How Later combine customer success and product-led growth to increase customer retention
Head of Customer Success
Today on the show we have Amaan Nathoo, Head of Customer Success at Later.
In this episode, we talked about the moment Amaan decided to shift from Sales to Customer Success, how using a growth ceiling calculator helped him realize they had to double down on retention and how customer success fits in a product-led world.
We also discussed how Later’s Customer Success team makes up 8% of the entire company, what they focus on, their KPI’s, how it’s structured, and lastly the retention experiment mindset at Later.
As usual, I'm excited to hear what you think of this episode, and if you have any feedback, I would love to hear from you. You can email me directly on Andrew@churn.fm. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter.
Is ReadingNever Split the Difference
Andrew Michael 0:00
Amaan, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure for the listeners. Amanda is the head of customer success at later. The number one marketing platform for Instagram that allows you to visually plan schedule and analyse posts for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And it's used by over 3 million of the world's top brands, agencies and influences. Prior to later Amaan was the US expansion lead of spin desk and the head of sales at Pandora. We actually previously interviewed the founder Matt bonnet, and very interesting chat we had with him I'd really encourage you to listen to that episode too. But Amaan reached out and obviously we naturally were delighted to have a chat with him to learn about his experience there but also now how he's taking that forward into later. So my first question that I have for you one is looking at your previous two roles, there tend to look to be more on the sales side and from what I saw at spendesk could probably set in the middle between sales and success. So what made you made the jump or to double down on successive later
Amaan Nathoo 0:59
So it's been an interesting journey in sales and unnaturally came from a sales background. So when I got into SAAS sales was the was the natural transition and what I learned over the time of being within different roles was more traditional kind of executive type sales roles and beyond was in kind of sales leadership was I was always more inclined to think about the tail end of the of the sales journey I think we get a lot of glory in sales as closing new business and companies typically celebrate when you know even with with a gong For example, when when you sales close, but what I had started to learn and to see was that the real impact on a SaaS business came from the you know, that relationship with customer success and how well we could onboard customers and keep them long term. And so over the years of being kind of more focused on the interested in that tail end of the sales journey, and naturally that transition, part of my intimate partner was actually very happy. helpful for that, I really realised that I had more of a passion around the relationships rather than the closing of the business. And so I naturally made that transition.
Andrew Michael 2:10
It's very interesting as well that you mentioned sort of like the glory being on the sales side. But really the value and after seeing like in different sales, leadership roles at the tail end, when it comes to retention is where what's driving most of the growth? Maybe you want to take us to like this specific point in time when you realise and you made this realisation that actually like, although sales, we might celebrate it more, and we have the like short term impact, the long term impact when it comes to SAAS businesses really doubling down and making sure that you have strong retention.
Amaan Nathoo 2:37
Yeah, absolutely. I think there's there was kind of two moments that really helped me understand this, and they they're linked. So I think what the initial aspect of that came within Bondjoro on when I joined Bonjoro we had, I joined as the head of sales. And Matt and I were thinking about how we want to build this sales journey and potentially build a bigger sales. Keep around blonde girl. And so the mindset was that we needed that traditional marketing is going to get us leads, we want to make sure that we understand which of those leads are potentially a good fit for us based on our ideal customer profile that we created, and then reach out to those leads. We've had we're fully inbound, which is great, but reach out to those leads and walk them through a demo and a bit of a sales process. What we quickly learned was that our product specifically and I think this goes for a lot of other products out there that are more self service driven and maybe lower ARPA, our customers didn't actually want to speak to a salesperson, they typically didn't reach back out if there was a sales outreach, didn't necessarily want to see demos or webinars. Really what they wanted to do was to use the product, getting value from the product themselves, and in some cases, they would reach out with any support or maybe some guidance on getting to that, that moment, that aha moment. And so while I joined Bonjoro as the head of sales, we really ended up transitioning more towards the customer success mindset of how do we help our customers get value from the product through touch points with them different types of touch points. And so during that journey, what we had learned was, and I'm sure we'll dig into this, maybe later on the call, but really quick, what we learned was, there's different levers that you can measure, especially when it comes within SAAS. And so we had done a bit of a journey around moving from a traditional MTL model to a product qualified lead model. And during that time, we started to look at what our our churn was looking like, in our churn rate jumped up quite high. Again, being self service, it's pretty natural. I think we were sitting around like controlling 11 or 12% monthly churn. Yeah. And they wanted to know, you know, yeah, it was definitely high. It was concerning. And we were realising that we need to make an impact on that right away. And so we had looked at our numbers in terms of, you know, how many customers we're getting per month, what our average revenue per user was, and then the retention and we're playing with those numbers. We We were looking at what happens if we were double new revenue? How would that impact the long longevity of our business, there's a there's a calculator you can find online. I think it's, it's like a SAAS ceiling calculator that kind of tells you how much time you have left in your business. And so we plug our numbers in when you cut the, the, for example, if you if you double the revenue, or the double the revenue per user, or the amount of customers we're getting, when you double the amount of customers, it really didn't give us that much impact on the longevity of our business. But if you reduce the churn from 12% to 7%, it was like giving us an extra two years of business. And so I quickly realised that the retention lever is like just so much more impactful than doubling or tripling on customers.
