NRR Panic: The Rollercoaster Ride You Never Saw Coming

NRR is tanking. The “North Star” is falling!

Time to panic? Yes.

Unless you understand what’s really going on.

NRR Defined

Net Revenue Retention – NRR – is the percentage of revenue retained from existing customers in a defined time period, including Expansion, Contraction, and Churn. Also called Net Dollar Retention or NDR.

When NRR is going up, it’s a great metric that everyone wants to talk about.

When it’s going down, it’s a lagging indicator that’s useles

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Motivation vs. Discipline: How Knowing the Difference Skyrockets Customer Engagement

When you’re working with customers, whatever your role (CSM, Sales, Account Management, Consultant, etc.), you may find yourself acting as a coach.

To be an effective coach, you need to strike the right balance between motivation and discipline.

Which means we need to explore the differences between motivation and discipline, and how to apply them effectively to engage your human customers.

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Why CSM Positioning is so Important (and How to Fix it)

The customer’s perception of why the Customer Success Manager (CSM) exists in their world, and how the CSM is distinguished from other Individual Contributors (ICs) and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) the customer will work with, is called … [Continue reading]

Customer Status: The Hidden Motivator You Can’t Ignore

In Customer Success we're always concerned with the status of our customers. We keep track of their health score, their adoption velocity, usage, satisfaction, and other metrics that tell us whether or not they're successful. And while all of that is … [Continue reading]

The Power of Curiosity in Customer Success

As a Customer Success Manager (CSM), it's easy to fall into the trap of just going through the motions with your customers. You have a list of tasks to complete, metrics to track, and goals to achieve. But what if I told you that being curious could … [Continue reading]

Creating Customer Success Playbooks with ChatGPT

Customer Success is always under pressure to optimize (and reduce the expense of) everything. Many people see ChatGPT as a way to streamline Customer Success processes like preparing for customer meetings or  literally creating those processes … [Continue reading]

ChatGPT or Bing: Which AI Tool is Best for Customer Success

Generative Artificial intelligence (AI) like ChatGPT - and now Bing Chat - is transforming the way we communicate and work, especially in Customer Success. These AI-powered tools offer unique benefits to Customer Success Managers (CSMs) and … [Continue reading]

Customer Success Pros: Stay Ahead of the Game with ChatGPT

As a Customer Success professional looking to stay relevant in your field and be the best at what you do, one emerging tool that you need to be aware of - and start using - is ChatGPT. ChatGTP is a powerful AI program that has the potential to … [Continue reading]

ChatGPT in Customer Success: Generative Output to Desired Outcome

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, is a powerful technology that has revolutionized the way we approach various fields, including writing, coding, music composition, and even Customer Success. ChatGPT uses artificial intelligence to generate high-quality … [Continue reading]

Stop Teaching Your Customers to Ignore You! A Guide to Effective Customer Engagement

Customer Engagement still relies on email as the primary channel for most businesses. But what happens when the emails you send are ineffective, causing decreased opens and interactions, increased unsubscribes, and a tarnished sender … [Continue reading]

ChatGPT is a Customer Success Game-Changer

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT are super-powerful, but how is it actually useful to you in Customer Success on a daily basis? When it comes to AI like ChatGPT, everything starts with understanding Prompt Engineering. I like to remind people that AI … [Continue reading]

Growth Unlocked: The Key to Exponential Account Expansion

Expansion - not simple renewal - is the ultimate indicator of a successful customer. There’s a way to handle expansion (upselling, cross-selling, land-and-expand, etc.) that results in limited, incremental growth in customer account value. And … [Continue reading]

Customer Success: Defined (Winter 2023 Update)

Customer Success is one of the most valuable concepts in business and is constantly evolving. The more contact the ideas and concepts underlying Customer Success have with customers, the more learning occurs and the more those things evolve. This … [Continue reading]

Stop Confusing Free Trials and Onboarding (It’s Costing You Customers)

Prospective customers use Free Trials as an opportunity to see if your product is right for them before they buy. Customer Onboarding is the process a new customer goes through to get up and running with your product after they buy. If you … [Continue reading]

The Importance of Consistency in Customer Success Management

World-class Customer Success leaders understand the value of predictable results for their organization, so they evangelize, prioritize, and even incentivize Consistency with their team. They coach their CSMs and Managers to be consistent. They … [Continue reading]

The Real Reason Your Company Invests in Customer Success

Customer Success is there to make your customers happy, right? No. It’s actually not even to make customers successful. Let me explain. The people in charge of your company - the Executives, Board, and Investors - want to improve a metric called NRR … [Continue reading]

Customers Hate These 3 Things (and How to Avoid Them)

Disclaimer: The following assumes your customers are humans. Don’t get me wrong, customers dislike A LOT of things. But there are three things that elicit such a deep, visceral response that the only applicable word is hate. Strong word, but strong … [Continue reading]

The 5 Secrets of World-class Customer Success Managers

Having worked with hundreds of companies of different sizes, funding stages, and Customer Success maturity, around the world, I've boiled down what I believe are the five “secrets” of World-class CSMs. This is specifically about CSMs that are … [Continue reading]

Customer Onboarding: How to Design and Implement an Effective Onboarding Process

  The phase of the customer lifecycle that gets the most attention is Customer Onboarding, yet ironically (or tragically), most people fail to understand what onboarding really is, and few do it well.   And even though Onboarding is … [Continue reading]

Eliminate Churn Forever in 5 Simple Steps

Churn... ya boring. Yawn. Time to move on. I'm so over talking about churn and if you really understand what Customer Success is all about, you should be, too. Churn is so easy to get rid of... you just have to do five simple things. If churn is a … [Continue reading]

