Customer success professionals should focus on net revenue retention (NRR) to prove ROI – Interview with You Mon Tsang of ChurnZero

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Today’s interview is with You Mon Tsang, the founder and CEO of ChurnZero, which helps subscription businesses fight churn with a real-time customer success platform. You Mon joins me today to talk about customer success, why it’s more important now than ever, what firms should be doing to successfully navigate a downturn and why a customer success mindset would benefit almost every organisation.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Not enough companies realize that customer support is your primary gateway to understanding your entire business – Interview with Nooshin Alibhai and Eric Klimuk of Supportbench – and is number 439 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with You Mon:

  • In uncertain times the most important thing is to be agile.
  • Every CEO right now should be looking for the places where their investments have the best leverage. And, in a downturn, that leverage has to focus on customer retention.
  • Start with identifying and focusing on proactively solving your customers top two or three problems.
  • One of most agile companies ChurnZero works with is a company called Untapped, who work with restaurants and breweries. They saw the pandemic shutdown coming from Asia and to help their customers they did two things: 1. They allowed their customers to pause their subscription to help them save costs, and 2. When they started reopening they helped them with curbside pickup, touchless menus etc.
  • Customer success professionals should focus on net revenue retention (NRR) if they want to prove the ROI of their initiatives.
  • CS professionals have to get more confident and better at pitching to their CEO or senior leaders.
  • It’s important for customer success teams to be thought of as revenue driving teams and not just about ensuring customer happiness or satisfaction. Their return has to be demonstrable.
  • Happiness doesn’t always lead to business success.
  • You always want to be a revenue center, not a cost center.
  • When thinking about this time, specifically, think about the nature of the uncertainty and which verticals are going to be affected the most and in which way. Doing that will help you understand how many firms will react and how you can mitigate that and help them in the short term.
  • Next, you should always be focused on adoption and how your customers are adopting the product or service that you are offering. Are they getting good value out of it? Are they getting good use out of it?
  • If usage and adoption don’t lead to value then you have a product problem.
  • You Mon is a big advocate for customer success to be applied and implemented across the whole business landscape.
  • If you are in the business of generating repeat transactions then you will benefit from taking a customer success approach.
  • One customer, Hacker Rank, a leading technical hiring platform, focuses on their most at-risk customers and have reduced churn for at-risk customers by 50%.
  • At the heart of customer success is the building of an archetype of what a healthy customer looks like and what an unhealthy one looks like. When you have done that you can then track and grade customers in terms of where they are their journey. That, in turn, can help you create a customer health score around the state of the relationship you have with that customer that is powered by lots of data.
  • The state of your customer relationship can be automated through clues like NPS, engagement, license utilization etc.
  • Customer success is a great career if you are looking to get into tech and is one of the fastest growing careers on LinkedIn. It’s right at the intersection of delivering good service and also delivering commercial success.
  • One thing that we are planning for right now is the impact of remote work on building a company. Talent acquisition is way more interesting and way better. But, remote work is also tough.
  • Some people believe that the increase in employee churn over the last two years will turn out to be systemic. So, companies need to get ready to deal with higher rates of employee churn.
  • To protect against that companies need to find better ways of onboarding and creating a great culture.
  • Being truly agile is not about a process. It’s about a mindset and being willing to try things. It’s a bit like when you are driving on ice. It’s better to make small moves quickly rather than big moves quickly.
  • If you hear someone say …. Hey, we don’t really have a customer centric company. Tell them to start telling customer stories. Start sharing every NPS score, every comment that people have made. Because getting that information out there is important and is the first thing that you should do. Using it effectively is number two.
  • One piece of advice: Be transparent with your metrics and your stories and you will go a long way.
  • You Mon’s Punk CX word: C-level, Off-beat
  • You Mon’s Punk XL brand: Red Canary
  • ChurnZero has just released the full lineup and speaker agenda for BIG RYG 2022, the Customer Success leadership summit in Washington, D.C. on October 12-13, 2022. RYG stands for “red, yellow, green,” key indicators of customer health. You can find out more details here.

About You Mon Tsang

You Mon Tsang copyYou Mon is the founder and CEO of ChurnZero, which helps subscription businesses fight churn with a real-time Customer Success platform. Before ChurnZero, he was the CMO of Vocus (now Cision) and CEO of its marketing automation business unit, OutMarket. He is a serial entrepreneur, having founded four software companies, including ChurnZero, Biz360, and Engine140.

ChurnZero is a real-time Customer Success platform that helps subscription businesses fight customer churn. Its software solutions allow businesses to understand how their customers use their product, assess their health and likelihood to renew, and personalize the customer experience through timely and relevant touchpoints. ChurnZero is headquartered in Washington, DC, and is backed by leading investment firms such as JMI Equity, Baird Capital, Grotech Ventures, and Middleland Capital.

To find out more check out churnzero.net, say Hi to them and You Mon on Twitter @churnzero and @youmon and, finally, feel free to connect with You Mon on LinkedIn here.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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