Andrew Michael 5:47
Yeah, I think that that growth ceiling that calculated that moment that you do that calculation internally to understand at which point your company stops growing, based on your current inputs that you mentioned, sort of the churn current growth rates and retention. is like, it's one of those unbelievable turning points in any organisation when they do this exercise because like you say you quickly realise, like where the big impact lies in order to continue growing at some points, like, you'll get to a point where you have channel fatigue and there's, there's obviously an unlimited source of channels that you can be acquiring new customers from, but making sure that you're retaining more of those customers has this like sort of amplified compounding impact that enables you to continue growing or make these retention
Amaan Nathoo 6:32
so interesting, because we when you mean obviously, in an ideal world, you want to double the amount of customers you get engine captured in half and you always have at the same time, but if you were to pick one, we in our for the unit economics we had at that time, cutting retention or cutting churn rather and retaining more of our customers even a slight bit. It was it was a massive impact. So we've generated over focus on that.
Andrew Michael 6:53
Yeah. And I mean, we did some exercises at hotjar maybe a couple of years ago. We already knew we wanted to be improving churn and retention. But I think this was one of those exercises, which we did, which was like, okay, yes, this makes total sense. And like you said, like having just those data points available to you will definitely add a link as well in the show notes for the churn ceiling calculator might even add one to the site as well, because I definitely think is a super valuable tool to have to understand at which point you stop growing. And then what are the levers you can pull to make sure you continue to grow, but we'd likely I said, I mean, we had a similar reaction internally. And that's when we sort of really sort of doubling down our efforts and getting alignment across the organisation around focusing on retention as a key driver for growth. So the one thing you you reached out with as well, was sort of like the concept of how Customer Success fits in a product led world. And I thought maybe we could chat about this obviously, was your suggestion as well, they can, but I think it was definitely interesting one, having previously interviewed with bush on productive business and what it's about, but maybe you want to say Start with, like, your perception of what a product like businesses, and then maybe you can tell us like how you see Customer Success fitting in to this world?
Amaan Nathoo 8:09
Yeah, absolutely. So I've been kind of following the product led mindset for one and it's not necessarily something new in, you know, completely revolutionary, but I think West, for example, is doing a great job of contextualising what product led means in SAAS today. And for me with my experience, like you mentioned, kind of the sense of the world that are a bit more traditional in their, in their customer journey where they're having a lot of touch points with marketing sales, customer success, product, etc. And the difference between companies like that and something like Ubuntu or later or Zapier, for example is that really, when you when you fall into this, there's this level of SAAS businesses that are a bit more self service a little smaller on the revenue per account or revenue per user. And really moving the conversations that would typically like you mentioned earlier that sales would need to have to getting into product and using the product to a point where you get value. I think Wes mentioned this the other day on LinkedIn that there's kind of two ways to show customers value one is to tell them and the other one is to show them and get them into products just for them to see for themselves. And I think that's really where the most basic example of a product lead is that there's there's this mindset now and this ability to get users into your product get them to use it in a way that gets them value on their own and then get them to stay the you know convergence stay with you long term I think that's where I think successes is quite different between the traditional customer journey and the product journey.
