The SaaS Customer Journey: How to Create a Winning Strategy

October 26, 2022
by Ronaldo Stewart

As a SaaS business owner, you know the customer journey is key to your success.

But what does that really mean? And how can you make sure your customers have the best possible experience with your product?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the key stages of the customer journey, and we’ll offer some tips on how you can make sure your SaaS marketing plan goes as smoothly as possible.

This article tackles everything there is to know about the SaaS client journey.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. What is a SaaS Customer Journey?
  2. What are the 6 Stages of the Customer Journey?
  • Collecting Data and Conducting Analyses
  • Acquiring and Acclimating
  • Adoption
  • Renewal
  • Expansion
  • Advocacy
  1. What is a SaaS Customer Journey Map?
  2. What are the 7 Steps in Customer Journey Mapping?
  • Decide what kind of map you wish to create.
  • Specify Who Your Clientele Are
  • Locate Points of Contact With Your Customers
  • Map Out the Customer’s Experience
  • Client Milestones Should Be Noted
  • Alert Users to KEY Events
  • Modify & Fine-Tune Your Map
  1. What Factors Make Good Customer Journey Maps
  • It needs to be based on market research and basic customer information.
  • Its Reach Extends Far Beyond the Typical Sales Channel
  • Key Performance Indicators Should Be Included
  1. Main Reasons Why Customer Mapping is Beneficial
  2. How Does Customer Journey Map Improve CS
  • It lets you focus on your customers.
  • It helps you to improve your services.
  • It pinpoints areas of contact that can be used to anticipate future behavior and requirements.
  • It aids in locating potential spots for software upgrades and improvements.
  1. Customer Journey Map: A Great Way To Boost Team Collaboration
  2. SaaS Customer Journey Examples
  3. Ecommerce Customer Journey Examples
  4. B2B Customer Journey Map Examples


What is a SaaS Customer Journey?

The SaaS customer journey for potential clients begins the moment they learn about your business. The whole process is included, from researching to making a final decision to using the product. The customer’s mental, emotional, and behavioral reactions to your brand.

Even while the SaaS buyer’s journey is similar to other marketplaces, there are important distinctions. A potential SaaS client might become familiar with your company after reading a positive review written by one of your current clients on a software review website.

The user interface, product features, and customer data support all play an essential role in the early lifecycle stages of the SaaS customer experience, but the freemium strategy often takes center lifecycle stages.

Your customers’ impressions of your brand matter at every touchpoint of their journey with you. Positive buyer’s journey increases the likelihood that they’ll shop with you again in the future, renew their SaaS subscription, and recommend your business to others.

On the other hand, at each juncture, the consumer may encounter typical roadblocks that prevent them from moving further. An unaided consumer who has trouble with onboarding can decide not to renew their membership.

SaaS business commonly uses client journey maps as a planning tool to manage customer data interactions and increase customer retention and acquisition. A buyer’s journey can be divided into distinct steps, each corresponding to the ideal set of experiences for that specific client. Possible roadblocks and their remedies could be highlighted on the visual map at each lifecycle stage.

What are the 6 Stages of the Customer Journey?

The different stages of the customer journey are collecting data and conducting analyses, acquiring and acclimating, adoption, renewal, expansion, and advocacy.

The customer journey for a SaaS provider is not drastically different from that of providers in other industries. There are many SaaS options available, so your company’s success will depend on how well you help clients make the decision to use your software and how well you keep them satisfied once they do.

If done correctly, creating a customer journey map for a software-as-a-service SaaS application can significantly increase the product’s revenue. After all, if you can anticipate your customer’s needs and provide them with the information that will simplify what can be a complicated purchase decision, you’ve likely just won yourself a loyal customer.

A customer journey map can enable you to ensure that your software lives up to its promises by helping you to communicate the value of your product.

1st Stage: Collecting Data and Conducting Analyses

When consumers reach the information-collecting and evaluation phase, they identify a problem and find solutions. It is where customers are introduced to a product, learn more about it, and start researching available alternatives.

2nd Stage: Acquiring and Acclimating

If you want to keep your consumers around, this is a crucial step. The client has paid for and begun rudimentary use of the program. Things like making an account and testing the product’s features, navigation, etc., fall under this category.

3rd Stage: Adoption

Once a customer succeeds in the adoption phase, they have probably fully incorporated the program into their routine and are experiencing the benefits.

4th Stage: Renewal

The client has been using the product for a considerable time, and now it’s time to renew their subscription. Customers are more likely to continue if they have had a great experience and found relief from their problems after using the product. They may say goodbye if they’ve encountered too many issues, weren’t given enough help, or found the product unsuitable.

