What makes a good B2B SaaS Webservice Experience

As a B2B SaaS provider, having and maintaining a library of integrated partners is key because these partners' tools and functionality become extensions of your solution's value proposition.

Nowadays, regardless of the industry, companies that decide to move onto a B2B SaaS solution will expect your product to be integrated with the third-party technology tools and applications their business processes rely on. This streamlines the process and enables the customer, the subscriber, or the licensee to create an operational foundation and a single source of truth. The integrations, in effect, become extensions of your product, and the less your customer must go outside of your product, the better. As a matter of fact, the average SaaS company has about 350 integrations in place, with SaaS leader shaving over 2,000 integrations readily available. (www.saastr.com)

While this trend persists, the question becomes, how can a product marketing specialist within a B2B SaaS organization make the integration experience better and different than the competition? How can the user experience be simplified? After all, any integration is the same in principle: two systems connecting via a unique method and exchanging data. So, what tools and features can your product possess to differentiate the integration experience once connected? These are the topics that will be addressed in this blog post.

Integration Dashboard

It is highly likely that the customer asked for a given integration because they are looking to have their operations team working within your platform to perform key functions such as completing tasks and moving objects through various automated process flows. A powerful integration dashboard is critical in creating a seamless user experience. This way, the customer can easily see the transmissions that have occurred and pinpoint the milestone data that came into the SaaS platform as well as the data that came out.

An integration dashboard will organize the received data and make it actionable in real time, allowing the end user to dive into the subsets that interest them or their teams to get their jobs done. By providing a dashboard that includes details around the integration and data transmissions that have occurred, your product will create an intuitive and highly functional experience that will keep your customer informed and engaged.

Integration Troubleshooting & Error Handling

Integration troubleshooting & error handling are done correctly when the customer doesn't have to rely on calling an IT contact when issues arise. Gone are the days of calling tech provider 1, who will likely steer you to calling tech provider 2, all in an attempt to identify why the integration didn't work as expected. This antiquated process requires your customer to have a dedicated IT project manager or technical resource, and let’s face it, if this much effort is required to maintain and troubleshoot an integration, the customer may begin to wonder why they even started this technology initiative to begin with. Even if the issues aren’t caused by your product, your brand will become guilty by association.

By exposing details like the error messages received from the connected party and displaying them in the UI, a user can figure out where the transmission failed, resolve the error, and try the API call again.Real-time troubleshooting creates big wins for the customer and for you, the technology provider, because you are creating a superior level of transparency and efficiency.

Cost Control

Have you ever had a customer who wanted to pursue a comprehensive integration but then reached out after the first month of going live because the monthly charges were higher than expected? A customer is going to want it all, the more data, the better, but it is your team’s job to help steer them. Many technology companies charge per-call fees and data transmission fees. Why? Inmost cases, the customer may be bypassing standard fees that the technology provider collects, and the provider will charge integration fees at a granular level to supplement that revenue loss.

To avoid any surprises, give the user a running calculation in the UI that tells them how much money they will be charged daily.  Providing this information isn't difficult if you know what your customer is being charged by their technology vendor, and your product can track the frequency of API transmissions that have happened in a given day. This empowers the customer because they can work with you to potentially adjust the number of transmissions or remove certain data elements, like comments, from the integration.

As a B2B SaaS provider, having and maintaining a library of integrated partners is key because the tools and functionality their products offer become extensions of your solution's value proposition.

Conclusion

As a B2B SaaS provider, having and maintaining a library of integrated partners is key because the tools and functionality their products offer become extensions of your solution's value proposition. Talk to your customers to identify the integrations they require to make their process as efficient as possible and conduct market research to pinpoint the key third-party systems and systems of record that pertain to your target audience.

Depending on the technology you are integrating with, they may be less sophisticated and only offer flat file transmissions, or they may already have the capability to connect via APIs; regardless, keep the customer experience in mind. An effective B2B SaaS customer experience is one where they don't have to call or email you all the time. By offering an actionable integration dashboard, the ability to conduct real-time troubleshooting and error handling, and, lastly, showing them a daily count of fees incurred from the various integrations, you will create an intuitive and customer-friendly solution to keep your customers engaged with your product and coming back for more.

Rob Pajon

Rob Pajon

Rob Pajon is SVP of Product Marketing for OrangeGrid, with over 15 years of B2B SaaS experience. To see a full list of OrangeGrid's integrations, click here.