Andrew Michael 9:51
And then how would you typically like see Customer Success fitting in this world So you mentioned as well I could product lead typically be lower upper customers like wanting to maybe be a lot more self sufficient and self serve themselves. Whereas obviously like the previous experience like mid market going towards enterprise that customer success offers a totally different experience to the customers maybe a lot more hands on. How do you see these two worlds interacting with one another now?
Amaan Nathoo 10:19
Yeah, there's there's definitely some similarities, I would say between, you know, a traditional success model and, and product lead type success model, I think, from a traditional model. There's a big focus on on renewals and upsells. This is very relationship based, especially internally as well as with the customer. So, you know, going back to spend us to the world where you're having, you know, either you have a sales team that outreaching and prospecting outbound and getting leads in or whether marketing is handling leads from a sales perspective and you're working them, closing them and then handing them off to Customer Success, that internal relationship is super strong. But the customer success relationship with the customer is very important. Typically those those success managers, manager, a list of accounts anywhere from depending on the size, whether it's enterprise testing, it can be 20 accounts up to hundreds of accounts, but it's very relationship based. And when as you get further down the path of a more transactional type, customer journey or more self service, you really start to look at different types of indicators of how you can provide value to your customers. It's more based on product usage and habits. how that impacts retention, there's less of that key account management and less of that focus shift within, you know, internally within the sales team. It's much more transactional. I think where the commonality is, is that there's both both of these types of customer success teams need to focus on retention but Really the path to get there is a little bit different. I think both teams don't necessarily have full control or absolute control over attention. But the different journey of the customer goes through interpretation is quite different.
Andrew Michael 12:13
Yeah, for sure. I can say like that thing in US distinction as well, that you mentioned, obviously, the one is high touch versus low touch one's a lot more personal versus transactional. When it comes to sort of that more transactional nature and talking about business of lower upper what are some of the key activities that you were working on as a customer success? team, like I know as well, there's obviously obviously often times where the activities overlap with marketing and customer lifecycle marketing. So maybe you want to talk us through like your team's focus now with later how you structured what is the team's like KPIs? What are you focusing on as a customer success team?
Amaan Nathoo 12:53
Yeah, absolutely. I think I think to, summarise it in quickly, and I think kind of dig into it a bit further, we've identified what the mission of our success team hears that later. So the mission is to is two sides. One is to help our customers achieve their visual marketing goals with usage of our product. And that's very, very specific to later but the the overarching mindset is to help our customers achieve those outcomes through the use of the product. And then the second part of it that we've identified is to then be the champions of customer retention and churn within the company itself. So there's there's the mindset where success can be the sole owners of retention. And really, it's it's about understanding how success can impact retention, but how other teams can impact retention. So the kind of mission we have within leaders one, help our customers get what they need to get down to the product, but also just be the eyes and ears of retention and then the champions within the company internally. And so the way that what we focused on really, when I joined and what we want to do when I joined was to really understand the different areas of success within the business that we can be focusing on. So we've kind of narrowed the team down into three areas. We focused on onboarding, we focus on customer education. And we focus on customer engagement, and we use those terms. Some of the other teams might use different terms for those areas. But we really focus on those kind of different moments within the customer journey and how we can add value at different moments. So the onboarding team really focuses on activations we really need to define what activations are and understand what an activated customer looks like. Education team focuses on that kind of jobs to be done mindset. How do we continue to give our customers an experience that matches their specific ideal outcome and their specific goals. The engagement teams a bit more focused on a little bit more of a traditional success model we have, you know, a segment to customers that are a little bit more higher value, and so we want to create a bit more of a concierge service for them. So we recently built an engagement team around that. And then how we power those three teams is no more cross functional isn't isn't operations mindset being very data driven, being very research driven? So we have an aspect of the team that focuses on helping us feedback as possible.
Andrew Michael 15:25
Interesting, and what size is the team then? title?
