How Omniconvert avoided death and pivoted into a blue ocean
Founder and CEO of Omniconvert
Today on the show we have Valentin Radu, Founder and CEO of Omniconvert.
In this episode, Valentin shares an overview of Omniconvert pre and post-pivot along with the moment they realized they needed to change directions.
We then ran through the power of the competitive muscle that competitors with deeper pockets and stronger retention can impose forcing you out of acquisition channels and we wrapped up by discussing the research methodology Valentin used to evaluate the opportunity and set the new company strategy.
[00:01:25] Andrew Michael: . Hey Valentine, welcome to the show.
[00:01:27] Valentin Radu: Hi there Andrew and hello.
[00:01:30] Andrew Michael: It's great to have you. For the listeners, Valentine is the founder and CEO of Omnicon Convert, a growth enabler for mid-size DTC eCommerce and retail companies looking to increase customer lifetime value and decrease customer acquisition costs.
Valentine Saws career as a radio show host producer, uh, before moving into sales, and then Valentine then later founded, et cetera, an advertising agency that he built from the ground up and later sold. So tell us a little bit about then, Omni Convert, what is, you do, obviously I gave a brief intro to it, but [00:02:00] maybe just a little bit more context for the audience.
[00:02:03] Valentin Radu: Sure Omni Convert has been transformed. We initially started as a conversion rate optimization platform. Then we suddenly realized that we are in a red ocean and we needed to pivot, and now we are helping e-commerce and retailers to make sense of their data and focus on their customers in order to improve customer lifetime value.
Acquire the right customers, therefore decreasing their customer acquisition costs. So basically we are now struggling with the most impactful problem that they have at this moment, which are the, which is the rising cost of, uh, advertising at this moment. Yeah, there's
[00:02:47] Andrew Michael: been a big shift in that space, I think specifically as well, uh, with Apple and the changes, uh, around privacy.
And so obviously, like I mentioned to you this before the show as well, I was, uh, always knew Omni [00:03:00] Converters, the conversion rate optimization platform. And, uh, while doing a little bit of research for this episode, just sort of seeing how you've really hyper-focused the positioning and, and made that shift, but.
Maybe you can share with us a little bit about the backstory of like, how the shift came about and what was it that really drove you to, uh, to get where you are.
[00:03:21] Valentin Radu: Yeah, for sure, for sure. Andrew. So, to, to give you the, the, the, the backstory, I've started this company because I was, uh, in, uh, I was suffering for my previous company, which was an e-commerce, uh, e-commerce company.
We, we paid too much to acquire customers that never came back. Customer lifetime value was very important, and conversion rate was very, very important for them. Uh, and we, uh, decided to, to build something that would help us to become more relevant and that would help us to tweak the website. And, uh, we've built this technology.
After that, I've made the exit because we, we've been very, [00:04:00] very impactful with our efforts. So we increased the conversion rate by 60%, and I thought to myself, you know what? Everyone would, uh, need such a, such a tool. I was biased, of course. And, uh, after launching it, I, uh, we, we got to the. To, to, to small companies like we were, and we were fighting with the, with the churn, right?
So they, they couldn't adopt the product because they ever knew how to run AB testing experiments. So basically I thought that everyone does what I'm doing. I mean, staying all day in, in Google Analytics and coming up with hypothesis and looking at the user journey. Ba the surprise was that pretty much nobody did that.
So even though we've got something like, uh, at some point we were pushing very hard. On acquisition and we've got 20,000 users. I, I draw the line and I look there that we had, you know what, we have only 300 users that are still staying with [00:05:00] us. So I got there back to the drawing board and I, I needed to tweak the, uh, the product.
But in the meantime, I lost the train because, uh, Optimizly started to, to to show up. Basically blocked any type of, uh, advertising opportunity on the, on the, on the queries that had purchased intent for AB testing and whatever. So before they, uh, they raised something like, I don't know, 170 million, something like that.
Before that, the cost per click was around, uh, one, one and a half dollars. After that, it was 23. And we've said, What are we doing? I mean, how, how will you, how will we acquire customers? And uh, basically after that, uh, realization, we've said, You know what? We need to go up market. Even though we raised some money, we, uh, we hired a lot of sales reps.
We've got some, at some point, we've got 20 sales reps, which were, uh, acquiring customers that stayed with us only for three months. And [00:06:00] we've said, No, we, we need to go upmarket. So it was a mess. At some point. So basically I was completely lost and I thought that, yeah, I'm gonna, uh, we're gonna go bankrupt.
