Renewal Strategies and Risk Identification

Brian O'Keeffe
Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 184 Expert
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I am working on refining renewal strategies and adding risk identification and management. We have many different kinds of customers, each with a slightly different renewal process in place. One size will not fit all. I am adding a risk identification and management strategy and know the obvious data driven signs of risk: decreased usage, lack of log in during a defined period of time, removal of a key sponsor from the application.

How do you identify customers at risk and how do you manage them? If you are willing to share I would love to hear it. Any tips and tricks that may not be well known or are surprisingly successful?

Comments

  • Sabhar Jain
    Sabhar Jain Member Posts: 6 Navigator
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    Hey @Brian O'Keeffe

    There are multiple risk items which are triggers, I would state few here which are most relevant.

    1. Customer engagement with the product.
    2. No. Of times in a month a customer is reaching out to support or success teams.
    3. No. Of features a customer is using efficiently
    4. No. of health check meetings are being scheduled and attended by customer.
    5. Know the pulse of the customer by NPS and CSAT.

    In terms of managing above, we make sure to be in regular connect with our customers, understand their business use cases and areas where they are facing any issues. Try to make sure they stick to the product/service by making it an intricate and problem solving approach for their lives.

    Brian O'Keeffe
  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 184 Expert
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    Thanks, Sabhar! My main goal is turn all of those into digital plays for our smallest customers.

  • Sabhar Jain
    Sabhar Jain Member Posts: 6 Navigator
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    @Brian O'Keeffe Absolutely, you can define customer segmentation, based on the revenue/ticket size/use case/driving factors/market size or anything relevant to business. Once the segmentation is done you can have a different matrix along with red zones for each segment. This should help you identify risks from small to large customers.

    We ideally segment customers on the basis of ticket size eg. I,A,B,C & D category and then define an average matrices for each segment.

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 184 Expert
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    Thanks, Sabhar. We have done that.

    The struggle is applying that data in an actionable way at scale. It is easy when a CSM is managing the account. How do I turn those plays into automated actions as much as possible? I can't have a person reaching out to each and I can't have it all be via email. There is way too much email. I am looking for ideas outside the box.

  • Cheryl Luft
    Cheryl Luft Member Posts: 10 Contributor
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    Hi Brian, we are currently rolling out a Red Account Process.

    We have around 10 "Primary Root Causes" and the CSMs must identify the one that fits best (with an option for secondary, if applicable). They generally fall into two overarching categories Adoption or Product issues.

    We manage this out of Gainsight, where we have a specific timeline activity that the CSMs fill out, with a template for basic information, and required fields. There are 3 tiers, 1 is to make note of the risk, 2 is to bring in your manager's assistance and 3 is to participate in a cross-functional meeting to strategize with other departments (as needed).

    The cross-functional meeting happens once a week (we separate them out by region). The process allows to bring awareness where we've already saved a few accounts. It also allows for visibility for the Professional Services team (for example) to forecast where approaching some issues with services may help to mitigate risk.

    Reports have been created to track these activities and we will build more to show trends once we have more data, since this is still in early stages. We're still learning and will likely iterate on the process, but so far this has been very successful.

    Identifying the risk can be tricky, if you have 1:1 CSM relationships, it is hopefully easier, as you can tell if a customer loses a sponsor, stops responding, or comes to you with specific issues. Product data can also help you, if you create a baseline for success of your healthy customers, and then note if there is deviation from that. Support tickets that get dragged out for long periods of time can be a signal as well.

    Accountability is a big aspect of this as well. You want to encourage your team to raise their hand when they think they might need assistance to ensure a support system where the team collectively wins and loses together, rather than a customer who is showing as "green" unexpectedly churning when there were a number of strategies that may have prevented this. Better to be cautious than dismissive.

    colin-userlotBrian O'Keeffe
  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 184 Expert
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    @Cheryl Luft thank you, this gives me a lot to think about. The cross-functional meeting is a particularly intriguing concept.

  • Markus Rentsch
    Markus Rentsch Member Posts: 3 Navigator
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    There's only one retention strategy - delivering enough customer value. Vice versa, the most accurate way to detect risks is to identify the lack of the same.

    What is customer value and how is it measured? Customer value is what your customers say it is and it's measured by the way they do it.

    There are no "tricks" - you need to do the groundwork of being in customer success. Usage data might be the right indicator in most cases. But what if you have customers who are using the product night and day but don't get any value?