5th Stage: Expansion

Upselling occurs at this point. Because they have renewed their subscription, the customer is clearly pleased with the software’s capabilities, is eager to gain access to other features, and is (ideally) willing to pay for such enhancements.

6th Stage: Brand Advocacy

On a chart of the SaaS customer journey, the brand advocacy phase represents the pinnacle of success. A company’s efforts to improve the customer experience pay off here. At this point, the customer’s journey is complete, and they become devoted lifelong customers who spread the word about your program. They’re now representing the brand in question!

These steps build upon one another. If a consumer has a good time with your SaaS, they are more likely to continue using it, become an advocate for your saas business, and spread the word about it to others.

What is a SaaS Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map represents the entire customer lifetime, from when a prospect becomes aware of a business and its software services until they become rabid fans.

It often details a typical buyer’s journey and interactions with a corporation to ensure desired outcomes. Some businesses go the extra mile by outlining potential roadblocks clients might encounter in becoming loyal customers and detailing strategies for overcoming them.

Happy customers pay for the product, keep their membership active, and spread the word about it to others. On the other hand, if a customer experiences issues during the onboarding process or with customer service, they may decide not to renew their membership or go elsewhere for a solution.

If a business wants to increase its chances of acquiring new target customers, keeping existing ones, and even upselling existing ones, it needs a customer journey map.

What are the 7 Steps in Customer Journey Mapping?

The leading seven steps are the following:

  • Decide what kind of map you wish to create.
  • Specify Who Your Clientele Are
  • Locate Points of Contact With Your Customers
  • Map Out the Customer’s Experience
  • Client Milestones Should Be Noted
  • Alert Users to Important Events
  • Modify & Fine-Tune Your Map

Building valuable SaaS solutions and providing a pleasant customer experience requires, first and foremost, the creation of a customer journey that is shared and understood by all employees.

It is why the customer journey map is crucial to ensuring the continued success of your saas business. As a bonus, think about how this will affect your bottom line.

However, visual representation of the customer’s experience is the beginning. Using SaaS services calls for an openness to new information and methods. Therefore, it is not sufficient to merely create an ideal customer journey map; instead, it must be iterated repeatedly to stay pertinent to your client’s needs.

The concept of a customer success journey map is deceptively simple. Here is a further explanation of each step.

Step 1: Decide What Kind of Map You Wish To Create.

There are numerous formats in customer journey mapping. Most frequently encountered examples include:

  • Latest State Atlas

Clients’ emotions, motives, and actions at each next lifecycle stage of the journey’s existing design are the basis for these maps.

  • Future State

These are the ideal experiences your brand’s customers should have regarding how they feel, act, and think.

  • Visualizations of a Normal Day

These enable you to gain additional insight into your consumers’ lives apart from their interactions with your company. It can be applied to solve their issues.

  • Strategies for Drawing Up Service Plans

These expand maps by pinpointing the underlying elements affecting the customer’s journey at each lifecycle stage.

These many kinds of maps can all be made with the help of searching online templates. Before beginning the mapping process, you must first decide on the kind of map you wish to make.

Step 2: Specify Who Your Clientele Are

The next step is characterizing your customers, who define your SaaS customer journey. Build a customer data profile or several that accurately reflects your typical client.

Make a list of the attributes that characterize your typical consumer, including their demographics, the channel via which they discovered your product, the pain point it solves for them, and their past buying patterns. Create realistic representations of your ideal customers with the help of technologies like consumer surveys and data analysis.

Step 3: Locate Points of Contact With Your Customers

Examining how your customers engage with your brand might help you better understand them. Organic search, quick google search, software reviews, social media platforms, and email inbound marketing are all examples of marketing touchpoints. Post-purchase interactions, such as profile creation, app or portal logins, and app use, can also be accounted for.

Step 4: Map Out the Customer’s Experience

Next, map out the early stages of your customer’s journey. Separating each into smaller steps will help you comprehend the buying process in greater detail. In the evaluation phase, for instance, you may map out the customer journeys from brand awareness to free trial registration.

Step 5: Client Milestones Should Be Noted

Make sure to highlight the most critical moments for your customers at each juncture of the trip. It may encompass the customer’s internal and external experiences.

These can coincide with pivotal moments in the customer lifecycle stage, such as when they try out your product before making a purchase, activate their account after signing up, start utilizing a new feature or renew their subscription.

Step 6: Alert Users to Key Events

At each juncture and landmark in the customer experience, you must consider what should happen in a perfect scenario and what could go wrong and require maintenance. By analyzing support data, you determine the most common problems your customers encounter at different pain points in the customer lifecycle stage. Create fixes for each issue, then include them in your SOPs, KPI tracking, and automated processes.

