A proactive approach to churn | CompanyCam's Kelly Danahy
Nov 10 2021
It matters what you’re saying when a customer churns, but it also matters when you get to them. As soon as a customer churns, get to them as fast as you can. Just as with sales, the sooner you start the conversation, the better. In the case of CompanyCam, they track why customers leave so they can have a game plan. If you do the same, you’ll see a boost in retention.
On today’s episode of Retention Talk, I speak with Kelly Danahy, Sales Director at CompanyCam. We talked about being proactive with customer success, small wins adding up, and having a cross-functional approach to retention.
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Key points discussed in the episode
Find a way to track your customers’ usage. Whenever they might be dropping off and whatever usage metric is important for them sticking around... If that starts failing, get customer success on that and get them using the feature again.”
– Kelly Danahy
Be proactive when it comes to customer success
You improve what you measure and CompanyCam has been disciplined about tracking and optimizing metrics throughout the entire funnel.
Small wins matter.
There are a number of tactics they have experimented and improved overtime from driving better email campaigns to even optimizing their upsell to an annual plan
Have a cross-functional approach
Above everything else, a cross-functional approach is crucial to retention and it shouldn’t just be up to customer success. Aligning sales, marketing, and even product gives CompanyCam a holistic approach to making sure customers succeed.
Metrics are incredibly important to track—anything from the health of your business to the movement of customers. There are several categories of product metrics that can provide helpful information about various aspects of your business. While we offer a free comprehensive product that puts all of your subscription reporting in one place, here are the most common product metrics you can track:
1. Align team incentives around retention
What does that look like in practice?
For sales teams: Limit by geographical area or industry vertical the number of prospects each salesperson is responsible for, and modify commission structures so sales teams receive some percentage only after customers stick around. This keeps sales staff from running through leads too quickly.
For marketing teams: Focus on lead quality over volume. Instead of tracking the number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs), try tracking the number of sales qualified leads (SQLs) as a success metric. Also, integrate more closely with sales by embedding business development reps on the marketing team to better qualify leads.
For product teams: Make sure product managers have direct and open access to speak with customers. Without direct feedback, product improvements will be haphazard and, ultimately, won’t help retain customers.
2. Make onboarding your top priority
An effective customer onboarding process can make or break a customer’s decision to stick with your product. If your software isn’t intuitive and customers can't find value in it, they will quickly flee.
Most companies put more effort into improving long-term retention—but it turns out that improving early retention through better onboarding cascades into the rest of your customer life cycle, creating ongoing retention gains.
3. Engage with customers to help them succeed
Make sure you’re communicating with customers across multiple channels. In-app notifications target customers when they're actually receiving value and don't require switching programs, catching them in the right place at the right time. Phone calls are especially important for retaining large-ACV, enterprise-level customers. And SMS messages can be used very close to a customers' contract expiration date to drive immediate attention.
4. Deliver exceptional customer support
The best ways to combat churn with exceptional customer service? Be proactive. Look for patterns that might indicate customers are having trouble—recurring support tickets for the same problem, or customers having lots of tickets that remain unresolved. For every ticket, see if there’s an opportunity to proactively monitor for that kind of problem in the future, and either prevent it from happening in the first place or address it more quickly.
5. Optimize your pricing to promote retention
Optimizing your pricing to balance value with profit can have a huge effect on your company’s success, from sales and marketing to retention and profitability. Even though most companies only ever spend a handful of hours on their pricing strategy, your pricing gives you a number of levers you can pull to improve retention.
ProfitWell can help you create a value-based pricing strategy that maximizes both customer satisfaction and profit.
6. Know your metrics and choose the right tools
Tools and metrics can’t fix your churn problem, but they can take care of a lot of heavy lifting for you: