Strategy & Best Practices

Three Ways to Help Your Customers Make the Transition to Remote Work

By Ideas @ AppDirect / April 6, 2020

Three ways transition remote work blog

Over the past few weeks, an unprecedented shift has rocked the business world: Remote work, once considered a nice employee perk, has become an absolute must-have for business continuity. For many technology providers, the skyrocketing demand for remote work tools has sparked a rush to get cloud-based email, video conferencing, chat, office productivity, and other telecommuting essentials into the hands of business customers.

However, as this initial surge winds down, many providers are entering unfamiliar territory. Now, enabling remote work means more than just offering access to technology tools. It means giving business customers the advice and expertise they need to help them optimize their solutions, streamline their operations, and be successful as a remote workforce. Here are three ways providers can empower their business customers as they transition to remote work.

1. Put Onboarding at the Top of Your Priority List

With B2B SaaS, the true value of a solution isn't determined by the initial sale, but by how much—and how effectively—a customer uses the software on an ongoing basis. This is why onboarding is so critical for long-term success. Customers don't want to pay for tools they don't use, so missing or ineffective onboarding can lead to a churn rate of as much as 80 percent.

Missing or ineffective onboarding can lead to a churn rate of as much as 80 percent.

To prevent this, providers need a clear, straightforward onboarding program. At a minimum, most customers will likely need information on how to:

  • Complete the initial setup of a new application
  • Deploy the solution across multiple employees
  • Migrate data from legacy systems to the new tool
  • Conduct training for administrators on how to manage the solution

So then what does the ideal onboarding journey look like? Every SaaS solution is different and may require a few tweaks, but most will usually require these three elements:

  1. Proactive onboarding emails that remind customers to activate their products, as well as highlight features and give periodic tips
  2. An online onboarding center, which can include FAQs, deployment guides, etc.
  3. Expert onboarding support delivered by a skilled customer service team

Combining these three options—and giving customers the choice to jump between them at any time—can significantly boost customer retention and satisfaction.

2. Fill the Role of Trusted Technology Advisor

As businesses have taken the plunge into full-time, full-team remote work, many have turned to familiar big-name brands to meet their initial needs. For example, Microsoft has recently seen 12 million more daily users join Teams—its unified communication and collaboration platform—in just a single week.

But what comes after companies are set up with email, chat, and video conferencing? Contrary to popular belief, businesses are eager to spend more on technology in response to COVID-19. In fact, 40 percent of companies expect their organizations to increase their software spend, with the main purpose of supporting the transition to remote work.

Forty percent of companies expect to increase software spend to support remote work.

But what are the best solutions to invest in? This is where businesses need the most help, and where providers are ideally positioned to provide advice. Here, a holistic "solution sales" mindset has never been more important. Sales teams need to put potential customers, and their challenges, first. That way, a sales professional can identify the best apps, or app bundles, to address customer pain points.

As businesses adapt to working remotely for the long-term, many will need ongoing help discovering tools that can help optimize and safeguard every aspect of their telecommuting operations. These solutions can run the gamut from solutions for security, to back up, to e-signature, to employee engagement, and many more. Offering the right recommendations at the right time will help providers become trusted technology advisors today, and far into the future.

3. Plan Now for Future Resiliency

Making the switch to remote work has been challenging for many companies. However, many providers have faced their own obstacles in trying to provide fast, easy access to solutions that enable remote work. Even though the impact of COVID-19 is still unfolding, now is the time to take stock of current capabilities and see where improvements can be made to become more resilient in the future.

The first step is to evaluate your cloud-based product portfolio. Are most of your products available as SaaS solutions? If not, do you have a strategy and timeline to migrate them? Then, examine your merchandising capabilities. Can you easily change product pricing, create product bundles, offer discounts, and make other adjustments to respond to customer needs?

Now is the time to take stock of current capabilities and plan improvements.

Next, think about your ability to add new products, whether your own or from third parties. You will also need to consider your billing capabilities. If you create an ecosystem of products, can you manage pricing, invoicing, and reconciliation across all of your vendors?

These questions point to just a few of the many factors that go into improving the flexibility of digital commerce technology and processes. As you think about how to develop your own remote work enablement capabilities, AppDirect has created a guide, “How to Enable Remote Work for Your Customers: Seven Strategies for Success,” that details additional best practices that can help inform your decisions. You can click below to download it now.


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