5 Keys to Retaining your Customers

November 24, 2014 Paul Chilensky

Retaining your Customers

Retaining your Customers is and will always be a key concern with any SaaS company and implementing best practices will become pillars for a successful organization.

I have listed 5 key areas I believe will provide a solid footprint as you start to form your own best practices.  As you implement, keep in mind the saying “walk the talk don’t just talk the talk”.  You must continuously execute around your best practices to be successful.

Expectations – Proper setting of customer expectations becomes the starting point for retention.  This usually starts in the sales process so ensure your Customer Success organization works closely with the sales group to set proper expectations. Eventually the Customer Success team will be managing the customer’s success criteria so early engagement is critical.

Success – It has been said many times a happy customer is not the end all and be all.  You must ensure the customer is successful with your product and achieving the expectations that have been set.  Success will come in many forms however keep an eye on the service you are providing and product benefits they are receiving.

Feedback – Don’t allow your customer to be on an island.  Solicit feedback on a regular basis and most importantly ensure you are following up with your customers. The biggest turn off is when a customer takes the time to provide feedback and they never hear back. The voice of the customer is priceless and brings value across all internal departments.

Relationship – You must instill the human element with your customer interactions. Today there are many technologies available to support and monitor your customer base however don’t assume you can get away without a personal relationship. The challenge is how to achieve this with limited staff or budget. I suggest your large enterprise accounts are visited on a frequent basis and managing your smaller accounts via other forms of personal engagement such as emails or virtual meetings, where you still have a human touch with the customer.

Churn Reviews – Customers who have cancelled their subscription should be reviewed on a regular basis.  Consider creating churn buckets for collection and categorizing.  Key areas to watch closely are around product benefits, service quality and cost vs value. There are many good articles on churn so take the time to investigate what will work best for your organization.

This is a starting point. It’s important to recognize that each of these areas will be expanded and refined as your business and Customer Success organization matures. But as it does mature, don’t lose sight of them – keep them at the forefront to continually build around your best practices.


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