Amaan Nathoo 15:29
Yeah, at the moment. The team is a week five going on six, we're just bringing in our first data analyst. And so, up until recently, the success or later was run by a couple individuals that were doing a lot of different projects and had their hands in so many different things, which was great. It was super, super well. And now we're focusing on building a team out into those three, four areas. And so the plan for this year is to grow. I think we've added three team members to Just in the last few weeks, and then another team member soon, so there'll be a lot of love upcoming growth this year.
Andrew Michael 16:06
Nice. And in terms of the whole company, like what size are you at at the moment?
Amaan Nathoo 16:12
So we are at the limit, the number I heard the other day was 85.And the the, the joining, which was about five, six months ago was maybe around 65-70. So this year has been been a lot of fun. We want to grow quite a bit more in this area.
Andrew Michael 16:32
And you heard about like a percent of the title team is customer success. So that's it's quite interesting. I'll just see a perspective on the team size of success versus Yeah.
Amaan Nathoo 16:43
And the way that we do it is a little bit different. We've kind of separated our support side with the success side. So my team we focus specifically on the more proactive side of success, whereas we have a customer happiness team. That is the more reactive support side, which is a very rich team. I think we're about 20 21st people on that. Nice.
Andrew Michael 17:02
And then the areas that you specifically chosen to focus on like in terms of activation and engagement. And was this like something that you did all at once? Did you stagger it out in terms of which areas you decided to focus on first as the team was growing up? Like, what did your priority list look like in terms of putting this team together? Like which were the most important roles you want to do? And see first versus where you are today?
Amaan Nathoo 17:26
Yes, so we focused on the onboarding, education engagement all all at once. We had a couple of existing team members that had really had a competitive hyper competitive advantage in a couple of those areas. Because they've been focusing while running projects across multiple different areas. They had a bit of a competitive attention was specific. So we have three focuses on the onboarding side and deserting focuses on education and retention side.
And then the
first kind of team we built from there was engagement side so we brought team member in on engagement there all equally important, I think because they just fit different moments of the customer journey. And the the, the upside is the side that we're now building, we have some skill set within the team, of course to do some research projects and having a good basic understanding of data and how we can pull product usage information to, you know, formulate some experiments that might run and hypotheses run and test. So we focus on those three areas first, existing team members kind of fit into that very, very well and then building up the engagement team. And now that's that operations, customer success upside that we're looking to build that will help us level up in terms of being a bit more data driven, and really focusing on on customer research and understanding what the data tells us but also what customers tell us and matching those two together so that the other teams can work on the right things.
Andrew Michael 18:52
Yeah, I was just actually going to ask you about that component as well with the sort of the customer success ops and I think it's definitely something it's a growing trend, but what would you see sort of this data analysts now specifically focus on maybe you can give us a couple of like really specific examples where you'd use a data analyst working within success?
Amaan Nathoo 19:12
Yeah, so I think there's there's kind of two main focuses, that'll be for this data analyst. One will be to help the rest of the success team really nailed down, that what they're working on is the is the best thing to be working on. And they do as well already. But I think having a you know, someone who understands the data, product usage data, even better will help us enhance this. So a good example would be, we often come up with different ideas for projects and experiments that we can run that we think will help impact retention for customers, so different moments for different team members. So for example, we're just implementing a new product or software, we're implementing app queues. And we have some ideas on certain flows that we can build based on data we've seen so A good example would be we, we did an analysis on our onboarding process and different moments we need our customers to, to hit certain moments in the journey. So we do a funnel analysis of those signup and how many of them upload their media and how many of them set up certain features and where those drop off points are. So based on the data that shows us, you know, we have, we can come up with some hypotheses that were maybe lacking on certain areas. And so we can run an experiment with a product tour, or we can run it in app message experiments or those types of areas. And I think where the data analysts will help us is things that are a bit more complex. When we have a hypothesis that comes through that says, I think this is an area we can improve upon, that data analysts can really validate whether or not the data aligns with that exact hypothesis that we come up with them and even more qualitative. So that's one side is the data analyst helping the existing team just further enhance their hypotheses and validate them a bit more. And then the second side is helping us build really strong dashboards across different product features and usage, and trends that help indicate leading indicators of retention. We have a good understanding of this, we have a data team within later that focuses on different areas that help us quite a bit. But having someone dedicated to looking at retention, essentially kind of fully focusing on retention and all the impact and different indicators. That's the other side of it. So really empowering the team to have the right data so they can run the right experiments, and then kind of being the absolute. What's the word I'm looking for, like genius when it comes to or all the insights around retention and what impacts it? Yeah,
