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COVID-19: SaaS Companies and the Customer Experience

May 8, 2020

For most of us, the past few months have been a difficult and challenging period.  Our normal daily lives have been upended from stay at home orders, the indefinite closing of schools, and parents required to fill the gap with online education platforms.  That is before considering the financial impact and emotional stress that the pandemic has caused.

If all that were not enough, even if you are fortunate enough to maintain your job, you have been forced to adjust to a work from home environment that includes sharing precious space with spouses, children, caregivers, and pets.  So, it would be understandable if your first thoughts were not aimed at improving the customer experience.

So, while you have been forced to accept a new work reality, a question worth asking is, “what have you done to show your customers that you care?”  Your brand image is the product of many brand gestures, and this crisis offers a prime opportunity to show some empathy.  In fact, doing nothing sends a message of indifference at best. We have heard many examples of such gestures and we thought they were good enough to share:

  • Many SaaS companies have readily offered reduced subscription rates and deferred payment options; this not only reduces churn but builds a much better long-term connection with your customer.
  • Some SaaS companies have offered to add additional users at no cost.
  • Still, others have offered core services for free for the next six months or through the end of the year.

We have also witnessed a handful of SaaS companies go beyond these easy measures to create new customized products and modules that specifically address new needs that have arisen because of the virus.  We will share two examples:

  1. A provider of supply chain management solutions to hospitals realized that the novel coronavirus pandemic has created unique pressures that force hospitals to be more vigilant than ever about how they track essential supplies. To help hospitals navigate the COVID-19 health crisis, this SaaS company is offering a new inventory solution to all hospitals at no charge until the situation begins to normalize. Using a single screen, hospitals can move inventory at a moment’s notice to meet demand, identify hoarding and shrinkage, and measure performance against allocation.  This solution requires no integration with electronic medical record (EMR) systems and can be implemented in an hour.
  2. A SaaS company that offers a mobile app to enable employees to report service requests and facilities issues with geolocation, text, and photos decided to create a new COVID-19 module. In addition to being offered for free to existing customers, it is also being offered free of charge to any facility manager interested in using the module.  It focuses on monitoring hand sanitizers, soap refills, and cleaning/maintenance reporting.  Using a digitized floor plan and a heat map presentation, employees can see immediately which areas have been recently cleaned or where there are reports of issues. This helps create a sense of comfort and peace of mind that the workspace is safe.  This module has been implemented by a Fortune 500 company that is not a customer but may well become one before the end of the year.

Conclusion

By viewing the world from the perspective of your customer and applying creativity to address the environment, there are opportunities to turn this difficult period into one that creates better relationships with existing customers and helps to attract new customers to your organization.

Steve Jaffee

Steve Jaffee

Managing Director, SaaS Capital™

SaaS Capital™ pioneered alternative lending to SaaS. Since 2007 we have spoken to thousands of companies, reviewed hundreds of financials, and funded 60+ companies. We can make quick decisions. The typical time from first “hello” to funding is just 5 weeks. Learn more about our philosophy.

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