Are you looking for ways to increase customer engagement and grow LTV? Would you like to be able to convert more of your freemium users into paid customers? Are you looking for strategies that will allow you to improve your customer success?
In this article, we’re going to share with you how creating a strategic partnership with Flowster will help you to do exactly that.
First, let’s give you a very brief explanation of Flowster.
What is Flowster?
Unlike project management software from Basecamp, Asana, et al, Flowster is process management software that allows users to buy/build/import SOPs that can then be used to easily delegate all your repeatable processes to your team; regardless of where in the world they work.
With Flowster in place, organizations will realize the following benefits:
- Decreased training time for new employees
- More consistent execution of all your highly-repetitive processes
- Easier management of remote teams and process deadlines
Now that we’ve given you a very brief overview of the value of Flowster, in the remainder of this article, we’re going to explain how Flowster can help your company to:
- Increase customer satisfaction & engagement
- Increase free trial conversions
- Capture new leads for your marketing funnel(s)
- Reduce support requests from new users
Increase Customer Satisfaction
As new users generally aren’t “instant experts” in your software, your customer success, not to mention your customer churn, will be highly dependent on your ability to make learning and using your software as easy as possible.
Is Video the Best Solution for Customer Training?
Thanks to the success of YouTube, online video has become a very popular method of teaching someone how to do something new.
Videos are easy to consume, can be filled with marketing flair, and are terrific for giving the viewer an overview of how to do something they’ve never done before.
Want to learn how to bake a cake, change a headlight, or deliver a speech? YouTube is filled with videos that will show you just that.
But what if your customer’s success is dependent on their ability to quickly come up-to-speed on how to use your product? Is a training video the best form of content?
What if the thing you’re training someone to do in your video is a highly-repetitive process in your software, and is something that your customer would be likely to delegate to others on their team?
If you only provide video-based training, that means you’re forcing your customer to get their team to watch the same videos they’ve just watched, and there are a number of reasons why this is not the most effective strategy for learning.
The More Details, The Bigger The Challenge
A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to improve my keyword research skills and in particular, I wanted to better understand how to use Ahrefs to conduct my keyword research.
As with most things that I do, my goal was to first learn how to perform the work myself, and then, going forward, I had planned to delegate this work to someone else on my team.
To begin my learning journey, I watched the video below:
More Details = More Opportunities for Mistakes
Upon completing the video, I quickly realized that, due to the volume of details covered in the video, I was going to have to either re-watch portions of it and make copious notes, or make a checklist that would explain in detail all the steps that were covered in the video.
Either way meant more work for me, so rather than rely on the video to train myself and my team, I chose to make a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in our software instead.
Here’s the SOP that I built. It is an interactive SOP, so feel free to click around in it.
Increase Free Trial Conversions
Free trials are extremely common among SaaS businesses today, and converting trials to paid users is critical to success.
Sadly, many SaaS businesses don’t make it as easy as they could for new users to quickly get up-to-speed so they can realize the greatest benefits of using your software. When this happens, churn is the result.
Don’t Make Your Customers Work Harder Than They Have To
If you’re on the customer success or marketing team at your software company, you might be thinking that you already have plenty of training videos, and that your new customers should have no trouble coming up-to-speed on your software.
Based on my experience, this assumption is wrong.
While new customers definitely value a good selection of training videos, the sad truth is that these videos are often out-of-date – because editing existing videos, or shooting entirely new videos is a lot of work!
Customers like videos…but they love highly-detailed checklists a lot more, because checklists make it much easier to absorb, digest, and implement new processes.
Want to make your customers happier and increase engagement with your software? Give them more checklists that make it much easier to delegate (to their team) all the highly-repetitive tasks they use your software for!
Make It Easy to Say Yes
Had Ahrefs already provided me with a detailed checklist for how to perform keyword research, it would have saved me the 2 hours it took me to make my own checklist – which would have been a huge value to me – and every other customer.
Moreover, had they made me (and all their other prospects) aware of their extensive library of pre-made SOPs, perhaps some of the customers that went with the competition might have decided to go with Ahrefs instead.
Plus, I’d be willing to bet that a portion of those new customers would have been impressed enough with the value provided by all the checklists that they would have told a few of their friends and colleagues to give Ahrefs a serious look.
Delegation is Impossible
As a CEO, I’m obsessed with delegating day-to-day operations to people on my team. Doing so is just a part of my DNA – plus I truly believe it’s the very best way to manage a fast growing company like mine.
The problem with video-based training is that it makes delegation very difficult to do.
For example, if the only training content available to me is a video, my only option is to say to my team:
“Watch the video and do the thing!”
There are a number of problems with this approach.
First, the longer and more detailed the video, the greater the likelihood that the person I have asked to do the work is going to miss a step or forget something important.
To combat this problem, I would have to provide extra instructions like:
“pay really close attention to the part of the video that starts at 2m 30s”
… because we can’t afford to miss that part.
Another challenge with video is that if I want them to do something in particular that is not explicitly covered in the video, I also have to provide additional instructions on how our process varies ever so slightly from the way that it’s explained in the video.
This is yet again, another burden you’re placing on your customers. If, in addition to the video, you also gave them editable checklists, they would have a much easier time dealing with process variance.
For example, in the video above, the presenter tells users to enter a maximum of 10 in the Keyword Difficulty (KD) filter. What if, thanks to the age and authority of our domain, I know we should be going after keywords with a maximum KD of 20? If I’m providing only the video from Ahrefs, I have to make sure every one of my employees knows every time that our internal process differs slightly from the video.