Andrew Michael 21:44
there's quite a few interesting things. I want to touch on that you mentioned other The first thing as well, I found it intriguing that you have sort of this data team and a company wide initiative where like, customer success is the one championing potential within the organisation. Because I think as well like the retention analyst itself, someone being expert like, for me, this is also something one of the main goals of product. So I'm interested like, what is the dynamic like as well as later when it comes to retention? Like, does each team see this is a really important and critical components of growth? Or are you still really trying to have to push these changes or ideas into product? With the mindset that this is going to have an impact on retention? And like, essentially, how are you prioritising my product? Yeah,
Amaan Nathoo 22:29
I think I think we're quite lucky in that, even from before I joined one of the one of the company goals for 2019, and especially 2020, is having retention as one of the top kind of not necessarily Northstar goals because we have a few but one of the main goals of the entire organisation is, is we have a goal that's retention focused and we have a goal with NPS focused and a few others. So we're lucky in that we have leadership that understands the impact of retention and, and how we can impact the business from, you know, in the long term and even in the short term, but what our goal with success success is to understand it deeply. How can we do it? So we've yet to answer your question. And we Yeah, we were lucky to have the mindset top down the retention, that should be a big focus for the company.
Andrew Michael 23:20
That's good. And then the other thing as well that was interested was like you talking about running experiments quite regularly that are retention related and trying to make improvements? Maybe you want to talk us through this because I think this is also like something that's it's quite a difficult thing to conceptualise because retention is an output metric that's made up of so many different inputs. And how is your team going about running these experiments? Like what are the health metrics you're looking at? How are you like sort of understanding the correlation versus causation when you run the experiments that maybe you want to run us through that a little bit?
Amaan Nathoo 23:51
Yeah, so I'll start with the retention mindset experiment mindset. So our growth team really drives this world. I think other teams have adopted this very well. Dean who's our head of growth is kind of our experiment. Master where he we go to him for advice, and he helps us kind of understand what a good experiment is. But we we really approach any changes we're going to make within the product from a, from a customer standpoint. So in the interaction with customers from this mindset around experiments, how can we test with small groups of our customers, any changes we're going to make similar to how we might AB test changes on the website or signup flows or cancellation flows, we run those similar type experiments within other types of customer touch points. So in messages, onboarding, emails, onboarding tours, everything is tested, based on an hypothesis of where we can make an impact. And we use amplitude to track all of our customer usage data, which really empowers us to understand where we think we should be focusing our efforts. We test things in small batches of our users. Not too small where we wouldn't see a meaningful impact but large enough where we think we can see that impact. And that's where Dean and his team help us understand where we can have that impact.
Andrew Michael 25:12
Yeah, that's I've met 3 million users, customers. Exactly.
Amaan Nathoo 25:17
Yeah. And so we we, the way we approach the kind of mindset and experiments is first we set our quarterly objectives, we set our okay ours, between each of the teams. So between onboarding, education engagement, we then based on those objectives, create a backlog of potential ideas and projects that we could be running that will impact to those areas.
And then we kind of prioritise those backlog items depending on what we think will have the biggest impact and a large enough reach for where we can see the impact. And so projects very just all the potential production runs, we can dig into them, but we really focus on understanding how can we, you know, identify a potential place we can make an impact, get some benchmark data around it, and then run an experiment, understand that cohort of users who were in that experiment, how they perform versus that benchmark. And if it's a large enough impact, then we can then roll it out, company wide. And so we would like to see that from a chord analysis of how can we impact these smaller groups? Of course,
Andrew Michael 26:20
that's interesting. And then so you're taking together different cohorts to running an experiment on them. And then you measuring the impact on retention on these experiments, or you're really looking to try and maybe for a specific cohort, increase a driver of retention, and an input metrics are like, how is the focus? How is the measurement done? Like obviously retention is an awkward metric. So it's lagging it takes time to see these impacts. So you know, be able to run experiments quick, understand the impact that you're making on retention, but being able to measure it in an iterative fashion that you can continuously experiment like, what is the work that went into that, like, are you specifically focusing on just driving some core actions, you know, that related to retention as such, you see the impact further down the line, maybe you want to look at Yeah.