Customer Success: The Lost Art of Churn Reason Analysis

It’s critical to understand why your customers churn, but if you’re relying solely on the reason the customer gives you for that churn, you’re definitely missing the actual reason. 'Churn Reason' analysis, like most things in Customer Success, is … [Continue reading]

Customer Success: How to Quantify the Impact of Bad-fit Customers

What's the cost of working with Bad-fit Customers? Everything rolls-up to dollars… time and other resources - and even the negative sentiment in the market caused by churning-and-burning customers - all have an associated monetary value. For those … [Continue reading]

Designing a Sales-to-CSM Handoff that Actually Works

The best place to set our relationship with the customer up for huge success - on both sides - is right at the beginning, and it doesn’t get much earlier than the Sales-to-CSM Handoff. Of course, the Sales-to-CSM Handoff is also where companies can … [Continue reading]

What is a good SaaS Churn Rate?

Is 5% a good monthly SaaS Churn Rate? Read on to learn the answer... As a consultant to SaaS and Cloud providers that are looking to grow, I get asked what an acceptable SaaS churn rate is all the time. This article was originally written in 2013 and … [Continue reading]

Customer Success: CSM Capacity Planning Guide & Calculator

How many Customer Success Managers (CSMs) do we need to give our customers their Appropriate Experience (AX)? What happens if we ramp sales? What happens if a bunch of customers upgrade? Downgrade? How much excess capacity do our current CSMs … [Continue reading]

Achieve Exponential Growth by Focusing on CAC Efficiency

Companies struggling with growth are the ones that try to figure out how to spend as little as possible to acquire customers. The companies growing like crazy have figured out it's not about how much you spend, but the efficiency of that spend. They … [Continue reading]

TTFV as a Sales KPI to Drive Engagement and Expansion

Time to First Value (TTFV) is a commonly used Customer Engagement metric to measure the efficiency of the customer Onboarding process, but not generally a Sales KPI. But it should be. How can we hold Sales accountable for the customers they bring in … [Continue reading]

Time to First Value (TTFV) is a Customer Onboarding Goal

Time to First Value (TTFV) is a commonly used Customer Engagement metric to measure the efficiency of the customer Onboarding process. Unfortunately, the way this metric is used is almost always wrong. Time to First Value (TTFV) is the amount of time … [Continue reading]

Customer Onboarding: AHA! or WTF?

You think the AHA! Moment during Customer Onboarding is a positive thing. But it's not. AHA! moments are only a positive thing if you’re searching for something… perhaps aliens or a missing sock. At the end of this journey you discover what you’re … [Continue reading]

Emotional Disconnect During Customer Onboarding

Theres one major reason your Customer Onboarding sucks and it is something you can easily fix with little to no engineering or overhead. Fix the Emotional Disconnect that happens during Customer Onboarding. You see, Sales and Marketing create … [Continue reading]

Bad Sales Handoffs Cause Customers to Ghost During Onboarding

Customers ghosting you during onboarding comes up from time to time... you've probably experienced it yourself. Someone said that when this happens they kick it back to Sales since they have the relationship with the customer. This is unfortunately a … [Continue reading]

How to Know if Customers are Actually Ghosting you

When there is a legitimate reason for a customer to interact with you – based on helping them to get value from their relationship with you – but they are not… we say, in the parlance of our times, that they’re ghosting you. But… sometimes what you … [Continue reading]

Why Customers Ghost you

When there is a legitimate reason for a customer to interact with you - based on helping them to get value from their relationship with you - but they are not… we say, in the parlance of our times, that they’re ghosting you. You could say they are … [Continue reading]

The Basics of Customer Onboarding

Onboarding is perhaps the most critical phase in the customer journey - if nothing else, it sets the tone for the relationship - and is too important to just slap together and hope it works. Please ensure you're giving the Onboarding process - and … [Continue reading]

Success Potential: Real Customer Success Starts Here

Customer Success starts with acquiring customers that have Success Potential. Customers that have Success Potential are said to be good fit customers. This is the opposite of bad-fit customers that cannot get value from a relationship with us now or … [Continue reading]

Account Expansion: How to Upsell Unsuccessful Customers

Getting your customers to buy more from you is awesome. Remember, you’re in business here and getting customers you’ve already spent money to acquire and serve to then expand their relationship with you - giving you more revenue - just seems like a … [Continue reading]

Customer Growth: Why Lack Of Expansion Is A Really Bad Sign

Customers buying more from you is awesome. I mean, you're in business here and getting customers you've already acquired to expand their relationship with you just seems like a super-efficient way to grow. And it is. So when you have customers that … [Continue reading]

Account Expansion: If You Want To Grow Fast, Do This…

If you want to grow fast, don't do what most companies do! When most companies want to eke out some quick incremental growth, they'll often have their sales people turn to their existing customer base to make some sales. After all, you have a captive … [Continue reading]

Customer Growth: Upselling Hurts Trust (When You Do It Wrong)

When it comes to Customer Growth or Account Expansion (upselling & cross-selling), I assumed people knew that... don't have to hurt the relationship with your customer to hit your numbers. doesn't have to be a difficult slog that you … [Continue reading]

Customer Growth: The Difference between Sales and Expansion

If you missed it, I'm done talking about churn. If you have a churn problem, read this post and follow my directions. Churn won't be an issue for you anymore. Now we can move onto GROWTH! And the first order of business is understanding the … [Continue reading]