How to get the most from your churn as a product manager
April 2, 2019
April 2, 2019
Often as product managers we reach out to customers to get feedback and usually the product champions are available to provide input on what can make the product better. The challenge is that the vocal portion of your user base will typically only represent a small portion and since they are getting value from your product, may not be the customer feedback you need to be hearing.
“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” – John Russell
The reality is that as a product manager negative feedback about what went wrong for a user is often critical to your product growth. You need to hear from upset customers about why they are upset. You need to discover when someone cancels why they cancelled to be able to prevent the churn in the future. A lot of effort and money comes into getting brand awareness and earning enough credibility to have someone start a trial. To move someone from a trial into an active paying user for your product is even harder and can cost even more. Once you have a customer, you need to do all you can do to keep them on board since retention will always be cheaper than acquisition for new users.
So how can you learn the most from your customers as they churn? Here are product management tips to maximize your exit process for your churn:
Exit Interview: If you are not already prompting customers who are cancelling their use of your product with a survey or questionnaire, start doing it. This is really low hanging fruit and a simple way to get the reason why someone is cancelling at the time they take the action. You can send a survey later but the farther away you are from the time of churn, the less likely you will get a response or get the raw feedback you need.
Curb Churn with Value: Customers churn for a number of reasons of which some are within your control others are beyond it. As part of your exit process, try to assess why they are churning and take steps to try and save the churn from occurring. Perhaps they are not seeing enough value, remind them on the exit process what you did for their company. If they needed more support or price was too high, offer them what you feel comfortable with to save the churn from occurring. Counter their reason to churn to give them a reason to stay.
Get Raw Feedback: Surveys and questionnaires are good to track trends and see what areas you need to work on. Additionally, the open ended questions about why you are leaving are invaluable. Giving your customer a free form ability to give you open, honest and tough feedback will do wonders for your product. You need tough skin and not get defensive when you read it. Read the feedback as an opportunity to improve your product. The feedback is being left by someone who wanted to use your product. Always remember that.
One of the main roles of a product manager is to grow the business using the product. A large factor that impacts growth is churn and product managers need to find ways to learn why users leave their platform. The feedback left from users as part of your exist process should be worked into your product roadmap where possible and once you are able to implement improvement on the areas that caused the churn, reach back out to them and see if they will give you a second chance.