Can AI Chatbots help reduce churn in the SaaS industry?

SaaS Chatbot

The SaaS market is big and getting even bigger. Fueled by droves of new competitors in already overly-saturated sub-segments (there are 10,000 private SaaS companies alone), it’s expected to reach $164.29 billion by 20221. To reduce churn, and in turn survive, SaaS companies must provide an exceptional customer experience, especially during periods of explosive growth. Increasingly, SaaS providers are turning to AI chatbots to scale the immediate and effortless customer support that B2B customers expect. 

Prioritizing the customer experience can reduce SaaS churn rates 

Competition in the SaaS market is insane and churn is one of the most important metrics to track. Acceptable churn rates in the industry are between 5-7%, and yet 30% of SaaS companies reported churn rates have increased in the past year1

We all know the stats around customer acquisition cost compared to retaining a customer. It’s 5-25X more expensive to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one2. This is only compounded by the fact that B2B buying cycles are getting longer and more complex, which makes keeping current customers happy even that much more important. 

In today’s environment, investing in customer experience is one of the key ways to reduce churn. And there’s an added financial incentive: 86% of B2B buyers are willing to pay more for great customer experience companies. If that wasn’t enough, companies that prioritize the CX are almost 6X more likely to convert a new lead than companies that only focus on product and growth3.

How SaaS companies can leverage AI chatbots for incredible customer experience 

While customer acquisition will always be important, bringing AI into the workforce can help SaaS companies reduce churn and compete on customer experience. The experience when a potential or current customer reaches out with a question or issue is arguably just as critical as creating a frictionless experience with a product or platform: 66% of B2B customers have stopped buying from a company following a bad service interaction4.  

Chatbot statistics prove that AI chatbots can help SaaS companies provide immediate resolutions to questions and scale if there’s a spike in demand or through periods of tremendous growth. Here are a few key ways that SaaS companies can leverage AI chatbots. 

  • Pre-sales education: Drive engagement with early-stage B2B buyers and encourage them to  request a demo or sign up for a free trial. A pre-sales chatbot on a website can answer questions quickly about pricing, deployment time and process, ROI, etc. Conversations can be easily routed to sales associates if a person has a more complex question.  AI-powered chatbots can also preemptively reach out to see if a customer has a question based on their website behavior. For instance, if a prospect has clicked around the pricing page, a bot can ask if it can answer specific questions about pricing tiers. 

  • Seamless onboarding: As soon as a customer comes on board, an email or chatbot can help introduce them to features and ensure they are set up for success. A step further than tutorials when a person first logs in, an email bot can provide a dynamic experience that empowers a new customer to ask questions along the way.  

  • Frictionless post-sales support: Studies have shown that customer churn can be reduced by 67% if companies can resolve customer issues during the first interaction5. If a customer encounters an issue or needs assistance to troubleshoot a problem, an AI-powered chatbot can provide immediate resolutions without needing to burden a customer success team. Support chatbots could be deployed within a secure portal or via a dedicated support email address. 

  • Assistance with new product features: When a new feature is introduced, a bot can relieve pressure from customer success teams by answering questions on functionality and usage. Additionally, if a customer has yet to try a new feature, a chatbot can proactively reach out at the exact moment of relevance (i.e. the customer is using the product and the feature could help amplify the experience or performance) to drive engagement and long-term loyalty. 

  • Predicting pain points and preemptively intervening: Based on a historical churn analysis, an AI chatbot can predict when a customer is at risk based on behavior, performance or other pain points. This enables a SaaS company to get out in front of issues, and provide the right information or tools that a customer needs to keep them happy and engaged. 

  • Upsell and expansion opportunities: By acting on behavioral and lifecycle data, an AI chatbot can trigger highly targeted upsell campaigns. The bot would engage the customer initially to gain interest before elevating to the right sales associate. 

According to 86% of B2B CMOs, customer experience will be more critical in the industry in the coming years6. As competition heats up, SaaS companies must prioritize support as much as product and innovation. Bringing AI into the workforce is the tool that can empower SaaS companies to compete on customer experience. 

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator.

Are you a SaaS company that needs to reduce churn and improve your customer experience with an AI chatbot? Get in touch today.

References 

  1. https://99firms.com/blog/saas-statistics/#gref 
  2. https://neilpatel.com/blog/7-ways-to-lower-churn/ 
  3. https://marketeer.kapost.com/customer-experience-marketing-stats/
  4. https://www.zendesk.com/resources/customer-service-and-lifetime-customer-value/ 
  5. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/50-important-customer-exp_b_8295772 
  6. https://financesonline.com/b2b-statistics/ 

Emily Cummins

PR and Content Writer

Emily has worked in the AI industry for many years. She loves researching and writing about evolving trends in AI in customer service. She graduated from the College of Charleston.

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