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How focusing on Customer Success Ensures Recurring Revenue Growth

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Some of the conversations from the “How focusing on Customer Success ensures recurring revenue growth” panel, moderated by April Oman of Zuora, at Subscribed earlier this month were pretty interesting. The panel featured Pete Khana of TrackVia, Mike Duggan of HP Cloud, and Brent Leary of CRM Essentials.

Let’s take a look at some of the topics they covered in this panel:

Is all churn bad?

Pete: I don’t think so. You have to see how it impacts your business and make a judgement call. There’s a difference between a downgrade and churn. How do we grow that service? What service can we add on later?

Mike: Not all churn is bad. The ups and downs of churn are very much part of the subscription model.

Brent: Value needs to be found on both sides (for the customer and the company). You learn a lot from customers when they churn, and it will help you refine who are your good customers, and then find customers who fit that profile.

April: Try viewing churn and retention differently. Sometimes doing a downsell might help you retain a customer depending on what’s going on with their business. For example, they might need SMB edition of your service instead standard because it suits their needs better.

Take action on customer feedback

April brought up a good point on running a success product launch program: you should solicit and engage customers who will give honest feedback. However, if you don’t take action it, they will stop talking to you. There’s nothing worse than sending feedback into a black hole.

kindle-fire-maydayBrent brought up a great example of Amazon and its customer-obsessed culture of driving great customer experiences. They do a lot of hardcore data mining and focus on developing efficiencies. They’ve created an experience where you can get great customer service from the very beginning (without ever needing to get in touch with a customer representative) because you have all the assistance you need to make a decision like reviews, recommended items, and seller reputation scores. In the instance you do need someone, they’ve also made that easy too, such as the “Mayday button” on their newest version of the Kindle Fire, which is connected to 24/7 face-to-face, onscreen support. They invest a lot of money get their customers what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.

Expect many iterations of your metrics

The important thing about customer success metrics is that you can’t just set a metric and expect it to work over the long term. You need to constantly tweak them and see what’s working.

Based on the feedback and questions from the audience, one thing was clear: usage is a key thing to focus on.  Read more about how usage data can take on more than one form (i.e. not just application usage) and help you understand things from the customer’s perspective.

Jill Rubin

Jill is a senior marketing and business development executive with experience leading successful teams in both large companies and startups. She has taken companies from early stage to strong revenue growth and propelled established businesses to industry leadership positions.

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