And, uh, I've had all these grim scenarios, but we needed to restructured. I've been very transparent to the team. We've, uh, we've re uh, restructured the whole company. I've, I, uh, we kept, uh, At some point we were like 75 people and we've got back to 42 or something like that. So, uh, mainly we, we, we needed to do something about it.
So, and that's something was to grow up market. And to, to serve large companies, which, uh, needed not only the technology, but also our, our models. And throughout this, uh, this experience in 2019, when we realized that we can't scale it, uh, anymore, we, we, I've made, I've personally made 250, uh, [00:07:00] interviews with eCommerce manager.
So basically I've got out there on LinkedIn. I made outreach and, uh, I, I've talked to them. So I jumped into calls with them to understand where I should be pivoting the company because we couldn't scale with the, in the conversion rate optimization space due to those facts and also to the fact, uh, that Google Optimized was a free tool and basically our points of difference were, and there.
So thanks to that I realized that, uh, Hey, the need on the market is not only to optimize the website, but to optimize the entire customer journey. And one of the things that they are fighting with is also, uh, uh, customer retention and customer lifetime values. So I've seen the opportunity, I've worked with some of our existing clients because they were also reaching a plateau on, uh, tweaking the websites to, to convert more.
After that, we've built a new product and a new offering called Omnicon Convert Reveal. We've built a whole academy around the topic [00:08:00] because I've, I've learned my lesson. You know, if people don't know how to use your tool, it doesn't matter how expensive or cheap that tool is. So in order to to, to have the adoption and to, to have the retention, you need to have a, a tool which is providing.
Undeniable value to the customer. Undeniable. That's the key, the key component here. So pretty much that's what we've done. And now nowadays we are, uh, crafting a new category around customer value optimization. Very
[00:08:28] Andrew Michael: cool, uh, not cool, obviously the backstory behind it, but just sort of the, the process and method you've got, and I think we can spend a lot of time going into what is the research that you did with the customers in a bit.
But I'm also interested, like, uh, you mentioned a couple things, and this is actually something I've heard before, specifically around like the conversion rate optimization space. Obviously previously at Hot show, uh, also having. Worked with at some point, uh, some x optimizly. Uh, folks, I think they also real came to similar realization as used that just there's not so [00:09:00] many sophisticated teams out there that are running experimentation at scale, which justifies having a platform for conversion rate optimization.
So they also, I think, realized very, very small markets and then, uh, like you said, like closed you out of, of different channels. This is something that we also talk about a little bit on the show, and it's an interesting concept because one of the greatest benefits of having really, really strong retention and customer lifetime value is it affords you to spend a lot more money on advertising, marketing, which ultimately forces, uh, customers and as competitors out of these channels.
So yeah, uh, you experienced that firsthand, like. What was that attack like? Uh, for you, obviously you mentioned like the costs going through the roof, but sort of like when did you realize this was happening and then, uh, was this one of the main reasons like that drove, uh, the change in strategy?
[00:09:53] Valentin Radu: Yeah. The, the, it was clear that, uh, the, the adoption of the product and the churn was, uh, [00:10:00] was too high to to, to bear anymore.
So we, we had this dashboard and we were looking at. At the, all, all sorts of the metrics, like onboarding rate, whatever. And we, we, we realized that with this, if we continue with this churn and with this new, uh, uh, new revenue, we are going to, uh, uh, go bankrupt in something. Like we got something like eight months.
Yeah. And we, we had to do something, uh, something about it. And, uh, the, the solution was to of. Make it, uh, make it so that you can continue. I mean, you, you, we were bleeding money every month, every day. And it was the mental state that you have when you, when you feel like you are not going to be able to pay your colleagues, your employees, the ones that are there for you.
It was, it, it's one of the worst, uh, worst things because it's not about yourself, it's about the others, which they've put their trust in you. They've, they've, they've said, You know what, I'm gonna change my destiny and I'm gonna come every day. To, [00:11:00] to, to this office, and I'm gonna follow this, this path. And it's, I mean, if you, if you care about people, it's, it's very tough to, to, to undertake.
So that feeling made me change things and to, to, to, to shift towards, uh, towards abundance eventually. Because if you don't have a. A wealthy company, you can't hire the right talent. You don't, you can't get the best minds out there, and you are not going to be, uh, to be fulfilled. And myself, my personal story is that I'm, I'm here to make it big or go home.
