Are you struggling with customer retention and high churn rates? You’re not alone. SaaS teams everywhere struggle with the idea of “feature creep,” where one or two complaints about your product lead to a myriad of problems and issues of over complexity.
Successful SaaS products are complex systems that are presented as simple solutions to a user's everyday problems. Think Jira, Gusto, and Hubspot, these are intricate systems that have to navigate through hoops like complex project tracking, payroll and taxes, and marketing automation, yet the end-user experiences are seamless and easy to use. Product Designers who can take a complex system, like these SaaS products, and turn it into a simple process, understand the concept of the paradox of simplicity.
The paradox of simplicity is a common experience in the UX industry because it’s a knowledge and understanding that designing a simple solution isn’t easy, and often takes more work than designing a complex solution. It’s about understanding your users and the problem you’re solving, and knowing how to balance those priorities with stakeholders.
It takes extensive product strategy and UX design expertise to truly understand what it takes to deliver a seamless user experience amidst a complex product. Oftentimes, SaaS companies can get so caught up in adding to their product or addressing one-off requests of customers that they end up with unnecessary complexity in the product, resulting in skyrocketing churn rates.
When unnecessary complexity creeps into your product, it can hurt your user acquisition and retention, make it difficult to prioritize features and improvements, and even slow down your development velocity. In this blog, we will explore the dangers of overly complex SaaS products and provide a few tips to simplify your user experience.
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The Dangers of a Complex SaaS Product
Let’s revisit the concept of feature creep, which is when excessive features are added to a product that makes it too complicated or difficult to use. According to ProductPlan, feature creep goes beyond a company’s original product vision, making it difficult for teams to understand how their product fits into the bigger picture.
Although well-meaning, teams often experience feature creep when they’re trying to resolve usability issues and customer complaints by implementing a new feature or expanding the functionality of their product. What this does however is that it creates a product with ultra-niche capabilities that their general users don’t want.
If your B2B SaaS product is too complex, it can be a major usability issue and impact your business’s bottom line. When users are overwhelmed and frustrated, they may seek out alternatives, and KPIs like user retention may suffer, making it difficult to position your SaaS to scale. The customers that do stay require an increasing amount of customer support, increasing operational costs and further impacting the business’s financials.
Here are 3 indicators your SaaS needs to be reworked:
- It’s difficult to acquire users and retain them: If your product is too complex, it can overwhelm new users and discourage them from using it altogether. Even existing users may become frustrated and seek out simpler alternatives, leading to decreased user acquisition and retention over time.
- Increased customer support costs: Complicated products often require more support requests, which can quickly add up to increased customer support overhead. Providing support for a complex product can be time-consuming and require specialized skills, which can also add further costs to building out your internal team when a question or problem arises.
- Decreased user satisfaction: If users find your product difficult to use or navigate, they may leave negative reviews, reduce referrals, and ultimately result in decreased revenue. Keeping your users satisfied is a key factor in customer retention and business growth.
Optimizing your user experience can help you avoid these common pitfalls and create a B2B SaaS product that meets the needs of your customers while also driving growth and success for your business.
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How to Improve B2B SaaS Usability?
If you want to avoid unnecessary complexity in your SaaS products, there are several things you can do to help ensure that your product is easy to use, enjoyable for your users, and focused on delivering value. Here are some practical tips to consider:
- Focus on user experience: Put the user experience at the center of your product development process. Conduct user research and gather feedback to better understand the needs of your target audience. Make it easy for your users to navigate your product and access its features. Continuously refine your product to make it more user-friendly.
- Keep it simple: Avoid adding features that do not add value to the user experience and stray from your original product vision. By creating an MVP, you can avoid feature creep and iterate strategically based on user and competitor research.
- Communicate clearly: Be transparent with your users about product updates, changes, and feature releases, and be transparent with stakeholders on roadmap priorities to align with the long-term product vision.
- Test and iterate: Continuously test your product and gather feedback from your users. Opt to implement an Agile customer feedback loop to help you identify areas that need improvement and find opportunities for your product as time goes on.
By following these tips, you can create a SaaS product that is intuitive, easy to use, and focused on delivering value to your users. Ultimately, this can help you attract and retain more users, increase revenue, and rise above the competition.
Related content: Maximizing Engagement and Conversion Rates through UX/UI
Partnering With an Agency
When teams are looking to simplify a complex SaaS solution, outsourcing can be just the thing a team needs to gain a fresh perspective. A good agency has likely seen similar problems that your team is experiencing before and can help quickly find areas that need improvement and offer solutions to enhance the overall user experience.
At Scenic West, we are a team of product strategists and senior UX designers who can help optimize your B2B SaaS product. We have worked with clients in a wide range of industries, ranging from healthcare technology to financial technology, giving us a broad understanding of various users, their needs, and their behaviors.
We work with teams to conduct user research and analyze their user experience to identify high-return-on-investment quick-win solutions to help improve user satisfaction, increase customer retention, and position your product to scale.
Our partnership process is meant to be efficient, effective, and ongoing. In just one week, we can seamlessly blend into your team and work closely to develop a clear roadmap for optimizing your product and provide ongoing support and guidance through our ad hoc agile UX/UI design expertise.
If you're interested in learning more about our UX/UI design services and product strategy consulting, schedule a free discovery call with us. During this call, we'll discuss your product needs and can point you in a direction of where to start that best fits your long-term goals. Contact us by filling out this form and we’ll be in touch to schedule a call.
An overly complex SaaS can be detrimental to your product’s success and ability to scale. While simplifying may seem like a quick fix, oftentimes it takes an expert UX/UI designer or product strategist to identify key areas of improvement.
Your team can work to prioritize simplicity and clarify any confusing messaging or unnecessary jargon to improve user satisfaction. By providing value and focusing on the user’s experience from start to finish, you can differentiate your product from its competitors, drive growth, and build a loyal customer base to sustain your business in the long run.
Take a look at our services and contact us for more information on package details and pricing.