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Round 4 of our ongoing series on retention strategies. This week, we follow the strategies of three B2B SaaS companies Bidsketch, Intercom, and Hubspot to examine how they think about and solve churn/increase retention.

TLDR: Strategies are a mixed bag and include improving customer feedback loops, onboarding, pricing, and customer success.

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    Morgan Brown

    over 4 years ago #

    This is a really actionable post with lots of specific takeaways and things you can implement right now to reduce churn. Thanks for sharing @timwut !

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      Timothy Wu

      over 4 years ago #

      Thanks for the comment and share @morgan! We're definitely starting to see a pattern in doing this series - and are looking forward to sharing them as a full-stack guide. Will keep you and the rest of the community in the loop!

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    Anand Srinivasan

    over 4 years ago #

    Pretty useful post. The point about account cancellations being a trailing indicator resonates with me the most. The service needs to monitor the user logins and activity of individual users and touch-base with anybody who is not as active as others - it's a pretty good indicator that they are going to unsubscribe soon.

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      Timothy Wu

      over 4 years ago #

      Thanks Anand! I can't take credit for that thought - I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere from one of @lincolnmurphy's many writings :).

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        Lincoln Murphy

        over 4 years ago #

        Thanks for mentioning me @timwut ... and killer post, BTW. Yeah, I alway say churn is a lagging indicator that something's wrong... in fact, it's one of the laggiest.

        @anand ... I would caution against monitoring "logins and activity" ... while those are often easy to monitor, they don't tell the whole story. Logins rarely tell any story on their own, actually.

        A lot of people miss this so I'll say it. Customers aren't using your product to login and click around... they have a Desired Outcome (DO) they're trying to achieve by using your product.

        The means - if you can - measure activity that's congruent with achieving that DO.

        It might not be perfect, but if your product helps people place ads, make sure they're placing ads. That's the activity that matters. A lot of activity that doesn't include placing ads is potentially indicative of a problem... maybe they can't figure out how to place an ad. Regardless, they aren't getting value and you need to help them.

        Now... whether those ads work is another story and ultimately... but it's good to keep in mind that that's the real DO they're looking for. People don't want to place ads... they want to buy a customer.

        So make sure they're placing ads and deliver content that helps those ads actually work. That's a recipe for a low-hanging fruit success pie.

        After that, try to focus on closing the loop between placing the ads and the success the ads have, and work to improve that... and that's a winner winner chicken-free (tofu) dinner.

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    Michelle Bondesio

    over 4 years ago #

    Super-useful points here, thanks @timwut. I'm a big fan of the Bidsketch brand so it was interesting to learn more about their approach to this aspect of business. And then compare it to how others in the game do things.

    You said: "we firmly believe that analytics and knowing what your users are doing is the cornerstone of it all."

    And knowing users/customers also boils down to communicating with them about their needs, not just observing how they use your product or telling them how to use it. So, establishing real connections is also still at the heart of things. It's not just a numbers (or data) game.

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      Timothy Wu

      over 4 years ago #

      Good point here Michelle! I think data is a great place to start (since in most cases, it doesn't lie). Our next round up will cover the tools in the next part of the process, going beyond data and capturing user/customer intent. I definitely feel that they're complimentary to each other - and having only one is leaving a big part of the story untold.

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