Amaan Nathoo 27:06
It's a great question. I think the best example would be some of the experiments we ran in q1 of this year. So we we spent time building our objectives. For q1 based around leading indicators, what we found through some analysis within our data with an amplitude of what we found were product feature usage that were leading indicators of retention. So we found that there was a few features that really correlated very strongly with with long term retention. So things like the amount of media uploads that users do in their first seven days, the amount of posts that are scheduled through later within within their first seven days. And then through the help of our current data team, we helped kind of understand what would we need to do the lift needs to be on some of these features which to see an impact on month one retention, so we focused q1 on month one retention, we typically keep around 89% of our customers past month one, we want to see that book to have 90. And so we did some analysis to understand what would it what would the usage of these particular features that we've identified as leading indicators? What would we need our new cohort of users to do to see that particular retention get impacted? So we ran some projects around, for example, when our users sign up and set up certain features, like the auto publish feature with them later, or uploading those three pieces of media. So when we were measuring the impact of those experiments, we're measuring two things. One is how much of a lifted we get on the usage of those specific features. So if we typically see 50% of people upload media in their first seven days, do we want to get that to 55% 60%, whatever that kind of benchmark versus target was, that's one measurement. And then also that cohort of users that we ran that experiment with so whether it was like a new tumour that they see within the product, how do they perform on after that month one retention, how are they on loves to retention with retention? So we look at things from both sides. One is, did we hit the goals we were trying to achieve with the feature usage? And as well as did that feature usage actually impact the retention that we expected based on the analysis that we had done.
Andrew Michael 29:17
Interesting. And then in terms of like experiment velocity, then having to wait I think for those results to come back on the back end to doubt assume that it'd be difficult to experiment frequently, or are you taking sort of those early indicators of those increase in that metric, like you mentioned, like uploading videos or divert was, are you taking those initial indicators, and then just coming back and monitoring the experiments over time to make sure that it did actually achieve the anticipated results? Which approach Do you take in order to be able to experiment faster?
Amaan Nathoo 29:47
Yeah, that's a really good question. Because retention is such a lagging indicator. You don't necessarily see the impact on a experiment right away like you mentioned. For example, we're lucky with q1 because Focusing on month one retention. So there's an extra 30 day lag that we need to measure. But as we go into, you know, q2, which is focusing on the first three months of the customer journey, or q3 will focus on the first six months, then you're essentially having to wait, those, you know, 90 to 180 days to see the impact on specific cohorts. So we tried to so far, we've been really focusing on the results of q1 to see how that's been going. So we have a 30, day 30 day lag. Andthe, the impact on on those are a bit easier for us to measure, but this quarter will be a little bit different. So we focus on the retention side, we building dashboards and tracking them every every quarter and looking at them long term. And then from the specific usage of those features, like you mentioned that kind of to split the specific features versus the retention, we can focus on those in the short term, make sure we're hitting those targets and then, you know, you review the retention metrics later, but I think it's important to Note that not all of these, of course not all these experiments are going to have a positive impact on retention. It's learning as much as we can from the dashboards that we're tracking with over month.
The best thing that we do is look at things from a cohort month over month. How do we look at what one person wants to respond to retention? There is a lag. But we started to see positive impacts when we when we've identified the right correlation between features and retention. So the short term, we look at that impact on on features long term retention, and we'll see how it goes for this year plays out.
Andrew Michael 31:36
Yeah, makes a lot of sense. But it definitely like it's one of those things to consider when you're running experiments and retention related is like, although you want to be moving that number, understanding what the leading indicators are to retention and doing the groundwork and trying to understand what's driving retention really helps you to be able to experiment and improve those numbers later. And then look back in a few months and reiterate and try and sort of read Do the exercise of understand, okay, what are these indicators? Now again, have they changed? Are they still the same? How can we continue to experiment and drive results, while not having to wait months to understand the impact on these experiments? So, lastly, I think we're running up on time now might as well but I have one question that asked every guest who joins and I had the same question for years. Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario now that you've joined in your company and tuner attention is not looking great at this company. The CEO has asked you to try and turn things around and they've given you three months to make an impact, actually pretty similar results. What would you want to be doing and spending your time on for this first 90 days to try and turn things around for the company?
