What else do you measure when retention is good?

Dana Pavel
Dana Pavel Member Posts: 9 Seeker
edited August 16 in CS Org Conversations
Hi everyone, 

I've got a question on metrics and KPIs success teams measure.

Background: We're a SaaS company that provides app developers with a platform that consolidates all app store analytics and allows them to reply to their app reviews in one place. 

The retention is higher than industry average, and the churn is below the industry average. Organically. We started our CS team this year with one person and expanded it to 3 people now, just a month ago. 

We aim to monitor retention and churn, but since they're naturally good, what other KPIs can we set for our team? 

Thank you,


  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Photogenic
    edited December 2020
    @Dana Pavel  I want to congratulate your team on the high retention and low churn. Sounds like what you're doing is working and customers are happy to stay. I can't suggest other metrics but I wanted to just reach out and congratulate you and your team. ?
  • Renee Murphy
    Renee Murphy Member Posts: 18 Thought Leader
    Third Anniversary 5 Comments
    edited December 2020
    Things to consider 1) Value Snippets/White Papers/Case Studies to enable sales. 2) Success Plans -- How many customers have them, how many have had exec level review 3) Progress against those plans. 4) % of customer willing to do references   ....and what about upsell/cross sell to grow the business?
  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 132 Expert
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited December 2020
    Hi Dana,
    2 high-level thoughts:

    1. Expansion and advocacy are key. Are you creating promoter/advocates out of "all" of the stakeholders and end-users in your accounts? Easy to measure this by (1) committing/demonstrating that you are listening, and (2) reach out to ask each contact to ask them to assess their experiences and success/outcomes from your service.  Casting a broad net of "all" contacts (champions, decision makers, end-users, or other influencers... although usually best to engage your champion to help gather the right feedback -- happy to provide details on how) tells you if you they will advocate for you across their company and/or to new companies when employees inevitably go to new jobs.

    2. Is retention truly solid? Note that in many circumstances even a 5% improvement can mean HALF of the company's revenue compounded over 3 years (but any company should use their targeted customer lifetime for this and 3 years may not be right).

    THAT SAID... It takes the whole company to create advocates. The CSM is only one part of the equation so not appropriate to comp on things outside their control.  The items mentioned above are all outcomes, and you will want to look at inputs -- process adherence -- to ensure your team is performing well.  Consider these measures
    - What percentage of accounts managed by each CSM have clear set of contacts identified in Salesforce? Do they have proper representation of the various persona that should be engaged, such as Decision Makers and other Key Influencers?
    - What percentage of accounts are participating in the assessment process (responding with feedback)?
    - What percentage of any detractor (unhappy) responses are being followed up ad tagged with a root-cause? Remember that customers can only provide symptoms, but some simple follow-up by the CSM not only acts to convert the detractor by addressing their comments and demonstrating that you care, but also can capture what the customer expected and why so that the root cause of that expectation can be more effectively addressed.

    Here's an article with some details: https://waypointgroup.org/stop-chasing-renewals-heres-how-to-keep-customers-engaged-so-renewals-and-more-will-just-come/

    Hope this helps...?!?

  • Max Smith-Gee
    Max Smith-Gee Member Posts: 13 Contributor
    edited December 2020
    Hey Dana, 

    Things that I like to track are 'leading' and 'lagging' indicators that impact Retention and Churn. These that I always keep my eye on are 'onboarding time', 'Upsell/Expansion growth within Accounts', and 'Advocacy and referral rate'.  Hope this helps. 

  • James Conant
    James Conant Member Posts: 37 Expert
    Second Anniversary
    edited December 2020
    Excellent advice!
  • Dana Pavel
    Dana Pavel Member Posts: 9 Seeker
    edited December 2020
    On behalf of my team, thank you Anita!
  • Dana Pavel
    Dana Pavel Member Posts: 9 Seeker
    edited December 2020
    Hi Steve,

    So, so helpful and I got inspired after reading the article. Thank you!
  • Dana Pavel
    Dana Pavel Member Posts: 9 Seeker
    edited December 2020
    Thank you, Renee! This is very helpful!
  • Dana Pavel
    Dana Pavel Member Posts: 9 Seeker
    edited December 2020

    Hi Archana, 

    You made me smile, thanks for sending such good vibes and for the valuable insights. 

    I have a question re point 2.: at the moment we can only check customers' usage by logging into their accounts. There're a lot of things I'm missing out on like have they clicked on any of the new features or trialed them? have they ever visited parts of the platform that are out of their subscription? I believe this type of info would help me with upsells. 

    I've introduced the idea of adopting a CS tool like ChurnZero or Totango, but the questions I ask myself are: when is the right time to adopt such a tool? and what's the argument to pay for such a tool if retention is good?

    In my previous company, we adopted a tool as a first thing after starting the CS team. It was absolutely necessary as the retention was quite low, so this was a great argument to pay for it. 

    Do you have experience with CS tools?