Step 7: Modify & Fine-Tune Your Map

Your customer journey map can evolve and grow as you learn more about your target audience. You should revise your visual map regularly to include any new data if you want accurate results. Your customer success strategy is tested with KPI tracking, feedback surveys, and data analytics. It will allow you to fine-tune your customer journey map over time and give your consumers desired outcomes.

What Factors Make Good Customer Journey Maps

A good customer journey map has three main factors, and there are the following:

  • It Needs To Be Based On Market Research and Basic Customer Data
  • Its Reach Extends Far Beyond the Typical Sales Channel
  • Key Performance Indicators Should Be Included

Here is a further explanation for each factor.

1.      It Needs To Be Based On Market Research and Basic Customer Data

A survey of enterprise marketers’ use of customer feedback surveys, about 53%, and customer journey marketing research, about 47% conducted by experts, reveals patterns of map-making practices.

It is an excellent mix because it draws on theoretical research and consumer experiences. Consumers may be unsure about their preferences when presented with a product or feature for the first time.

The company must constantly develop new products and services to offer customer success. Workshopping these innovations in light of client personas and user conduct research is essential.

Then, once the product or new feature has been developed, feedback should be gathered to make it as beneficial to the user as feasible.

To get the information you need to make a practical journey map for your ideal buyer persona, you should compile a document that includes a combination of market research and customer feedback surveys, as this will take into account the thoughts and actions of users, which is essential for a customer journey map.

2.      Its Reach Extends Far Beyond the Typical Sales Channel

Making a storyboard of the marketing funnel or marketing plan is a common mistake business makes when conducting customer journey mapping.

While the marketing funnel can serve as a solid framework for the marketing section of your experience map, the user journey map should cover much more ground.

Like a customer’s journey, a marketing funnel can be segmented into discrete steps. In its most basic form, it begins with your audience becoming aware of your product and concludes with a post-purchase from your ideal customer personas.

As such, you can include discussions of social media, Google advertisements, and other kinds of brand exposure in the awareness phase of your marketing funnel.

Then, in the interest portion, you can talk about email inbound marketing and webinars that help get people interested. In the consideration section, you can talk about the user experience design of your website and sales reps

A solid marketing funnel will lay out the fundamental tasks that need to be completed at each funnel stage about your user persona.

Beyond these fundamental steps, the customer journey map details the consumer’s internal state at each marketing funnel, including their thoughts, customer’s emotions, and actions.

3.      Key Performance Indicators Should Be Included

Each step of the sales and digital marketing cycle, as well as the customer’s internal state and desired next steps, should be represented on a solid customer journey map. A superb customer journey map should include key performance indicators (KPIs).

Each point of contact with the prospective customer base can use the key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate how well the map works and make any necessary adjustments.

In other words, a customer journey map isn’t something that can’t be changed. It needs to be revised as new data on client preferences, expectations, and satisfaction becomes available. If overall marketing channels and sales team targets aren’t being fulfilled, it may be time to rethink and change your strategy.

The entire consumer experience is dynamic because the world is continually changing.

Main Reasons Why Customer Mapping is Beneficial

Creating a customer journey map demonstrates empathy toward your typical customers and shows that you value their feedback. You zero in on the customer’s perspective and draw up a route chart that will help you keep them around.

Your company and your marketing team will have a complete understanding of the client’s wants and needs, thanks to the customer journey map. With the help of a customer journey mapping system, you can see the customer’s trip across all platforms and share that information easily throughout your various teams, improving your ability to respond quickly and effectively to their needs.

Closes the loopholes in the client experience journey and provides a road map for success. A chatbot could be helpful for your website, and SaaS customer journey mapping could assist you and your team in recognizing this. It allows you to make new connections, increasing your chances of success.

Customer success, happiness, and experience are both boosted.

Customer behavior can be predicted using data journey mapping, which provides an overarching perspective of the customer’s experience and aids in addressing issues and anticipating future demands. Improvements in business choices and customer satisfaction are two outcomes of creating a customer journey map. To have a good life cycle is of paramount importance.

Mapping increases the marketing team’s productivity and the team’s chances of success as a whole. Improved customer service and a rise in revenue result from a customer journey map.

How Does SaaS Customer Journey Map Improve CS

There are various SaaS solutions available in today’s generation. Thus CS may be the deciding factor between yours and a similar offering from a rival.

1.      It Lets You Focus On Your Customers.

Customer service centered on the customer’s perspective can only be provided after carefully considering their wants and desires. Customers appreciate that their concerns were acknowledged and addressed. 2023 will see this as one of the cornerstones of customer success service.

2.      It Helps You To Improve Your Service

By putting yourself in the customer’s position, you’ll be better able to spot areas where service, products, support, and the entire customer experience can be enhanced. Adding lessons to your process or using live chat, chatbots, or self-service technologies as additional support channels may help you save money and improve client happiness. An out-of-date customer journey map is useless for pointing out pain points, so update it regularly with new data.

