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The two buckets of churn | Close's Liz Stephany

Neel Desai Feb 9 2022

There will always be churn that is unavoidable. Being able to determine what buckets to put your churn into, however, will dictate how you treat that customer. While not all churn is avoidable, you can still attempt to recover customers, after the fact, if you have the right tools.

On today's episode of Retention Talk, I speak with Liz Stephany, Director of Customer Success at Close. We talk about eating your own dog food, learning from customer feedback, and putting churn into two buckets: avoidable churn and unavoidable churn.

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Show takeaways

Key points discussed in the episode


We've really iterated over time, but I think the foundation of retention, as a whole, at our company has always been talking with our customers—listening very closely.”                                                                                                                                                –

Liz Stephany

Eating your own dog food

It’s essential to know how your products work from a customer perspective. At Close, Stephany says that the sales and CS team both use the product on a day-to-day basis. It’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of your customers when you're already there in the first place.


Learning from customer feedback

When you listen to your customer, you will no longer have to wonder what is wrong with your product or how you can make them stay. They'll proactively point out the areas in your product that they want improved. The key, however, is to act on that feedback, not just write it down.


Segmenting churn

There are two buckets you can put churn into: avoidable churn and unavoidable churn. If you’ve done your offboarding properly, you’ll know if a customer left due to a reason that is within your control or not. Focusing on responses you get from surveys that contain something like a lack of a feature request, an adoption issue, and so on, will empower you to observe fixable trends to give retention a boost.


Take Action:

Want to go deeper? There's a lot you can do to analyze your churn further. The following steps  will help you get started on conducting your own in-depth churn analysis.


1. Predict your churn

A useful solution will be able to predict the most likely causes of churn and flag any customers at risk. For example, how much of your churn is coming from simple credit card delinquencies, or how much of it is coming from that poorly strategized onboarding process.


2. Analyze your pricing tiers

Pricing is fundamental. Incorrectly setting price points and packaging products in the wrong tiers can lead even a company with a great product to underperform and to a higher than necessary churn rate.

Appropriate pricing tiers are fundamental for conversions as well as minimal churn. Ensure that your tiers are focused on buyer personas, not your own perceptions of your features.


3. Get metrics like ARPU, MRR, and ARR

Understanding churn is essential because of the effect churn can have on other key metrics. Choosing a solution like ProfitWell Retain, our churn reduction software, for your customer retention analysis will show you exactly how the pieces all fit together to build user retention, reduce churn, and maintain engagement.

Read Customer churn analysis: One of SaaS’ most important processes, to get all the deets on  conducting an in-depth churn analysis: 


If you’d like more insight into your own retention—or even a free retention audit where we can benchmark you with actual relevant data—reach out to me at


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This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.


By Neel Desai

Product Lead, ProfitWell

Subscription market insights you won't find anywhere else.