The Perfect SaaS Customer Journey Map That Grows Customer Engagements, Loyalty, Revenue, and Maximize Profits

user customer journey mapping

The SaaS customer journey shows every step potential customers take to become customers. 

This process considers prospective customers’ problems, their search for solutions, weighing the pros and cons of several options, and choosing the best option.

Granted, it can be difficult to create a customer journey map for SaaS brands because of its vast moving parts… 

But we’ve had the best shot at enhancing users’ experiences and adding value at each touchpoint when properly mapping out our users' journeys. 

Now, regardless of how hard it can be to create a customer journey map for SaaS brands, we aim to make it easy for you through this straightforward blog post. 

On that note, let’s take a quick look at the two case studies below:

  1. ClickUp

ClickUp projected $200M in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) by 2023 and their Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) rose from $3M in 2020 to $6.7M in December 2021.

Currently, their revenue retention sits at 150%. 

Here’s a description of the problem ClickUp solves:

A coaching institute aims to provide entrepreneurs learning tools to put their dreams into action. 

Naturally, it needs to organize e-courses and monthly schedules and handle sudden cancellations, digital downloads, and coaching membership, which can be quite a handful. 

Here’s what the solution looks like:

The coaching institute organizes all its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) using the “Docs” feature on ClickUp. 

It’s an indispensable tool that helps entrepreneurs manage their framework, processes, schedules, emails, notes, and client feedback. 

Organizations can use the “Docs” feature on ClickUp to embed files, level up the note-taking processes, and even take screenshots directly from their Dropbox or Google Drive. 

Additionally, all related data can be found in one place via the “Docs” feature…

And this eliminates storing data on multiple difficult-to-access documents files by integrating all team ideas and information into easy-to-access pages. 

Some of ClickUp's helpful features: 

  • User-friendly ClickUp facilitates complete visibility on the dashboard, providing easy accessibility to all tasks, projects, lists, and space.

  • Filters and Favourites help in the easy running of 'To Do' lists in numerous convenient ways depending on your working style. If you work individually, the 'Favourite' feature will help you better, but the 'Filter' feature will suit you best if you work as a team.

  • The best ClickUp feature is the facility to integrate your email and Calendar (Google), making scheduling and rescheduling simple

  1. Canva


Canva has over 15M users and 0.3M paid subscribers with a valuation of $3.2B. 

They attracted 2M subscribers in their first two years after raising $125M at a funding round. 

Here’s a description of the problem Canva solves:

A magazine is in the first phase of its entrepreneurial journey and needs access to economic software to create attractive presentations, graphics, and images. 

Unfortunately, the founder has no design tools or skills…

So he hires interns but has to find a way to engage them in content creation and work with a team on projects. 

Here’s how Canva solved the problem: 

Canva makes it incredibly simple for beginners with no prior designing skills to breathe life into their work. 

The team can work in one place to collaborate, edit, comment, approve or reject designs and even send feedback — all in real time. 

With the help of Canva, teams can continue to convey a consistent brand message and follow company guidelines on all designs. 

Canva's helpful features includes: 

  • Use Canva's Magic Resizing to affect the total transformation of your designs with a single click. Reshape, resize or apply the custom scaling feature to change a design from what it is to what you want it to be

  • Use the time-saver feature at the bottom of the screen to change the color of the design components to transform them from plain to spectacular. 

  • Canva Pro subscribers can use the Canva brand kits feature on the top right corner of the screen to customize the design by adding your brand color, logos, or fonts.

  • Save hours of creation time by using the wide range of available templates accessible for Canva's Free and Pro subscribers.

  • Canva Pro can use the Backdrop Remover Tool in Canva to remove the background from your image. That will help your experience to complement your vision. Use the Erase and Restore tools to remove stubborn spots.

Understanding The SaaS Customer Journey

user journey map

A customer journey map outlines the steps a prospective customer/paid user takes when interacting with a SaaS product…

As it helps us discover where the SaaS customer experience can be improved and also make the most of important touch points along the SaaS customer journey. 

