Desired Outcome is a Transformative Concept

desired-outcome-transformativeOne of the most powerful concepts I’ve ever come across in business is the idea of the customer’s Desired Outcome.

And if you’re thinking “one of the most powerful concepts in business” seems like a pretty hefty charge, you’re right; this concept has transformational properties.

When I first introduced Desired Outcome, I explained that this idea came about as a simple replacement for “what does Success mean to your customer?”

But it’s so much more than that… let’s dig in a bit.

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The Seeds of Churn are Planted Early

seeds-of-churn-are-planted-early“The Seeds of Churn are Planted Early” is a phrase I came up with in early 2013, published shortly thereafter, and have said and used many times since.

I wanted to go on record with that – BTW, if you see the term’s use outside of my work or that of Gainsight’s, maybe send them this link – but I also wanted to give the origin story of this powerful Customer Success concept.

It was late December 2012 when the CEO of a startup that had a major churn problem contacted me.

They were losing far more customers than they were bringing in – and they were bringing in a lot of customers – and he knew this was clearly not sustainable; I could tell he was worried.

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5 Situations When Massive Churn is Just Fine

5 Situations When Massive Churn is Just Fine

The mantra of "grow at all costs" - that seems to include acquiring wrong-fit customers (those who aren't your Ideal Customers), churn be damned - has popped up several times lately and my reaction to it is two-fold.First, I immediately thought … [Continue reading]

5 Lesser-Known Ways Churn Hurts your Company

5 Lesser-Known Ways Churn Hurts your Company

The common refrain by SaaS experts that think business is just a math problem is that if a customer stays long enough to pay back the cost to acquire them (the metric is called Customer Acquisition Cost or CAC), they became a "profitable" customer … [Continue reading]

Podcast: Getting Inside the Minds of Your SaaS Customers


How do you define success for your SaaS customers?While it sounds simple, it’s not.Success is only achieved when your customers reach their Desired Outcome by their interactions with your company.But first, you have to understand what it … [Continue reading]

The Fiction that Friction Improves Customer Onboarding

The Fiction that Friction Improves

A few months back an article was published that talked about how this popular brain training game (I can't remember what it's called) made their onboarding process MORE complex - not less - and increased their active users by 10%.While the … [Continue reading]

Customer Psychology and the Wasted Power of Surveys

Customer Psychology and the Wasted Power of Surveys

Surveys can be dangerous if used wrong, but can be super-powerful if used correctly!Whether it's the Net Promoter System to gauge customer satisfaction, doing pre-launch customer development work for your startup, or one of the myriad methods we … [Continue reading]

How Social Proof Actually Works in Marketing

How Social Proof Actually Works in Marketing

I'm not a psychologist, but I play one every day as I try to figure out why people (users, customers, visitors, etc.) do what they do... and how to get them to do more of what I want them to do.I spend a lot more time reading books about - and … [Continue reading]

Customer Success Starts at Sales Done Right

Greg Pietruszynski - CEO - Growbots

After getting a demo of their new product from their Chief Data Officer (Luke Deka) while I was in Poland, I was excited to catch-up with Greg Pietruszynski, CEO of Growbots, when I got back to San Francisco.We talked about lots of different … [Continue reading]

Achieve Network Effect on a Smaller Scale

Piotr Zaniewicz - Right Hello

I was talking to my friend Piotr Zaniewicz the other day about the importance of network effects on SaaS businesses.I mentioned how the common misconception around network effects is that, in order to achieve a real network effect (this is the … [Continue reading]