into consideration. This helps them understand where to focus and how to best engage with customers.

For instance, if a customer is an active user of a SaaS product but also finds it difficult to use and is growing frustrated, businesses will need to consider product usage, sentiment, support, and social/community data when determining how to respond.

With the right data, you'll be able to respond in a highly relevant and satisfying manner.


For example, if a business discovers a customer is frustrated with a specific feature, they could trigger automation that shares tutorials and other educational materials. Or if the business determines an account is in serious jeopardy, they can escalate the matter to a CSM to prioritize.


The ultimate goal of personalizing experiences with customers is to create an environment where businesses can deliver an experience that is influenced by all past interactions, so they are engaging people contextually, and with empathy as opposed to randomly, or solely based on product usage.

Personalization shows customers that businesses are listening without them having to ask, and it is a great way to build positive sentiment toward the product or brand.


But, beware of automation gone wrong. It's not uncommon for automation to deliver out of context messages to customers due to lack of data, stale data, incomplete data, changing business processes, inconsistent data, and a hundred other reasons.

This is why it is so important and valuable for SaaS businesses to adopt tools like LoudNClear that enable them to:

✨ Listen to customers across all channels
✨ Generate insights
✨ Conduct exploratory analysis
✨ Engage customers via workflows and automation


It is imperative that businesses think about customer experience and customer satisfaction outside of siloes, and conduct analysis that provides them with an understanding of each customer's feelings towards their product and brand.


Over Indexing on product usage to elevate and prioritize customer interactions is like boxing with one hand tied behind your back - you don’t stand a chance. 


On the other hand, when SaaS businesses understand all interactions that occur throughout the customer journey, they can better understand how a customer feels about their product and brand and produce a more accurate and empathetic response, which in turn drives sustainable, long-term growth for the business

LoudNClear is more than a customer intelligence platform. By choosing LoudNClear you’re investing in a Customer Cloud designed to help your GTM teams continuously improve by providing them with easy access to all of your customer data.

The better your teams understand your customers,
the more quickly your business will grow.
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