I mean, it's, uh, it's clear that I'm a high achiever and that frustration, uh, I wasn't about selling link up. So even though we had the moments when we could do some exit, I've said, No, I wanna make it work. And that's why we are going to. To, to, to pivot to other, to other.
[00:11:49] Andrew Michael: Yeah, that's essentially in the high achiever component.
It's like I've read, I heard a quote once and it's always stuck with me. It's like it's almost the same amount of effort to build like a million dollar business as it is to build a billion [00:12:00] dollar business. Like you need to do all the same work you need to do, go through all the same efforts, like, uh, One, it's difficult to say one is more difficult than the other.
Maybe like the, the complexities changed certainly, but you still need to put in that amount of, So if you're gonna go for it, you might as well go for it. I think, uh, is one aspect. The, the other thing as well that she's mentioned, and I'm interested on this, is that like the team grew to over 70 people. Um, and then you needed to sort of let people go as well after seeing it, Uh, that retention wasn't there for the business, but how did you get to that point of like rapid growth, uh, and then realizing it, Was there sort of any moments in time, like you mentioned just looking at the churn rate, um, but in the early stages, did you really just see like there was this greenfield and, uh, rapid growth and acceleration and that's what caused, uh, the hiring or was anything else that you were seeing in the market at the.
[00:12:53] Valentin Radu: Yeah, it was, uh, it was a mix of things. One, one thing was that we, we raised capital and we could afford [00:13:00] to, to, to hire more people, more better trained people and to, to get more, more, uh, more users at, at the same time. Before that, it wasn't, uh, we, we were doing this type of conspiracy boarding. We were basically doing a lot of extra miles for the.
For the users and the churn wasn't that present because we haven't got a, a, a user base, which was large, large enough to to, to give us the statistical relevance. But once we, we, we had the money to acquire enough users, then the, the, the, the bad signs started to, to show up and, uh, we needed to, to, to do something about.
[00:13:39] Andrew Michael: Yeah, I think this is definitely, uh, um, something, a very, very common thing is where early stage growth sort of masks the negative effects of churn and, uh, you don't realize it until it's often too late. We similarly as well at Hot Job, like there was an exercise at some point where we did calculated the growth ceiling.
Basically looking, if we never change any different growth [00:14:00] marketing tactics today and we just continue acquiring it, the rate we're acquiring today, like when would we stop growing? And that was sort of a moment in the company when everyone said, Okay, like maybe we should be paying attention to churn attention a little bit more than we think at this stage.
And I recommend, this is also a lot of people, like if you haven't done it yet, it's like a good calculation just to try and see, okay, how much of an issue is this and how much is growth currently masking issues, the underlying issues. Um, cool. You, you mentioned then at some points, Okay, the team realized this, We need to, to fix this, we need to sort it out.
And you went out and you spoke to 250, uh, different people. I think that's amazing. Can you walk us through a little bit about that process and what it looked like and how you sort of ended up synthesizing the information to, to make a pivot into what Omnicon there is today?
[00:14:47] Valentin Radu: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. So to, to, to, to start with, uh, it was.
Lucky accident, even though I don't believe in accidents, I've met Bob Mester and I've read his, uh, his book about, uh, [00:15:00] uh, demand side sales and jobs to be done. And, uh, I, I had this. This procedure, let's say this, uh, this method to, to to, to ask the right question so that I can, uh, I can understand the struggles, which can be addressed by something that we already have.
So my hypothesis is what if we've already built something which can be useful for other use case. Which is not conversion rate optimization. And that's why I wanted to inspect this and to, to, to validate these hypothesis. And, uh, I've made, uh, uh, calls with existing customers so that I can understand how they are, how they are seeing the, the world and what they are struggling with according to their position.
And also, I've made these calls with, uh, people that I've never met. I've just, uh, asked them to on LinkedIn that. Looking at your expertise, you seem like a very knowledgeable person. I wanna pick your brain on, um, On, on how to scale on, uh, on [00:16:00] eCommerce. And also I let him know that I'm a former eCommerce entrepreneur.
So basically I've, uh, I've asked them to, to, to have a conversation, an open conversation around the, the, the topic of eCommerce, uh, eCommerce growth. So some of them said yes, some of them haven't said yes, but when that's an important aspect, Andrew is, We validated that the customer retention was a problem big enough by doing, uh, uh, initially, uh, uh, uh, a state of the market, uh, survey.
