Next: drive customer loyalty and stickiness
Call to action for customer success
As customer accommodations are made, customer success managers (CSMs) will be as critical in driving usage and renewals. For example, they can share success stories and use cases to help customers better navigate COVID-19 impacts. This may include helping a retailer do more with its online campaigns or HR work with furloughed employees to access expanded government aid. At the same time, if customers are given free seats or expanded usage at no charge, there will be opportunities to support adoption by new users so that they can be retained after temporary accommodations end.
Rapid roll-out of new product features and functions
As customer success teams focus on usage and renewals, they will gather input for the product development teams on new features and functions that can help customers, particularly as they navigate shutdowns and work from home due to COVID-19. For example, customer IT departments may benefit from new service management capabilities to support remote workers. Companies may look to financial solutions for additional reporting to support crisis decision-making. SaaS providers who rapidly deploy new product capabilities to help customers will have another mechanism to drive customer loyalty.
Beyond: capitalize on lead generation
As we move beyond the immediate impact of COVID-19, sales leaders can plan campaigns to capitalize on the investments made in free trials, suspension of overage charges and free services, with corresponding adjustments to sales team structures and incentives. For example, they may consider assigning sales pods to convert leads generated from free trials or repurposing inside sales resources to work with field sales teams to sell virtually. They can also establish bonuses for expanding subscriptions. Similarly, they can add incentives to sell premium services where free services were offered.
As the COVID-19 pandemic tests the resiliency of customer bases, SaaS companies must proactively assess and manage the near-term impact to their top-line. This will require a coordinated effort across the leadership team — along with the recognition that, if navigated successfully, current challenges will provide an opportunity to build customer loyalty and expand customer base.