When it comes to SaaS businesses, decreasing churn is always a primary concern. If you want your business to succeed, it’s crucial that the people who start using your service keep using it – if not, you’ll never grow.
There are plenty of reasons that churn happens:
- Your onboarding sucks
- You’ve got no plan for ongoing customer success
- You aren’t providing adequate customer support
- Your competitors are doing a better job at the same thing
- You’re signing up the wrong people
- Your service isn’t seen as a priority
- You haven’t won over the entire organization (B2B specific)
- Your product has bugs or inefficiencies that turn people off
Your customers will decide to stop using your product for countless reasons, but the ones mentioned above are the most common.
Many experts, however, say that the easiest way a SaaS business can have a massive, positive impact on their churn rate is to get back to basics, and focus on customer success.
If you want to keep your customers, you’ve got to set them up for success. Most of the churn reasons above can be linked directly to customer success, believe it or not.
If you want to position your service to ensure that the likelihood for customer success is as high as possible, there are a few foundational things you need to get right.
For starters – are you attracting the right customers? It’s essential that you’re attracting customers who have the potential for success with your product or service.
Second, does your onboarding process move your customers toward their desired outcome? The point of onboarding is to help your customers be successful with your product – is your process giving them exactly what they need to accomplish their goals? Understanding your customer is one thing, but understanding what their ideal outcome is will be a separate issue.
Lastly, does your onboarding process trigger red flags for potential success issues? Your onboarding process should be continually optimized to ensure you’re filling in any gaps, and using this process to ensure your customers are successful and reach their desired outcomes with your product or service.
Focusing on customer success means you do the work to attract the right customers and use your onboarding process to its maximum potential. Your onboarding process (and the continued optimization of it) will be one of the key pillars to helping your customers achieve their desired outcomes and reducing churn.
Once you’ve addressed the main customer success components, there are a few other aspects you’ll want to dig into.
Take a step back and figure out why your loyal customers are staying. What are you giving them that is so spectacular? Knowing what your strengths are will help you continue to grow on those core elements, and also help you to better understand your customers. When pushing through difficult times, it can be more affordable to work on expanding your strengths than trying to tackle your weaknesses.
Lastly, figure out why people are leaving. You probably can’t fill every gap right away, but prioritize your list and start taking a serious look at your own gaps, and address them one by one. A strategic, steady approach can seem slow, but it’s much more sustainable.
The main lesson here is that when you need to decrease churn, start with analyzing your customer success process to ensure you’re giving your customers what they need to be successful with your product or service. Everything else is secondary!