From Kitchen to Table: Every Department in Your SaaS Company Is Part of the Customer Retention and Expansion Team

In SaaS, customer retention and expansion require a holistic team effort, much like a well-run restaurant. It’s not just about great service; the product team ensures quality, marketing makes your offering enticing, finance aligns pricing with value, and leadership sets the tone. Each department’s performance impacts the customer experience. Success comes from every team member working together to exceed customer expectations, creating a comprehensive, delightful experience.

Eli Portnoy, Co-Founder & CEO of BackEngine

6/27/20242 min read

Imagine walking into your favorite restaurant. What makes you keep coming back? Is it just the friendly service, or is there more to the story? Just like a restaurant aiming for five-star reviews and repeat customers, a SaaS business needs more than just great customer service to excel in retention and expansion.

When you dine out, excellent service can make your evening special. But if the food is mediocre, the prices too high, or the atmosphere lacking, you’re not likely to return, no matter how friendly the waiter was. Similarly, in a SaaS business, while the customer service and support teams play crucial roles in customer satisfaction, they are only a part of the much larger picture.

There’s no way around it: retention and expansion are truly team sports. It’s not just the customer support team sweating it out on the front lines; it involves the chefs in the kitchen, too—or in business terms, the product team. They need to ensure the product is not only fulfilling current customer needs but is also innovatively addressing future demands.

The marketing team is like the restaurant’s decor and menu presentation. They need to communicate the product’s value effectively and enticingly, making sure it looks appealing enough to try and keep trying. Then there’s the finance team, akin to setting menu prices. They must ensure that the pricing strategy matches the value provided, making customers feel they’re getting their money’s worth.

Leadership can be likened to the restaurant manager, setting the tone, ensuring every team is aligned and focused on the ultimate goal: customer satisfaction that leads to retention and expansion.

Each department’s performance affects the overall customer experience, just as every aspect of a restaurant contributes to the overall dining experience. Focusing solely on the service or support layer, without integrating efforts across product, marketing, finance, and leadership, is like hoping for repeat diners in a restaurant with excellent service and subpar meals.

In the competitive SaaS industry, every team member’s effort is critical. Just as every detail in a restaurant contributes to the final customer experience, every department in a SaaS company needs to play its part in crafting a service that not only meets but exceeds customer expectations. It’s a recipe for success when everyone brings their best to the table.

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