5 Questions to Ask Your SaaS Customers When Creating Success Stories

As a B2B SaaS company, your customers are your biggest champions. No one is better positioned to advocate for your solution than the organizations using it every day. This is why, when it comes to your brand’s media relations efforts, SaaS customer stories need to be a core component of your strategy. 

From full case studies to media interviews and executive quotes, your clients can get involved in various ways — and make a serious impact on your brand’s perception in the marketplace. Not only is their participation valuable to your brand, but your customers will also benefit from the exposure. 

As part of your media relations toolkit, your customers will earn free media coverage to strengthen their brand, position themselves as an innovator by implementing a solution to resolve business challenges and build a presence for a company spokesperson to be an industry resource moving forward. 

Yet, before you can really tell your brand benefit story through a customer’s eyes, you first have to understand their story. Here are five questions you should ask your customer to start on your customer advocacy journey: 

1. What is the focus of your business? 

First and foremost, it’s important to have an idea of the industries in which your customer operates and who they serve. Should your outreach around their success be tailored to practitioners in the HR space? Or is their story better suited for sales and marketing publication readers? Determining which industries best fit your customer’s focus is the foundation of your media relations strategy. 

2. How does your company use our solution? 

It’s incredibly challenging to highlight your customer’s success with your solution without a detailed understanding of how they’re using it. While you probably have a general idea, dive below the surface of the standard use case to uncover the unique points needed to shape the customer’s specific story. 

3. What problem were you trying to address by purchasing our solution? 

I might argue that this question matters the most. Uncovering the roadblocks stopping your customers from achieving their goals before they implemented your solution is the backbone of their success story. Not to mention, this is the part that will really resonate with readers facing similar challenges. 

4. How does our solution help your team or company achieve its objectives?

Every problem calls for a solution. In your customer advocacy campaign, that solution is your product. When sharing your customer success story, providing insight into how it’s helping them achieve their objectives is critical. Further, showing actual ROI validates your claim, so consider following up with:

  • Did you track any KPIs before using our solution?
  • Are there any measurable benefits to using our solution?
  • What metrics are you tracking with our solution?
  • Do you have additional data to support your ROI?

5. What is your overall impression of us as a partner in your success?

To close it out, this question allows you to really drive home some of your value props outside your product’s hard features. What stands out when your customer thinks about you as a partner to their success? Is it your unparalleled customer support? Is it your next-level user experience? By asking your customers to elaborate on the most pertinent aspects of your brand experience and product, your company can shine as a key element to their success.  

These are just a handful of questions you can ask your customers when highlighting their success. If you’re interested in more information on how to promote your customers’ stories as part of your media relations strategy, check out our Building Customer References ebook. 

Building Customer References: 5 Steps to Engage Customers

One of the biggest problems marketing departments have is getting their customers to speak on their behalf. It’s additional work for customers, and they often don’t understand the value it can bring. Some customers aren’t deterred by the additional work, but they don’t want to be named publicly. For many, it can be difficult to get buy-in from executives, especially those in highly-regulated industries. 

Because of this, it’s important to ease customers into becoming public customer references through a strategic process to help build your credibility and create a level of comfort for your customer. Here are five steps to building a successful customer reference program:

Build customer references into contract

Build low-commitment and/or medium-commitment activities into the contract during the new customer onboarding process. Customers may negotiate them out, but some may not.

For companies new to customer reference programs, we recommend starting customers with low-commitment activities and building to higher-commitment activities.

Low-commitment activities:

  • Sales reference calls 
  • Analyst reference calls
  • Customer logo on website

Medium-commitment activities:

  • Press release announcing the customer 
  • Written customer case study 
  • Customer blog post 
  • Contributed content for media 
  • Customer video 

High-commitment activities: 

  • Customer presentation at events 
  • Media interview

Reach out to the customer

Identify impactful customer use cases and have the customer success manager responsible for the accounts make the first contact with the customer, asking for a call to discuss outcomes from using the platform. 

Include customer’s marketing team

Don’t go straight to the customer’s executive team. Loop in their marketing and/or PR team to present the opportunity. Collaboratively you can present the opportunity to their executive team, and have a higher chance of getting them to say yes.

Prepare the customer spokesperson

Conduct a call to prep the customer spokesperson on the outreach plan and define a talk track for media conversations.

Secure media opportunities

Work with your PR team to secure opportunities with fitting media, prepping the customer spokesperson before each opportunity as necessary.

Remember to approach these conversations with customers slowly and strategically. Explain the value to them, and that you want to be their partner, not just another vendor. Start slow and build your way toward more higher-commitment activities like media interviews. This could take a while, but it will definitely be worth the wait. 

For more ideas on how to build customer references, check out our Building Customer References ebook.

3 Steps to Finding Your Customer Advocate in the B2B Customer Journey

The customer journey can feel long, especially in the B2B SaaS market. After moving prospects through the first four stages — awareness, consideration, purchase, and retention — you may think the journey is complete. After all, you have a customer using your product and you’re confident in your relationship. What could come next? The final step of the B2B customer journey: advocacy. Continue reading “3 Steps to Finding Your Customer Advocate in the B2B Customer Journey”

How B2B SaaS PR Can Help Power the Customer Journey

As a B2B SaaS PR agency, we understand the five steps of the SaaS customer journey and what it means to secure meaningful press coverage that influences decision-making along the way. Let’s take a look at how PR can help guide potential and current customers through the stages of awareness, consideration, purchase, retention and advocacy. Continue reading “How B2B SaaS PR Can Help Power the Customer Journey”