Keeping old customers is just as important as gaining new ones. If your churn rate is too high, you’re wasting valuable time and money.
To help you improve, here are 10 things entrepreneurs from YEC have done to improve their churn rates in the last six months—that may also prove useful for your company.
Reminders and Notifications
Splitting “Hunters” and “Farmers”
In B2B SaaS businesses, generally you have either combined hunter/farmer reps who win new business and then nurture it; or you have split sales reps (hunters) and customer success managers (farmers). The correct model depends on many different factors. We found that switching our model (to split hunters and farmers) made an immediate and strong positive impact on both churn rate and up-sells.
Practice Empathy to Improve Standards
I would say we’re constantly striving to improve our standards. Those standards are defined from the client’s perspective — what do they care about? We’re more empathetic to them and constantly work to improve our standards. Over the long run that’s what has made the biggest impact on reducing churn. I’m incredibly appreciative that we tend to keep clients for life because of this.
Identifying and Focusing on the Right Customers
By really focusing on our ideal audience, we aren’t wasting valuable time and resources catering to and trying to win over people the product isn’t for. Our target audience gets more value out of the product, we get more useful feedback, and it reduces our churn. It’s not about trying toget everyone possible to use the product, because they will pull you in all the wrong directions.
Personal Emails From the CEO
We automatically send out personal messages from my email address to each user at different points in their life cycle. These emails ask for feedback, if the user has any questions, and more. Not only have we received fantastic feedback, but we’ve re-engaged a tremendous number of users for the simple fact that we aren’t afraid to build relationships with our customers.
We performed what we called a Golden Motion Analysis, which revealed customer behaviors that make our product stick. This analysis used information about customers who stayed, customers who didn’t and what differed between them. Once we knew the Golden Motions that led people to stay, we introduced guided tours that helped customers adopt those behaviors.
A Department for Customer Success
We formed a department that operates on an island, in that it doesn’t report to sales or services. I have some oversight but ultimately it has autonomy. Its sole charge is to get the client what they paid for. We believe in hyper–value and want to make sure our clients get it. Customer Success Directors, as they are called, benchmark our progress against our SOW and in terms of revenue.
We’ve made it a point to call all customers who don’t move forward with our service, as well as those who do to learn about their experience. We’re genuinely interested in what’s working and what isn’t, and that’s helped us improve our product.
Constantly Improve the Product
It’s both a blessing and a curse to be an early stage software company. We had early alpha testers and prospects turn us down because our product didn’t meet their needs yet. We make sure to check in with those prospects about improvements to our product, even if it’s months later. Because our product is developing so quickly, many are interested the second time around.
Letters From the Founder
I try to reach out to all of our partners regularly. But I don’t reach out just because it’s the right thing to do. I reach out because I genuinely care about our partnership and helping their organizations grow. I think that genuine care always shines through. That’s why it’s so important to do something you love. It’s always easy to provide great client service if you love what you’re doing!
Featured Image: Oberon sk via Shutterstock