Renewal Surveys

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Allison Bantz
Allison Bantz Member Posts: 6 Contributor
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Hello!  New to the community and excited to be here.  I'm curious if anyone has conducted renewal surveys via email or in-app to get a sense of a customer's intentions to renew, separate from CSAT or NPS?  The goal would be to solicit feedback (likert scale) across both user and buyer base, allowing our CSMs and RMs to get ahead of any unknown blockers to renewal, approximately 4-6 months in advance.  We are a seed-stage company, contracts are annual in length, and we have historically had significant challenges with attrition.  In some of my research, there was a very specific recommendation to ask "Based on your experience so far, how likely are you to renew?" What would be the pitfalls to avoid or the downsides of launching something like this?  Any experience with this topic?
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  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
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    edited March 2021
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    Hi @Allison Bantz-- There's a similar thread on GGR asking discussing this here:  https://www.gaingrowretain.com/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?MessageKey=16293829-5fcd-4423-9858-246a16fb10a4&CommunityKey=1261a423-6343-48a3-a722-6c04f19eacc8&tab=digestviewer#bmeddcb010-d263-4182-bcea-074630fb7217

    Regarding your question about using "likelihood to renew," Having done this a few times with clients I'm not a fan of the approach:
    1. It feels "salesy" and one-sided to me, when the conversation needs to be all about how well you're meeting their expectations.
    2. Renewal decisions are generally made by team consensus -- not a single person -- so even if they are likely to renew it still needs to go through a process.
    3. Related to item 2, you could ask about willingness to *recommend* renewal but assuming you are already asking the recommend question then you already have the answer.
    4. We know that silent accounts (non-responders) are far more likely to churn than any other cohort, so asking this question of people that aren't going to respond is meaningless, while asking it of people that respond yields very little (if any) additional insight, but at the expense of disenfranchising customers (#1)

    Hope this helps and hope to see you on the other thread!
    /Steve
  • Sana Farooq
    Sana Farooq Member Posts: 23 Thought Leader
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    edited March 2021
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    Hi Allison!

    What has worked well for us is asking that question during the Optimization Call (our term for Setup --> CSM handoff. So around 1-2 months post initial sale).

    At the end of the call, we ask the question directly - "what will justify a renewal at the end of the term?" knowing this information 10 months prior to their renewal sets the CSM for success in terms of what the customer expects throughout the year. It also allows a touch point at QBR #3 in the first year journey to circle back on that initial discussion and confirm all of those expectations were met 90 days before the renewal.

    This in addition to setting up health score and churn risk alerts within our CS platform has worked quite well for us in terms of getting ahead of renewal predictability.

    Hope this helps and happy to discuss in more detail over a call if needed!
  • Matt Myszkowski
    Matt Myszkowski Member Posts: 143 Expert
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    edited March 2021
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    Hi Allison,

    Great question - I am going through this conundrum at the moment. I have done this in the past, but key is asking the right person. So for me, it shouldn't be the end user (unless you follow my good friend @Steve Bernstein's advice and change that to recommend) but even then I am not sure I am a fan.

    However, I do at this time disagree with Steve and think you can ask this question but align it to an outcomes related question too - but to the right person, and therefore it has to be the buyer/budget owner.

    I am also looking at my entire VoC program currently for all touchpoints so keen to open up a wider discussion to other suggested questions. I may aim to add this into the library of content.