Reduce Churn by Keeping in Touch With Your Customers

Reduce Churn by Keeping in Touch With Your Customers


Churn rate is one of the best indicators of a business’s health. Also called attrition and cancellation rate, it is the percentage of clients who have discontinued and canceled a product within a time period.

In a perfect world, your company would have zero percent churn–but customers canceling is a fact of doing business. However, there are ways to reduce this.
In this post, we’ll look at some ways to retain customers better and reduce customer churn overall. These are pointers you can use to reevaluate your overall business strategy and review your customer playbook for sales, support, and marketing teams.
Be proactive

What Are the Important Customer Success Metrics

What to Measure

Ask anyone in sales or customer support regarding important customer success metrics, and almost always, churn is mentioned. Churn is short for ‘churn rate’ and refers to the percentage rate of customer loss or customer defection. And while this is an indicative customer metrics that we should all monitor, it is incomplete.

Guy Nirpaz, co-founder and CEO of Totango, says: “Churn is very important, but this is the outcome…. Churn, renewal, upsell, these are all the outcomes. In order to impact the outcome, [you need] to look at the leading indicators.”

Net Promoter Score Defined

Net Promoter Score, defined.

Patrick Hogan

Patrick is a Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Tenfold.

Net Promoter Score

When measuring customer satisfaction with a service, Boston-based consulting firm Bain and Company identified three major groups of people based on the scores they give to one particular question: are they, the customers, going to recommend the particular service they are using to friends and family?

Using a normal scale of 0 to 10 as the answer, a customer can fall into one of the following three designations:

The Importance of Listening Skills for Managers

The Importance of Listening Skills for Managers, by Jackie Edwards

Listening. Today, around 40% of employees do not feel valued or appreciated, and around 70% would be willing to accept an offer for another job or are actively looking. This issue stems from a difficulty in communication within the workplace which, as a manager, it is important to address.

While it is widely recognized that managers must be excellent leaders and problem solvers, a very important and often underlooked managing skill is also listening. This skill can make you a better and more effective manager; employees will strive hard to do their best for a manager who actively listens to them, leading to a more productive and motivated team. Here are our tips to help managers improve their listening skills.

Objectives and Agendas

Whose Objectives are You Pursuing, by Walter McIntyre

Every person and every organization has objectives and a purpose.  I am not speaking of the ones individuals profess or those an organization posts on their lobby wall.  It is the ones you observe in action that count.  These objectives, which are always related to an agenda, are not that hard to see and hear if you are paying attention.

I am fortunate to have been involved in leading a business turn around twice in my career.  In both cases individual agendas and objectives were subverting the business’s success.   In both cases, changing the focus of specific individuals, or removing the individuals from the business, became the turning point for business success.

Project Management Problem Solving

Project Management Problem Solving by Walter McIntyre

I hear the following a lot.  “He (or she) is a good problem solver.” This is a great quality to have, but it is less than half the needed skill.  It is better to be known for preventing problems.  From both a time and cost prospective, a problem prevented is best, because solving a problem typically adds more time and money to a project, than a solid plan to avoid the problem in the first place.

Culture of Process Improvement

Cultural Aspects of Six Sigma Process Improvement by Walter McIntyre

Whatever the process improvement methodology used, when properly applied, it produces a change in a business’s culture. Outlined below are some behavioral changes necessary to sustain a customer focused process improvement effort.

View the business as an organization of processes:
• If you view the business as an organization of processes, then managing the business becomes managing processes.
• Processes are interrelated and, as a result, they interact with each other. Changing one affects the others.
• If the appropriate processes are in place, managing those processes is managing people. Not the other way around.

Government and History

Government and History by Walter McIntyre

Our current day politicians seem to want to berate Washington, our government and everyone that is there. Don’t be fooled, all of them are trying to become what they criticize, insiders. These naysayers have lost site of the importance of knowing and understanding history. Actually, they should be embracing the history and talent that resides in our nation’s capital. Many decisions that shaped our history, and the modern history of the world, were made by men and women, in desperate times, showing great courage from political office or appointment. There is much we can learn from them. The same cannot be said of any other city in the United States, or any demographic involving corporate headquarters.

Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer by Walter McIntyre

Typically, there is not a single voice of the customer.  They are fractioned into multiple groups, each with their own perspective.  Each group may also have different voices in different circumstances.

For the Six Sigma team, identifying the customer involves more than collecting information about who is purchasing the business’s products or services.  Those who purchase the products and services are just one of several customer groups.  Some other classifications are internal supplier/customer hand-offs, customers of competitors, former customers, and potential customers.

Lean Value Proposition

Lean Value Proposition by Walter McIntyre

The basic Lean and business value proposition in looks like this:

Profit = Perceived Value – Inherent Value

Lean process improvement projects address the Inherent Value piece of this equation. The idea is to reduce the inherent cost of production and delivery of the product or service. A common mistake that teams make is to assume that inherent value issues are not customer driven. This is a case of being inwardly focused instead of a more balanced focus (inward and customer driven).