We critically take into account every stage of the customer lifecycle when developing a SaaS customer journey map…

Because we believe every stage should have a clear definition, including a list of related objectives and possible problems. This assists us in understanding how users engage with the product at every turn and pinpointing any potential trouble spots.

The Key Stages Of a SaaS Customer Journey Map?

Stage 1: Awareness 

This is the stage where prospective customers/users learn about the SaaS brand/product. Then they conduct some research to examine the website, read product reviews, and evaluate alternatives.

Typical touchpoints in this stage include; search engine results, affiliate websites, pay-per-click campaigns, social media marketing, company website, word of mouth, lead magnets like e-books, webinars, and explainer videos.

Stage 2: Acquisition 

This stage is a crucial part of the SaaS customer journey map where potential customers choose to give the product a try, typically after converting from one of the touchpoints mentioned in the awareness stage. 

In SaaS, these prospective customers typically go through onboarding as part of a trial, demo, or free membership tier rather than making a purchase right away. 

Though they aren't paying users yet, we have successfully converted them from prospects. A successful onboarding process is essential to keeping users engaged and persuading them to purchase or renew a subscription at a later time. 

We aim to help users comprehend the product's functionality and the short and long-term benefits it offers by the time they complete the onboarding process.

And it’s important to note that some SaaS customer experiences require one session for onboarding, in more complicated software, the procedure may take many days or even weeks. 

Typical touchpoints in this stage of the SaaS customer journey are; blog, demo request, free trial/freemium tier, account registration and sign-in, and email marketing onboarding series. 

Stage 3: Adoption

This is the stage where we establish the groundwork for a lasting SaaS customer experience with users. We help them develop a usage habit by introducing them to the product's more sophisticated features and use cases. 

Blog posts, emails, videos, notifications, and other prods help us accomplish this, and during this stage, it's also normal to introduce users to a community of other product users.

Typical touchpoints in this stage of the SaaS customer journey are; blogs, app notifications, customer success resources, email series on more advanced usage of the product, how-to videos and webinars, community support, and weekly newsletter on insightful product metrics. 

Stage 4: Renewal/Retention

The SaaS business model is characterized by a subscription-based recurring income stream. The renewal moment is crucial because it gives the customer a chance to change their mind about paying for the software.

The end of a free trial is a crucial stage because, technically, it's not a renewal but rather the first time the user purchases the SaaS subscription, whether they choose to or not. 

We always make sure that intending customers don't run into problems or lose sight of the benefits the product offers. 

In this stage, we meticulously curate the emails, push alerts, and SaaS sales experience to remind free trial users of the advantages of the product, while keeping in mind that not everyone will appreciate an overload of communication.

Typical touchpoints in this stage of the SaaS customer journey are categorized into three parts; pre-purchase, moment of purchase, and post-purchase.

Educational and promotional emails, in-app notifications, and sales representative calls fall under pre-purchase. 

The subscription purchase screen falls under the moment of purchase, and transactional emails and account billing features fall under post-purchase. 

Stage 5: Expansion

At first glance, the expansion stage and its touchpoints mirror the renewal phase. 

However, the SaaS customer experience/SaaS sales experience via these touchpoints is slightly different because the goal is to upsell or cross-sell paid users to ascend them within the customer journey map.  

Offering a more expensive membership tier with additional features, such as a Pro feature package in place of a Basic feature package, is a common SaaS customer journey upsell. 

Making such an offer at the time of subscription renewal is sometimes suitable. Expansion frequently has other catalysts, such as growing the team or using more features. 

And automated upselling systems can also be triggered to further enhance the SaaS customer experience. 

For instance, when customers read particular blog posts or click specific links in emails, we send them automated upsell emails to keep up the conversation in their heads and meet them at their point of need.

As mentioned, touchpoints in this stage of the SaaS customer journey are similar to those of the renewal/retention stage.

Stage 6: Advocacy

It is likely for someone to begin promoting the product to others at any point in the SaaS customer experience. 

