This requires trust. The customer must trust the SaaS vendor. They must trust the vendor to deliver the service reliably, to protect the customer's data, and to provide support. They must trust the vendor to enhance the service regularly.
A Unique SaaS Marketing Challenge
Winning the customer's trust presents a unique SaaS marketing challenge. It means selling more than the feature set. Of course, the service must provide capabilities to solve the customer's problem, but that's just the starting point.
The SaaS solution must also demonstrate that it's easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy, easy-to-configure, and easy-to-renew. Along with the product capabilities, marketing should promote all these additional elements as part of the entire customer experience.
But to earn a prospective customer's trust requires even more than that. Customers need to have confidence that the SaaS provider will meet their needs over the entire life of the subscription. Customers are making a bet on the future.
How to Win Trust
How do SaaS marketers gain that confidence? How can they help the customer make that bet?
A few suggestions:
- Show customers your future intentions. Reveal a roadmap of how you intend to enhance the service over time. (See "Advice on Exposing the Roadmap: Relax.")
- Let customers see your track record of meeting past commitments. Show your record on service availability, feature enhancements, and data security.
- Demonstrate a commitment to communicating with existing customers. Show how you are engaged with them as part of a vital community.
- Help educate customers on SaaS. To many, it may be a new concept. Help them understand it.
A good lesson for other SaaS providers here: show trust to earn trust.