Customer Success is all about making your customer successful with your product and reducing churn, but sometimes churn is inevitable. Many articles were written on how to reduce churn, some even claim to provide ‘proven’ recipes for “preventing” churn. We’ve grabbed Chilik Hochberg for a chat on what he thinks are the ongoing strategies that could help navigating churn, if it eventually occurs.
#1 Build good and strong relationships with your customers
Strong, successful and personal relationships with your customers are key to minimizing churn and maximizing the value of your partnerships. It is important to have close relationships with your main champion and the account decision makers, but it is not less important to widen the number of contacts within your customer.
The obvious is, of course, leveraging these relationships to understand any potential churn risk or foreseen change to your customer’s business, strategy or personnel.
Having a widened chain of communication within your customer account could help leverage users or super users of your service to impact decision makers to change their mind.
Having a strong relationship with the right people in your customer organization, will also make it more likely for them to help you navigate within the customer organization, in case they leave, or one of the main stakeholder leaves - a thing that would normally create a churn risk.
If churn does happen, good relations can help you receive candid feedback and better understanding of the real reason - what worked and whatnot and help you and your organization to improve and reduce the risk of other customers churning from the same reason.
And last but not least, if churned occurred because of lack of adoption, lack of priority or other business related reason, your strong relationship could still be leveraged for future business (incase the customer wants to come back) and/or referrals to other potential customers - business may stop but good relationship are likely to stay.
#2 Always make sure to give the best service & support
Customer support shouldn't be taken for granted. It is fair to say that there are many good products out there. In a competitive market, a company's support level can be a key factor in attracting and retaining customers. You should always provide excellent support and quick responses and resolutions
Doing so will not only help customers get the most out of your product or service, but could also serve as the weight for a churn decision. Remember that, especially in SaaS, it is not only about the product, but also about the service and people supporting it. In an event of churn, customers may remember the good service they had, even if they decided to churn, and will return a favor to provide feedback, or even a good review.
#3 Customers asking to churn are not your enemy
Customers may ask to leave your service, or downgrade for many reasons - it is not personal. Listening to the reasons, showing empathy and being creative in finding ways to help them - will score you points. After all, they may still be your promoters after they churn. A customer asking to churn due to a short budget, could very well stay if you show more flexible payment terms. While this may heart the company’s cash flow, it may keep the logo and ARR
Temporary upgrade packages may help close a renewal for an hesitant customer. Yes, you may risk opening a Pandora box, but you may still create an opportunity for more adoption and potential future upsell.
Lastly, by helping your customer depart nicely - you may lose them, but they may remember it for you later :)
Taking a proactive approach as part of your ongoing Customer Success activities, may not only help to prevent churn and expand your customers adoption and footprint, but will also help navigate churn, if it happens.
Building the right relationships, making sure to provide state-of-the-art service and listening and being creative, will ensure a positive impact on your business in an event of churn. With today's market slowdown, acquiring new customers can be challenging, making it even more important to focus on strategies that help retain existing customers. By taking the time to get to know your customers and tapping into their expertise, you can continuously improve and evolve your product or service to meet their needs and preferences, ultimately leading to long-term growth for your business.
About Rookout: Rookout is a developer-first observability platform that provides an unparalleled ability to collect any piece of data - including logs, traces, and metrics - from the deepest levels of live code in their production environments, with the click of a button. Unlike traditional monitoring tools and APMs, which tend to focus on metrics that DevOps engineers and SREs care about on the infrastructure level, Rookout is built from the ground up for developers, who care more about the actual code and business logic of their applications.