However, we usually encourage users to do so after the other phases are finished. 


Because the ideal people to tell others about the product and its benefits are those who have stuck with it this far in the customer journey map since they are the ones who have probably actually bought into it.

Advocacy can be enabled and amplified in several ways. Using in-app features, such as including a social media sharing button or urging users to submit reviews in an app store, is the easiest.

Early in the SaaS customer journey, interactions between advocates and consumers can be sparked by creating a community for the product's users. 

Typical touchpoints in this stage of the SaaS customer journey map are; word-of-mouth (virtual and offline) including reviews, community platforms, referral and ambassador programs, and social sharing options.  

SaaS is one of the sectors with the quickest rate of growth in recent years; by 2024, it is predicted to reach a valuation of USD 232.3 billion. Aside from these astounding numbers, it has never been simple to survive in this intensely competitive climate.

A SaaS company's ability to listen to its clients and their problems is critical to its success. A customer journey map becomes essential for SaaS companies as a result, allowing management to monitor and improve SaaS customer experience and SaaS sales experience.  

As mentioned, a SaaS customer journey map can serve as a guide for enhancing the SaaS customer experience and SaaS sales experience once it has been built.

This could entail making adjustments to the product or the way we promote and sell it. We make sure users get the greatest SaaS customer experience possible at every stage of the process by knowing their path.

By doing this, we can comprehend the wants of the customer and how the service or product may assist them in meeting those needs.

We can also pinpoint possible areas where the customers' experiences could be enhanced and implement the required adjustments to make them so.

By outlining the SaaS customer journey, we make the SaaS customer experience more smooth and effective, which will boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Creating a SaaS Customer Journey Map

saas customer journey
  1. Establish Objectives

 With the customer journey map, we always ask ourselves…

What are we expecting to achieve? Establishing a clear objective will enable us to choose the appropriate data to gather and the best way to analyze it.

For example, clear objectives could be:

  • Simplifying the uptake of products to ensure that users utilize all significant features

  • Creating a seamless, ongoing onboarding procedure that boosts client retention

  • Enhancing the customer experience at a certain point

  • Lowering the churn rate by offering prompt, courteous self-service and customer support. 

  1. Create Personas

User profiles in SaaS companies can differ greatly.

To determine each potential buyer profile, we perform in-depth research on the SaaS customer journey. 

Creating thorough user profiles for each category is essential because it helps us get a better understanding of the market and steer clear of any errors or lost opportunities that could end up costing us important clients.

  1. Determine The Key Stages of the Customer Journey Map

  1.  Identify Touchpoints for Every Stage of the Customer Journey Map

We determine the key moments at which consumers relate to a brand to create a consistent SaaS customer experience over a variety of media. 

Enhancing the consumer experience when they connect with that page or product requires the creation of customer journey touchpoints. 

SaaS customer journey touchpoints include things like the product itself, a sign-up form, and CTAs on the brand’s landing page. 

Consider other online avenues via which people may find the brand like social media networks, third-party websites, email marketing, and paid advertisements.

  1.  Create a Cyclical Map

Because a positive SaaS customer experience is cyclical, we build the entire customer journey map from free trial to renewal/retention, rather than focusing on a path that starts when customers learn about the product and ends when they buy it.

We also keep an eye out for users' post-purchase actions, such as ongoing updates and onboarding. It helps us comprehend how to support customers once they purchase the product and move them toward advocacy or retention.

  1.  Make the Required Adjustments After Taking the SaaS Customer Journey Map.

We’re usually able to determine where the needs of users are not being met by taking the SaaS customer journey map ourselves. 

Doing this ensures we provide a useful experience and prove that people can find solutions to their problems with the aid of the product. 

We make an effort to track every step the purchasing personas take, such as their emails, site searches, and social media posts.

This helps to determine what kind of software we need based on the data analysis. After that, we make changes to the website to achieve our goals. 

For example; It can be quite beneficial to write more thorough product descriptions or to create checkout processes that are easier to understand.

