The Majority Customer Cohort You Forgot

We used our Know Your Customer app to try to understand our customers better. Here's how it changed our behavior after a week of displaying the information in our office.

By
Mark McDermott
on
Dec 17, 2019
Category:
Startup

How well do you know your customers?

You may think you know them well, but therein lies the problem.

Within SaaS startups, we’re often very technical. We work, and sometimes live, in technical hubs such as San Francisco, Berlin and London. The companies we’re most interested in are companies very similar to ourselves, because we want to learn from them.

So we don’t learn about our customers there.

Then, in our offices, we think we know our customers but when you dig deeper who are the customers you talk about the most? There are usually just two narratives.

First, you hear things being said about enterprise companies and contracts you’re trying to win, where a Business Development Manager might say, “Hey we just got an enquiry from Nike”. These customers are high-touch but they’re in the top percentile and are not very representative of the wider majority.

Secondly, you hear about the customers who contact you a lot. These people, often from small businesses or brands, become almost like mini celebrities. Your Customer Success Managers will give you lots of feedback about what they like and what they want next and it’s useful, but again these are not the customers that make your startup the biggest profit margin.

The ones that make you the most and easiest money, are the ones you never hear from. Usually, because you have a good product marketing cycle where they discover your tool, sign-up, get things working and convert into a monthly subscription, all without needing your help.

That is the point of many SaaS businesses after all, providing simple software that anyone can use.

But before you know it, you’ve quickly lost share of voice of the people who are your biggest customer cohort and are making you the most money.

Know Your Customer app

We recognised this problem within our own company, ScreenCloud, and being in the business of digital screens up on walls, disseminating useful information, we thought we might be able to solve it.

Know Your Customer app was born.

How it works:

Know Your Customer takes an active feed of paying customers who live inside our CRM which is Close.io. This data is then enriched by an API called Clearbit.

The idea being, that we already have the email addresses of our customers, which means we also have the URL of their website. All we have to do, is provide this information to Clearbit and it does the rest.

Clearbit pulls out five pieces of key data about the customer:

  • HQ of their company
  • Description of what they do
  • Employee count
  • Industry
  • Social channels

The app puts this into a visual and uses the Twitter cover photo of the company as a header image, as well as pulling the company logo.

This ensures the app looks good on screen and builds a data picture without any graphic design needed.

The app is fully automated, so as you add new customers to your funnel and they convert, they automatically get added to your screen.

Why is this worth doing?

If you think the voice of your customer is just the ones being talked about in your office, then you’re actually wrong.

But if you can learn about the silent majority and understand them and their needs, you’re not only going to serve them better, but you’ll also acquire more of them more quickly.

Within a week of having this up in the ScreenCloud office it’s changed the way we talk about our customers.

A Programmer will mention that they didn’t know we had X customer. Even our Customer Service team, who speak to customers day-in, day-out, will mention someone who has slipped under the radar that they’ve never spoken to before.

Of course, the enterprise and the well-known customers are in the list too, but they’re within a wider context.

As a result, we’ll consider who we’re serving for every single product update, guide and marketing campaign, every single day. It’ll be an accurate picture, and will look quite nice on the wall, too.

For more ideas on how to use digital signage for better communication head to https://screen.cloud/.

Mark McDermott

Co-founder of Digital Products Studio, Codegent & CEO of ScreenCloud. I write about the goings on of life & work.