Amaan Nathoo 32:44
Yeah, I think that's a great question. I think the the main thing that the way that I would approach this is understanding, first understanding what are the main reasons behind the turn Understanding looking at data of, you know, cancellations, what what drove cancellations to date, really what's driving the churn today from a from a qualitative side. And so, you know, the company has tracking this data from cancellation forms, as well as doing some customer research to understand what it is that users who signed up for versus those who cancel. Where was that gap? What was the real reasons behind them leaving? I think that helps identify, are we losing customers because they're unhappy with the product and not getting value? Or was there is their churn in there that is something that we can afford? I think, for example, David Apple from typeform talks about this. They have a high satisfaction rating for those customers who are cancelling so they're happy customers, but they're leaving because their business eliminated the product. And so, first, the first step would be to understand what is the real current reasons behind behind cancellations insurance. The second approach would be understanding where our customer, where are we using our customers in their journeys? Looking at a cohort analysis of what does the first month, two months, three months or 12 months 24 months look like from a retention curve standpoint understanding, breaking those segments down into? What are the commonalities between those who leave us in the first month? What are the commonalities those first three months or six months? What are why and how do we identify who our ideal customer profile is, those will stick with us past their 12 month mark, and then focusing on how we can improve that journey in those specific areas that are the biggest problem areas. So I think the main thing is understanding why people leave why customers are leaving. And then the second approach to complimentary to that would be breaking those, the customer journey or the term journey into different segments and understanding which are the biggest problem areas and then focusing hyper focusing on those areas first.
Andrew Michael 34:57
Yeah, so starting with the who's really been Successful who's really having the hardest time and being able to segment understand those problems and challenges as a company and then double down on, obviously, what should be the lowest hanging fruit? I think from there that you see as opportunity. Nice. So I mean, it's been a pleasure having you on the show today. Is there any last final thoughts you want to leave the listeners with in? How can they keep up to speed with your work? Anything you'd like to share before we end today?
Amaan Nathoo 35:24
Yeah, I think I think the main point that would be interesting to share is that whether it's a product lead success, or it's a traditional, you know, mid market enterprise level, customer success model, I think the main thing is that that what we've learned and what I've learned over the years from podcasts like yours, yours and other resources, that churn as much as success wants to be able to impact it, and, and retention to be able to impact those, those key metrics that were measured on. It's sometimes and most often outside of our control, and so it's really about Understanding and being the champions and knowing all the insights of what causes churn so that we can mobilise that team. So sharing that information and creating feedback loops with marketing and product and sales to understand what is actually the root causes of these particular cancellations in this particular turn. So, I think, you know, we're talking a lot about the product lead site today, but I think what's common across all companies is that customer success doesn't have full absolute control over return. If it wasn't, we would be able to make all the impacts we can on it, but it's really about just knowing the insights behind it very, very well. So you can mobilise it and share that with the team. In terms of following with me, yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter, it's just my name on the activity try to share as much as I can around this type of stuff. And what really was mostly learning from from podcasts like this and some of the guests that you know,
Andrew Michael 36:57
very cool one, I definitely echo what you said. said it's all about success not being able to impact every detail. And I think I can't wait for the day when we stop hearing that customer success owns churn and retention, move towards the mindset that it's really it's a company issue. And there are certain aspects that customer success can drive and work towards and those areas they should own. But ideally, like it's a metric that's owned by the organisation that is alignment across the company, and everybody works towards driving retention because ultimately in the subscription business, if you're not keeping those subscribers, you don't really have business. So it's been great having you today. I'm really, really appreciate your time and I wish us luck now going forward into the next quarter and I look forward to hearing some of how the fruitful pneus of the experiments that you do run for longer term retention.
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My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.
In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros working in product, marketing, customer success, support, and operations roles across different stages of company growth, who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.