Optimizing the SaaS Customer Journey

According to a recent report, businesses are now prioritizing customer retention over new user acquisition to drive long-term growth. And since SaaS businesses are no different, the best way to drive user retention is to optimize the customer journey map.

Here are three ways to optimize the customer journey map:

  1.  Determine What Needs To Be Improved Based on the User Journey Stage.

To come up with solutions for the problems we found at each stage of the SaaS customer experience, we leverage the data from product analytics…

And consider possible upgrades and fixes that could enhance the SaaS customer experience and produce better results at every turn. To properly address pain points, we also take into account both little adjustments and major adjustments.

For example, how would we respond if we found that a significant portion of users weren’t using the product to complete the intended action?

Here are a few action plans we’d consider:

  • Cut down on the training processes (but make them mandatory)

  • Include tooltips to help users learn about the product's features

  • Enhance the SaaS customer journey with greater ease and clarity 

  • Send email campaigns or tailored notifications to remind consumers of unused features

  1.  Give Optimization Opportunities First Priority.

Prioritizing our list of potential fixes for the customer journey map’s identified pain points is necessary after we've created one.

Remember that even if a modification has less of an immediate impact, it can still be required for future advancements (and it might even work better in concert with other optimizations). We make sure our priorities are balanced appropriately.

  1.  Continue to Observe and Refine

Optimizing the SaaS customer journey is a journey that never ends. 

To evaluate the effectiveness of the improvements, we keep an eye on user behavior and engagement after installation. To further improve the SaaS customer experience, we also encourage input from users via surveys, interviews, or review channels.

Measuring SaaS Customer Journey Map Success

  1. Customer Retention Retention

The proportion that indicates how many users a SaaS brand keeps over a given time frame (such as a quarter or year) is known as the customer retention rate. 

A smaller percentage can suggest problems with one’s business model, service, or product. 

By deducting the total number of customers at the end of a period from the total number of customers gained throughout a period and then dividing the remaining amount by the total number of clients at the beginning of the time frame. 

To get the percentage, multiply by 100. 

  1. Churn in Customers 

The percentage of users a SaaS brand loses in a specific period is displayed by the customer churn rate, which is the opposite of the customer retention rate. 

Calculate the customer retention rate with…

Lost customers during the period divided customers at the start of the period. Then multiply by 100 to get the percentage. 

  1. Customer Satisfaction Score 

Many businesses employ a brief survey that asks users to provide a basic numerical rating (typically 1–5) or 1–10, depending on how satisfied they are with a feature, purchase, or interaction. Because it is simple to use and quick for users, this is well-liked and efficient.

Calculate the customer satisfaction score from survey results by dividing positive responses by total responses multiplied by 100. 

  1. Product Adoption

Churn can be predicted by keeping an eye on how frequently a product is used. 

Product adoption can be measured in a variety of ways. 

We gauge how well a product is being used by looking at the percentage of users who reach important software milestones, like launching an email campaign, or by looking at monthly and daily active users. 

  1. Customer lifetime value (CLV) 

Customer lifetime value is an estimate of the total revenue a company will earn from a customer over its account lifecycle. 

For example, a $500,000 annual contract over 10 years equals a $5,000,000 CLV. this metric helps companies estimate the ROI of customer acquisition and customer success initiatives. 

  1. Net Revenue Retention (NRR) 

To examine the proportion of revenue kept from one period to the next, net revenue retention is examined in addition to the number of customers retained.  

To present a more complex picture of recurring revenue development through retention, cross-sells, and upsells, NRR takes cancellations, upgrades, and downgrades into account.

Exploring Real-Life SaaS Customer Journey Examples: Insights from Leading Companies

In the dynamic world of SaaS marketing, understanding the customer journey is paramount. Successful SaaS companies recognize that every interaction matters, from the first touchpoint to becoming loyal advocates. Let’s delve into some real-life examples of SaaS customer journeys, highlighting key insights and strategies.