3.      It Pinpoints Areas of Contact that Can be Used to Anticipate Future Behavior and Requirements.

By creating a customer journey map with your relevant content, you may learn who your customers typically interact with and why. You can use this data to plan for potential actions and requirements. It can help guide choices regarding software updates and advancements, as well as a proactive and thorough customer lifecycle.

4.      It Aids in Locating Potential Spots for Software Upgrades and Improvements.

You can prioritize future software updates to better serve your target market once you have collected data on your customers’ software usage, perceived value, and joint pain points. It is helpful to keep track of who has requested a particular feature and when they did so to obtain an idea of the number of individuals who want that feature.

You can use this information to send warnings to multiple people to rekindle their interest in your products and to prioritize the features they have requested in future software releases.

A well-informed, user-focused strategy for future software virtually ensures that money will be spent on the proper features and improvements rather than maintaining unused ones. Customers will remain loyal to your goods and look less elsewhere if they believe you have taken their comments and suggestions into account. You can also min read blog content.

Customer Journey Map: A Great Way To Boost Team Collaboration

There is a tendency among some small businesses to operate in isolated compartments, and SaaS business is not an exception to this rule!

However, studies have shown that collaboration between different departments can increase creativity by as much as 15%!

Creating customer journey maps is a suitable method for improving communication, innovation, and productivity. These contribute to the creation of better experiences for customers. Innovation is the key to successfully competing in the brutally competitive SaaS industry, and mapping the customer journey is a fantastic approach to getting started in this endeavor.

A detailed map of the SaaS customer journey can improve departmental communication, influencing content marketing strategies, multiple tools, sales strategies, customer service strategies, and future software development.

It helps to ensure that customers have a first-rate experience at every delightful stage of the purchasing process. Marketing can build targeted campaigns if they know where consumers first come into contact with your product and what they hope to accomplish.

If sales are aware of the lifecycle stages in the customer’s journey at which they are first exposed to your product, they will have a greater probability of the desired outcome. The next stage is implementing the appropriate adjustments if you identify the areas where your consumers may feel bad about assistance and service.

SaaS Customer Journey Examples

Are you considering incorporating a customer journey map into your company’s operations? Then, to inspire you to develop your unique prospective customer journey, below are some examples of customer journeys that have been carefully selected.

1.      Spotify

Spotify is the name of one of the most well-known and commonly utilized music streaming services in the world. When Spotify sought to provide its users with a better experience when it came to sharing music, many SaaS companies contracted the services of a marketing consultancy to develop a customer journey map. This customer journey map was created to determine where in the customer experience music-sharing features would be most beneficial.

2.      TurboTax

The tax preparation software package Turbo Tax is one of the most popular online options. When the TurboTax team was getting ready to release a new product called Personal Pro, they decided to construct a customer journey map to better understand the overall experience that customers would have with this new product.

Through quality content analysis, consumer surveys, and in-depth discussions with tax experts, the team could improve their comprehension of how the product operates in the lives of those who use it.

Ecommerce Customer Journey Examples

These days, the e-commerce market is highly competitive across practically every single subfield. It is essential to convert as many customer journey as possible who visit your website if you want to maximize your profit margins while maintaining a competitive price structure.

1.      Columbia Road

This imaginary online grocery store served as the inspiration for this customer journey example that was built by an e-commerce agency called Columbia Road. They went one step further than others by including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and identifying which department is accountable for ensuring that a client has the best experience possible at each next stage of the user journey. It sets them apart from other saas companies.

Incorporating key performance indicators (KPIs) into your customer’s journey map is vital because it enables you to determine whether or not the map is successful and whether or not it needs to be modified to better serve your customer lifecycle.

2.      Amazon

Amazon, one of the largest online retailers, has developed its technology and methods to aid consumers in making informed purchasing decisions. It has one of the most detailed customer journey maps available, which would take many days to min read through and fully comprehend the vast majority of individuals.

B2B Customer Journey Map Examples

The sales cycle for B2B customers can look very different depending on the price range of the product or service and the level of buy-in required from various stakeholders before a business pre-purchase can be made.

1.      Excel

The majority of the customer journey for a B2B software as a service (SaaS) purchase for something relatively inexpensive, such as the social media management platform offered by Hootsuite or the email marketing platform provided by MailChimp, will take place digitally, with the involvement of a sales representative being either minimal or nonexistent.

2.      HubSpot

If a B2B SaaS company has a longer sales cycle and offers a product or service that is more carefully planned, the customer’s journey map should be more sophisticated and carried out differently.


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