I’ve been thinking about maps a lot lately.   Not the maps you find on Google or Mapquest, but the kind you might find on the whiteboard of many successful or fledgling SaaS companies today, a map of the Customer Journey.

Customers today come in to services in many forms, freemium, trial or paid users.  But getting the sign up, long the purview of sales and now quickly become the territory of marketing, is only the first step in delivering and capturing value.  Customer must onboard, they must get value, and they must grow if the SaaS provider is to win and prosper.

It’s so easy to try, buy and leave! services today, that we must totally rethink our model. Monthly recurring revenues only grow when customers successfully onboard, utilize and grow their usage of features and add-ons.

How can we manage this?  Well, have we mapped the customer journey?  Do we understand all the milestones of service adoption, from onboarding to first value to growth?  Have we thought about usage signals that can indicate customers likely to leave, or even better, ready to grow?  Have we put engagement programs in place that drive customer through the journey so we deliver and capture the most value possible?

I’ve been working with my partner Totango and we’ve built a new Customer Journey Mapping Workshop which we will be holding on May 7th in San Francisco in conjunction with All About the Cloud.  You can learn more about the workshop here!

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