1. Salesforce: Elevating Customer Relationships

Salesforce, a trailblazer in cloud-based CRM, faced the challenge of providing a unified platform for businesses to manage customer relationships.

Salesforce Customer Journey:

a. Awareness:

   - Potential customers become aware of Salesforce through social media, social or search ads, industry events, or referral from friends.

   - Salesforce establishes brand presence through online content, webinars, and community engagement.

b. Consideration:

   - Prospective clients visit Salesforce's website to learn about Salesforce features and benefits and it can help solve specific issues they have.

   - Prospective clients subscribe for Salesforce 30 day free trial and demos, allowing them to experience Salesforce.

c. Decision:

   - Salesforce upsell free trial users to a paid plan based on their positive trial experience.

   - Sales representatives follow up with newly converted paid customers to address specific needs and provide tailored solutions.

d. Onboarding:

   - Salesforce guides customers through onboarding processes, ensuring smooth integration into their workflows.

   - Salesforce provides training resources, documentation, and customer support to help users become proficient in utilizing the platform.

e. Engagement:

   - Regular communication keeps customers informed about updates, new features, and best practices.

   - Salesforce invites users to communities and events, fostering a sense of belonging.

f. Advocacy:

   - Satisfied customers become advocates, sharing success stories and recommending Salesforce to peers.

   - Salesforce may incentivize advocacy through referral programs or recognition in their community.

2. Zoom: Pioneering Virtual Collaboration

Zoom recognized the need for a seamless virtual communication solution, especially in an increasingly remote working world.

Zoom Customer Journey: 

a. Awareness:

   - Zoom becomes more popular as remote work becomes more popular.

   -  Zoom has built in virality because all participants of meetings hosted on Zoom have to download the application or atleast visit their website to join a meeting. This helps become viral quicker and get more downloads.

b. Consideration:

   - Individuals and businesses explore Zoom's website, discovering its user-friendly features.

   - Zoom offers users limited free plans to allow them to experience the software.

c. Decision:

   - Users decide to upgrade to premium plans based on positive experiences and increased meeting requirements.

   - Zoom offers scalable plans suitable for various user needs.

d. Onboarding:

   - Customer support assists in technical setup, ensuring a smooth transition to premium features.

e. Engagement:

   - Regular updates and feature enhancements keep users engaged and informed.

   - Zoom fosters a community by hosting virtual events, webinars, and forums for users to share experiences.

f. Advocacy:

   - Zoom benefits from widespread advocacy as users recommend the platform for its reliability and simplicity.

   - Zoom features success stories in marketing campaigns and communications to attract more people to itself.

3. Mailchimp: Democratizing Email Marketing

Mailchimp set out to make email marketing accessible to businesses of all sizes, overcoming the complexity and high costs associated with traditional solutions.

MailChimp Customer Journey: 

a. Awareness:

   - Small businesses and marketers discover Mailchimp through online searches, recommendations, and industry affiliations.

   - Mailchimp establishes a strong online presence through educational content and social media.

b. Consideration:

   - Users explore Mailchimp's website, learning about its user-friendly email marketing tools.

   - The platform offers a free tier for users to test its features and capabilities.

c. Decision:

   - Businesses decide to upgrade to paid plans based on the success of their email campaigns and the need for advanced features.

   - Mailchimp's tiered subscription model allows users to choose plans that suit their growing requirements.

d. Onboarding:

   - Mailchimp provides resources, tutorials, and support to guide users through the email campaign setup process.

   - Integration with e-commerce platforms and other tools is seamless.

e. Engagement:

   - Regular newsletters and blog content keep users informed about industry trends and best practices.

   - Mailchimp encourages engagement through user feedback surveys and community forums.

f. Advocacy:

   - Successful email campaigns lead to customer advocacy, with businesses sharing their positive experiences with Mailchimp.

   - Testimonials and case studies may be featured in marketing materials.

Understanding these step-by-step customer journeys can offer valuable insights into how these SaaS companies strategically guide users from awareness to advocacy, fostering long-term relationships and business success.

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