The future of SaaS is on-demand: Use experts to drive growth and engagement

For SaaS companies, not having a gig economy strategy as we start 2021 is like missing the internet trend in 1990 or failing to get ahead of the mobile revolution in 2010.

Leading SaaS are now using on-demand experts to revolutionize the customer experience. They’re growing revenue and post-sales retention and even using the insights to build better products. According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the global gig economy is approaching $5 trillion as project-based staffing continues this digital transformation.

SaaS superstars like Amazon AWS and Qualtrics have been investing in on-demand expertise for years, and in 2019, market research firm Million Insights published a market report that predicted tech services will be a trillion dollar market by 2025. Much of this growth boils down to some simple facts about the increasingly emotional act of consumption.

A 2013 Gallup report found that customers who had a strong attachment to a brand spend a full 23% more than an average customer of the same brand.

By bringing human experts into their software solutions, companies can engage with their customers to solve problems more efficiently and in a more personalized manner.

Conversely, more than eight in 10 executives interviewed in a 2015 report from The Economist Intelligence Unit believed their companies lose sales each year because of a failure to engage properly with the customer.

By bringing human experts into their software solutions, companies can engage with their customers to solve problems more efficiently and in a more personalized manner while simultaneously gathering important insights about how to make their products more intuitive.

It’s a win-win for both sides, but it involves putting aside the notion that new product features will solve your customers’ every need. They won’t. In fact, more than 80% of new product features are never used.

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Software companies race to release new products and features because they want to provide the very best technologies to their customers and edge out the competition. Yet no matter how well-intended their decisions, too many SaaS features fail to drive real customer engagement. Why? Because no matter how advanced the software is, it can only do so much.

And when it comes to understanding and solving the customer’s problem, too often the new features simply aren’t enough.

There are four core drivers for why on-demand experts are a critical requirement for any business:

Need for increased customer retention

In today’s time-starved world, most of your customers are not able to learn and understand the full capabilities of your offering on their own. In fact, most of your customers are using less than 20%, and possibly as little as 5% of your feature set. Their underutilization directly impacts the retention and growth of your service, because customers don’t value capabilities they don’t use or even know about. From a financial perspective, the ROI of retention cannot be overstated. The Harvard Business Review reported that a mere 5% increase in retention can increase profits between 25% and 95%.

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