Customer-centric Growth by Lincoln Murphy

Understand, Classify, and Effectively Analyze Churn

Understanding customer churn can be one of the most challenging, yet essential elements for the success of any SaaS business.

Knowing why customers leave, how to anticipate these departures, and ultimately, how to prevent them, can make the difference between a business that thrives and one that merely survives.

In this blog post, we delve into the critical topic of churn analysis, unpacking its intricacies and offering actionable strategies to overcome what we call the “churn analysis paralysis.”

Buckle up for a deep dive into churn analysis that promises to elevate your customer success strategy.

Customer Success Podcast: Impact Weekly Episode 30

If you want to go deep on this topic, listen to this episode of our Customer Success podcast, Impact Weekly, that comes out every Wednesday. You can listen below or on your favorite podcast app:

Embracing the Complexity of Churn

Churn is not as simple as a customer canceling a subscription. It’s a multifaceted issue that needs to be understood from multiple perspectives.

It’s crucial to analyze churn at various levels: account churn, revenue churn, seat churn, and most importantly, why churn happens.

The ‘why’ is the symptom of a deeper underlying issue, often related to the customers’ inability to achieve their desired outcomes. Embracing this complexity is the first step in your journey to break the churn analysis paralysis.

A Robust Churn Classification System

To dissect churn accurately, it’s essential to have a robust churn classification system in place.

This system should ideally classify churn into four distinct categories: expected and unavoidable, unexpected and unavoidable, expected and avoidable, and unexpected and avoidable.

This classification system allows you to quickly pinpoint the nature of the churn and better tailor your actions and strategies in response.

Unexpected and Avoidable: The Danger Zone

While no business wishes to experience churn, certain churn scenarios are worse than others. The most harmful type of churn is one that is both unexpected and avoidable.

This indicates a double failure: not only was there a surprise customer departure, but the departure could have been prevented with the right actions.

This kind of churn speaks to deeper issues in customer success and requires urgent attention.

An Action-Oriented Approach

Once the churn classification is established, the focus should shift to action. Regularly review and learn from your churn data, adjusting your strategies and plans as needed.

Recognize that churn is a symptom, and the true cure lies in investing in real customer success. Prioritize strategies such as customer onboarding, regular check-ins, and proactive engagement.

By treating churn as a symptom, you’re better equipped to address the root causes that drive it.

Building a Healthy Culture for Customer Success

Don’t underestimate the power of your organization’s culture in shaping churn outcomes. Ensure your customer success managers (CSMs) feel empowered to share their perspectives honestly.

If your CSMs fear retribution for sharing less-than-ideal outcomes, your churn analysis will suffer, and you won’t receive the accurate, actionable insights you need.

Cultivate a culture of transparency and a genuine intent to pursue customer success to create a more accurate and effective churn analysis process.

Churn Analysis is just a Process

Churn analysis need not be a complicated, anxiety-inducing endeavor.

By understanding the different aspects of churn, implementing a comprehensive churn classification system, regularly analyzing your churn data, and fostering a culture of honesty and transparency, you can break the churn analysis paralysis.

More importantly, you’ll be poised to reduce churn, boost customer success, and enhance the overall health of your SaaS business.

Make an Impact… Weekly

Don’t miss out on similar insights and more by subscribing to our Impact Weekly podcast. Every Wednesday, we share valuable tips and strategies to navigate the complex world of Customer Success Management.

With the Impact Weekly podcast, you’ll stay one step ahead in your journey to Customer Success excellence. Subscribe today, and never miss an episode!

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