Digital Customer Success - Red account strategy

Erika Villarreal
Erika Villarreal Member Posts: 41 Expert
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Hello community!!

It's been a long time since my last post. I am interviewing for a Digital - Scale CS role and a question came up that got me thinking:

If managing your pool of customers you find 100 customers who are completely inactive and haven't used your product in the last 3-6 months, no active users, no transactions, nothing...

In a pool, scale strategy, what would you do?

This was my answer, and I'm looking for other thoughts...

  1. These customers would fall on a red-bucket type of interaction. First thing I would do is validate if these customers are engaging with us at all? Review all data: support tickets, emails, or any related information.
  2. If no communication whatsoever, enroll them in a series of email communications, share with them case studies, valuable information, resources that can help initiate contact again.
  3. If no open rates or communication back, involve human interaction trying to contact the customer.

Any thoughts or ideas on a better answer?


  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 199 Expert
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    edited February 2023

    I would add:

    Check the status of each company. Was there an event that took place like a merger that left the software an ugly stepchild? Or did they shut down?

    Check the administrators status on LinkedIn. Gone? No other contacts. Find another active employee and ask them to connect you to the person in charge of the product.

    No open rates, no other info. Text contacts, if you can. Never do a group text. I have texted and it has worked when nothing else does. (Shhh, I have a Google Voice # just for this purpose.)

    Don't be afraid to be creative!

  • kmulhalljr
    kmulhalljr Member Posts: 40 Navigator
    5 Likes First Comment Name Dropper 2023 Success Network - Supporter

    +1 Brian's comments RE changes & the use of SMS. It might be worth creating an RSS/Google News Feeds tracker for potential company changes across ALL accounts. Personally, I run a script to see if anything has changed to a company's website...though this is more for fun/learning to code.

  • Erika Villarreal
    Erika Villarreal Member Posts: 41 Expert
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    @Brian O'Keeffe @kmulhalljr

    Thank you so much!!! Very interesting approaches!! This sounds like a great idea.

    Plus, kudos on the Google Voice number!!

    I'm adding this to my workflow.

    Thank you!!!

  • ashley_martin
    ashley_martin Member Posts: 30 Navigator
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    I had something similar when I first joined my company. However, we are hardware so there was no way to tell if they were engaged with our product or not. We didn't have a digital CS strategy at the time. I did an email campaign to each of those customers and asked if they wanted to see our roadmap. I got a 30% response rate back from that email. From that I even had a few that expanded.

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 199 Expert
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    edited February 2023

    I created a Google tracker for a subset of customers but discovered it is was way too much to be useful.

  • KimberlyReneeKnowles
    KimberlyReneeKnowles Member Posts: 21 Navigator
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    Lots of great ideas here! I love the idea of an RSS/Googe News Feeds tracker though I can see how that might be overwhelming.

    And yes, looking up the tickets, using LinkedIn to look up the administrators, etc. all seem helpful. I feel like with a 100 Red customers that might job be doable.

    If you are realling scaling and have 1000 Red customers, you aren't going to really have time to dig in that far, so then I think some think @ashley_martin's idea is terrific because it doesn't take a ton of effort AND adds value and a hook to drive engagement.

    I honestly don't have much to add other than potentially your second point about an email campaign but including other touchpoints if your company has the tech stack to do so - e.g. a largescale text message campaign or robo-call campaign. That's tricky though because it could seem too much like spam - especially if you don't have value to add in the campagin. I would definitely try email first. And if you start doing your third point to start calling customers, maybe prioritize the calls by who's renewal date is coming up soonest and try doing an hour of calls every day? I think Hubspot's CS team has starting blocking out an hour each day "Power Hour" for calls!

  • Markus Rentsch
    Markus Rentsch Member Posts: 3 Navigator
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    Send an E-mail where you apologize for letting them down (even if you didn't) to spark a conversation. If you don't know what really happened you'll have a hard time sending them information that IS actually valuable.

  • Yuya at Commune
    Yuya at Commune Member Posts: 11 Navigator
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    Hi Erika,

    One of the keys is to provide personally optimized communication (because they aren't 100% satisfied) but in a scalable way.

    We built a customer portal where our customers can self-learn and learn from each other 24/7.

    As you can keep track of each customer's behavior, you're able to use the activity data to prioritize your action.

    For example, if there's a customer that hasn't used your platform for 4 weeks but visits the portal once a week, you can assume they are not the biggest risk in your customer portfolio.

    We tried this approach in 2021 and achieved improved NDR while increasing ARR/CSM.

    Happy to share the details if you want to learn more!

  • Jeff Breunsbach
    Jeff Breunsbach Member Posts: 266 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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    I think you built solutions before understand the true problem.

    I wouldn't build anything for those 100 customers until I get an understanding of their underlying problems.

    Put those into buckets that I could action off of - then go create content after that.

  • Erika Villarreal
    Erika Villarreal Member Posts: 41 Expert
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    @Markus Rentsch @Jeff Breunsbach

    Agree 100% with both of your points. Difficult to engage and add value when you don't know what is wrong.

    Thank you!!

    Love the idea of I've let you down email @Markus Rentsch !!