The world of B2B SaaS products is ever-expanding, and the market is swelling with software products for almost every functional area – marketing, HR, operations, security, device management, financial tracking and so on. In fact, every enterprise today, leverage some, or the other kind of software to achieve specific business goals. To keep up with the fast-paced competition in this sector, most of these B2B SaaS products focus on being feature-rich and value-driven. But the question here is – how easy the products are to use, and how seamlessly the features can unlock the functions without any technical expertise. This is where the importance of a powerful Product User Experience can be felt.
Also Read: Top security risks your B2B SaaS should be concerned about
So, why Product UX is difficult to achieve in B2B SaaS?
It is not that the product developers don’t care about the user-friendliness of the product. It’s because the team that builds the product from the scratch generally includes engineers who exhaust their intelligence in creating a flawlessly feature-rich and functional product that would solve the major business pain points of the target users. However, sometimes they miss anticipating how the users will perceive the product and how easy it would be to use the product.
Another problem is, once the software product, with a wide range of features, is already developed, it doesn’t only become difficult but also risky to re-examine and revamp the product design for UX’s sake. Oftentimes, a B2B SaaS product tends to accumulate close-knit and complicated business mechanisms to meet the specific needs of a particularly high-paying client, and hence overhauling the product’s design to imbibe UX aspects becomes a daunting task. And on top of that, existing users might sound resistant to any unfamiliar (although user-friendly) changes in the product interface.
Another reason why product user experience often gets sacrificed is that the buyer of the product is not the end-user and hence the factors influencing IT or operations get more attention than usability. As a result, the buying decision doesn’t include the end-users’ experiences and expectations from the product. Also, most B2B SaaS product companies lack the necessary expertise to actualize a UX review even if they wanted to. Achieving top-notch product UX in the software becomes even tougher when the product undergoes changes in an agile environment.
Is there a way to enhance users’ experience with your B2B SaaS product?
Absolutely! Let’s look into the top 5 intrinsic (yet overlooked) ways to ensure that your end-users have a seamless and wonderful experience while using your product.
Ease out the entire onboarding process: Ensure that your customer onboarding process surpasses their expectations from your SaaS product. A positive and simple onboarding process makes your customer/user stick to your product for a long time. At the same time, an improper onboarding process can make you lose a customer otherwise interested. Ensure that your user/customer onboarding process makes a great impression about the product, make it really simple for them to start using your product and set a positive tone.
Most importantly, adopt an agile yet strategic communication flow wherein you describe the top 2-3 values that your product will deliver and how to start leveraging them. Talk to your customers and understand the major business challenges that they are looking to solve through your product and then talk about the top product features that will be able to solve those pain points. Guide your customers clearly and patiently about how to set their accounts and profiles, step–by-step.
2. Connect UX with customer success: Back your SaaS product with a dependable and always-approachable customer support system. Remember, the product can’t speak for itself and customers who are wowed by a wonderful customer support team seldom go for another alternate product. Encourage your customer support team to build a relationship as strong as possible with the product users or customers, so much so that they will think multiple times before moving out of the much-appreciated comfort-zone created by trust, loyalty, patience, quality product customization and 24/7 support.
A SaaS product tends to be complicated with several features and functionalities loaded with varied technical and operational aspects. On top of it, a SaaS product always keeps updating its capabilities according to technological advancements, market demands, and competition. It is more than essential to keep your customers abreast of upcoming feature releases and product enhancements to fill in the knowledge gap, so they don’t have to confront any sudden or untimely surprises. A healthy and consistent customer interaction and engagement along with extra support always have long-lasting benefits.
3. Drive a seamless user training process: As I mentioned in the previous point, your B2B SaaS product might possess multiple advanced features and capabilities to fulfill different sets of business operations and functions. It is critical to ensure that your end-user finds it effortless and logical to use your product in order to successfully ease out their business challenges. Your marketing agenda might convince the buyer to purchase the product, but only a good UX will make your end users vouch for your product.
An organized and smooth user training process can be of great help to make your end-users feel confident while using the product and understanding all its features and benefits. This training can be in the form of a virtual/online meet-up, a well-rounded product demonstration, easily accessible product help, and support documents, how-to articles, and instructional videos, FAQs, etc., which can be instantly found whenever the users need them. This process can be complemented by a great customer support team that can show sincere enthusiasm to help users/customers solve their troubles or queries around the product, anytime.
4. Add simplicity in your product features: Some SaaS products are meant to be complicated, especially when they tend to solve highly technical IT issues with in-depth analysis and troubleshooting mechanisms. However, to conquer the UX game, it is advisable to keep the features as simple and easy-to-use, as possible. The ideal SaaS product is one that can be comprehended even by non-IT personnel. A well-focused B2B SaaS product doesn’t try to achieve multiple purposes at once, it generally tries to solve one or few core challenges of the target market.
Focus on the core features that will add value to your product and your start-up’s vision and try to get rid of the rest of them. Remember, adding more and more features require in-depth thought-process and planning and when done without any research or relevance, it can lead to a hefty cost increase. So, in short, having simple, easy-to-use and truly helpful features ensures to strengthen your overall user experience in the long run.
Learn about: Why your startup needs a strong product roadmap
5. Build a product UX roadmap over time: While user experience is imperative, a SaaS product cannot be overhauled at one go to adhere to the UX, as there are high risks involved in this process, especially when your product has already built a considerable buyer base. Also, a change of that level will need some persuasion to obtain management’s permission. In this case, it is wise to have a UX roadmap that can be achieved over a period of time, in small and affordable measures. One-time investment can be replaced with phased investments to track the progress and outcome of rebuilding the UX.
Creating a logical UX roadmap will show how the product’s usability can be enhanced within particular phases and what are the possible positive results expected out of them. It shows how the software can evolve over time to meet modern UX standards. In the meantime, try to accumulate all the feedback from important stakeholders including your actual customers, marketing, sales, and support teams while creating this blueprint of these well-timed UX improvements.
Keeping these 5 aspects in mind while rethinking your B2B SaaS product will definitely help your users have a great experience with your product. But there are a few more things you can do with your software product for UX’s sake. Make the interface of your product witty, engaging and interactive for your end-users. Let the users enjoy the experience that excites, inspires and emotionally connects with them while using your product. Implement intuitive hints, nudges and prompts to make the users click to discover new feature additions or maybe give them a ‘high-five’ or some kind of ego-boost for successfully accomplishing something! Also, ensure to keep the communication alive all the time through regular release emails, newsletters, blog post updates, and other announcements, and always keep the door open for feedback and replies.
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