Without having an SOP in place to ensure process compliance, odds are that something is going to fall through the cracks.
And finally, what if I have 5 different employees all engaged in keyword research simultaneously on behalf of 5 different clients?
If a training video is all I have available, how do I ensure that each person does the work in the exact same way, and that each of them completes the work by the prescribed due date for a given client?
Training videos don’t come with workflow management options…so you’ll need another app for that. With SOPs and workflows in Flowster, all this extra functionality is baked right into our software.
SOPs Are the Solution
The solution to my problem of only having a training video is to create a detailed checklist, or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), that explains in detail each and every step of the process. This SOP will have so much detail that it would be nearly impossible to miss a step and make a mistake.
By creating a checklist for the repetitive processes that need to be done by my team, I’m solving a few very critical problems:
- No need to watch/pause/take notes for my team; thereby saving them time and making new employee orientation much more efficient
- I’m able to provide enough detail on each step (and any variations I require) so that I know nothing will be missed
- I’ve produced a piece of content that can easily be updated over time, without having to shoot/find new videos
- I now have a way to easily delegate/manage as many checklists (we call them workflows) to as many employees as I need, and effortlessly stay on top of who’s doing what and when it is due on a client-by-client basis, so nothing fall through the cracks
The SOP below contains the checklist that I created, and as you can see, it starts off by making it clear that the checklist is based on Ahref’s Keyword Research Tutorial.
Notice that the left side of the screen contains the list of steps that need to be performed. Then, on the right, for a given step, a highly-detailed set of instructions can be provided.
When new customers are provided with this level of detail, one of the inevitable outcomes is reduced support requests.
SOP Best Practices
When creating SOPs, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Plenty of Short Steps
First, make sure that you create plenty of steps (seen on the left side of the above image) and then keep the instructions for each step (on the right side of the above image) relatively short as doing so will ensure that the likelihood of something getting missed is extremely low.
For example, in the screenshot below, on the left side of the screen, you can see that we are on step 13 of the checklist.
On the right, you can see exactly what needs to happen to complete step 13. Once step 13 is done, the person doing this workflow will simply check the box and move on to step 14.
Include Plenty of Screenshots
A picture is worth a 1000 words, and in an SOP, it’s important to include plenty of detailed screenshots of what needs to be done. You can see this in the screenshot above.
The more screenshots you include, the easier your checklist will be to follow.
Keep the Content Current
There is nothing worse than a checklist that is out-of-date, so when you choose your platform for creating them, it’s important to ensure that whenever you make an update to the master SOP, that you have the option to easily update all the active workflows; lest your team members who are mid-project continue with out-of-date instructions.
Managing Multiple Workflows
Every bit as important as having checklists (SOPs) for all your business processes, is the ability to actively manage/oversee the work you have delegated to others on your team.
If training videos are your only source of “how to” content, this becomes much more complex because you then need to also have project management software of some kind. Otherwise, you’ll have no way to manage the work you’ve delegated, and the (most likely) outcome is that deadlines will be missed.
A much better solution is to create your SOPs within software that allows you to assign the entire workflow, or just individual tasks, to whomever you like, as well as give deadlines for completion.
With Flowster-based SOPs, this process requires only a few mouse clicks (shown in green below).
Flowster’s SOP Marketplace
Very early on, we realized that most customers do not want to create SOPs from scratch.
Instead, they much prefer to simply import an existing SOP template, and then make any customizations they would like.
To satisfy this need, we created our SOP marketplace and are regularly creating/adding new SOP templates for our customers.
Many of these templates are built by our team, and as we gain traction, an increasing number of them will be created by other software companies that form partnerships with us.
To put it simply; creating an SOP in our marketplace is roughly the equivalent of creating a highly-detailed guest blog post; only instead of being a static post that cannot be customized by the users, when you publish an SOP template, any user that adds it to their Flowster account can hit the edit button and easily make whatever changes they like.
Use SOPs to Capture More Leads
When you start publishing SOPs in Flowster’s marketplace, among the many benefits of doing so is that every single SOP you create can contain calls-to-action (CTAs) that will allow you to drive traffic to whatever offer(s) you like.
When you do this, over time, as the popularity of our marketplace increases – thanks to our focus on forming partnerships with an ever-increasing number of software companies like Zapier did – the SOPs that you’ve published will see an ever-increasing number of eyeballs and downloads; all resulting in more leads for your company.
Flowster’s Partnership Program
Our partnership program is the main focus of our marketing efforts; followed closely by our affiliate program.
Given that a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’, every partner we have will directly benefit from every new partner we sign because each of our partners will be running campaigns to direct traffic to our SOP marketplace – and overall marketplace traffic will increase as a result.
Partner Campaign Overview
We recommend that each partner do the following:
- Create one or more SOP templates and publish them to the marketplace
- Include at least one call-to-action within the SOP to drive traffic to an offer
- Write a blog post to promote the SOP
- Send an email to your users to announce the SOP
- Feature the SOP in your new user onboarding sequence
- Send an in-app announcement to promote the SOP
- Promote the SOP on social media
- Add the SOP to your training portal
Want to Talk?
If you’d like to start a conversation with our team about creating a partnership that will allow you to easily provide free pre-made SOPs to your customers, please go ahead and schedule a call with our team.