So we've got something like 900 respondents with through outreach. So basically we've made, uh, uh, outreach on, uh, on LinkedIn to, to understand if customer attention is actually a problem, which is important enough. And we've said, we've validated on on enough people that this is a, this is a problem. Which is big enough.
And then we've got to, I've got to make this in depth research, which finished basically last, [00:17:00] uh, last summer, uh, when I validated how. People are, uh, articulating these type of problems if they have resources, if they can allocate resources, how they are, uh, solving the problems right now, Why is this a problem, not only for the company, but for them as an individual and for them as, because in the.
Midsize to enterprise context, you need to, to to do two type of sales, right? You do the sale to the, the internal champion, which is there and advocating for you. And you also do a sale for the company itself, which is a group buying where you need to understand what kind of messaging to, to, to use. And basically that's, that's how I realized the, that.
How to craft the product, how to prioritize some features on the product. And to be honest, we are not there. I mean, it's always a gap between what the customers really need, what they think they need, and what we've built already. So this, this gap is [00:18:00] always going to be there. And I, my suggestion is to, to, to, to come to, to, to.
To terms with this, because you, you can't find peace if you wanna do that fantastic product, you're always going to have troubles on, on delivering the features and whatever. But my, my initial, uh, approach was, uh, to, to. To build features and then to validate them with the market. So thankfully, thank God that I, uh, we haven't got, uh, uh, uh, wiped out by the market to, to, to change that and now to apply these principles, these healthy principles, because I think.
Maybe if someone wants to, to get the single thing out of this conversation is, uh, do customer research and, and make sure that you have enough, a big enough sample size. Because when I was a younger entrepreneur, I, I mean in this rodeo for nine years already when I was a younger entrepreneur, I've been always.
Enthusiast and I was [00:19:00] passionate about things and I wasn't having enough patience because I was young and full to validate that this is a problem that must be addressed. And those are the consequences of the problem because, uh, uh, and that's a thing from the, from the jobs to be done methodology, which I'm still applying it.
It's not only about the struggling moment, which is, uh, making people say, You know what? I'm gonna fix this once and for all. It's also about the ways that they are now, uh, using to solve that problem. And now we are, and that's when we realize, for instance, we are, we are solving this problem of customer lifetime value for, for e-commerce and.
But they have numerous ways to, to solve that. Right now they have, they are doing loyalty programs. They are, uh, uh, changing their agencies, you know, because they think that their agency is the problem. They are hiring more people in the customer service. They are doing concierge onboarding. [00:20:00] Uh, but God forbid to, to look at their data.
You know, our solution to that problem is you. We'll give you the data, we'll give you the segments of your customers, we'll help you understand which are the products which are bringing you into the most sticky customers, and we'll help you get real time feedback from your best and worst customers so that you can treat what's broken in your customer journey.
But that's not how they fix this problem, uh, beforehand. So that's, uh, that, that's how it, uh, uh, it went for for us. So, Very
[00:20:32] Andrew Michael: interesting. Yeah. And definitely on the customer research. I think from our side as well, in the early like startup journey was like, I spent a lot of time focusing on data, and I think specifically in early stage, like data is bullshit.
Like I think there's, there's so much mixed signals you get from it because you just don't have the amount of data that a mature company has to give you good signals and, um, Customer conversations like nothing beats uh, the insights that you're gonna gather from like [00:21:00] 10, 20 calls, uh, versus like spending a few hours going through your data.
Exactly. The other thing that's interesting, I think you mentioned, and it's something overlooked as well, is. Not only did you speak to existing customer base, but you also went to sort of an unknown base. An unknown audience. Yeah. Uh, which would typically would be like a panel, uh, study you would also take a look at as, I think this is very interesting because the, like your customers that you have today are a direct reflection of the marketing that you've done in the product you've built up until that point in Yeah, in the.
and in this case, like Omni Convert is the perfect example of this is like the people you've acquired as people that wanted to work on conversion and optimization. And that was a problem, but it doesn't necessarily represent the best opportunity for your business and as you've seen as well on the other side.
So getting feedback and input from, uh, people that aren't sure customers to the point, but operating a similar market and repurposing your software, uh, is sort of a fantastic way actually to sort of. See how you can scale and grow an organization, uh, at the same time. So a lot of things we talk about on the show, like you've [00:22:00] literally gone through almost all of them to keep them off on the box, uh, as you go through.
[00:22:04] Valentin Radu: Yeah. One, one aspect that I think it must be, must be addressed to Andrew here is that you have to, you have to have the recordings of those, uh, interviews because when you are actually playing during the interview, you are, you are concerned and you have your train of thought. But when you are. Looking at the, the, uh, the, the recordings, you, you might notice some aspects which, uh, are, are very important out there.
And another thing is to note down how they are articulating the problem. I mean, what are the consequences of the problem? Because those things are your next, uh, marketing campaigns, right? So your email subjects are there. And for instance, we've got some, we've got this very. When do you need such a solution?
And the the recurring team was when my, when I've noticed in Google that, uh, my agency's capabilities are done. You know, I [00:23:00] mean, they, they, they noticed that they, their agency wasn't doing what they should be because it's, uh, and, and it's very important to understand. What is the struggling moment when they are doing this?
Because it's not about the solution, it's more about the problem. And I've, I've learned this, uh, multiple times that, uh, I, and I, I've, I've made this presentation recently at the, at, at the conference at How to Web here in Bucharest. It's. Back, I don't know, five, six years ago, the solution to any problem.
Like we haven't acquired enough customers. We don't have, uh, traction, we don't have, uh, uh, our journeys too high. Uh, ev the, the universal solution to this problem was build more features, you know, and those features were, weren't validated. So it, I call this a disease, which is called feature. You know, and uh, yeah,
[00:23:55] Andrew Michael: I like that you teeing me up.
I think too much as well. Cause obviously part of, uh, building AO the [00:24:00] company that I founded as well now through the podcast is we provide tools for you to analyze and share customer research. So, uh, we do actually provide service where you can upload your user interviews. We automatically transcribe them for you.
And then we also use machine learning to automatically detect questions and provide summaries. So help speeding up that process. Uh, For analysis for your interviews, but it definitely is a valuable process to go through. And like you said, like when you're having those conversations, it's often more important to actually focus on asking the right questions and trying to take notes and things to remember.
Um, because it, otherwise, if you're just going through like a standard script, you end up missing out like a lot of the good that you get from the jobs to be done. Framework is all and drilling into the pain points and the problems and the times. Uh,
[00:24:42] Valentin Radu: yeah, that's right. So.
[00:24:45] Andrew Michael: You, you spent the time, you did all of these interviews, like you started to identify some other opportunities that lay, like you mentioned as well, that perhaps you'd built some software that could be repurposed and then, uh, service like, uh, this other form of the [00:25:00] market.
Um, what did that discussion then look like internally? Like how did you go about saying, Okay, team, like I know we've been going one direction all along, like that's not the direction. Yeah.
[00:25:12] Valentin Radu: Yeah. So that, that was one of the hardest things, you know, to, to, to, to change the focus, you know, because you have, as a founder, as an entrepreneur, you, you are, you are so enthusiastic about it, about this thing, you know, and, um, you say, Let's go to Miami.
And you find some people which are willing to, to go to Miami with you, and during this process, you're, you're always, that's, that's your job, you know, as a, as an entrepreneur to, to look for opportunities to validate if Miami is the right place to go and, During the process, when you, you get a lot of people excited about going to Miami, you realize that, you know, it's too hot in Miami.
You know, the music is not so good. It's very expensive, and you need to come up with the, uh, [00:26:00] to, to justify why you actually need to go to Paris instead of Miami. Paris is closer and you, you have this, uh, basically I've learned this, uh, the hard. That people are so resistant to, to change because as an entrepreneur, you are changing very quickly.
You know, that's, that's your ability, you know, to, to, to not, I don't know, to, to not get so in love with your past ideas and, and you need to, to, to challenge your own hypothesis because if you don't do that, you, you are not going to discover the, the, the right path. And, uh, internally it was very hard. So I've, uh, I've made this, uh, Exercise multiple times.
So eventually I, uh, I needed to convince and to fight with some, some of the best, uh, the, the most senior people in here and to persuade them before doing that, I was struggling. So I've carved out a team and we were [00:27:00] working on this new project while the, the entire company was working on what they always did, and it was, Until I got this internal alignment, nothing was moving and I was, I was perceived as, uh, um, Uh, changing too fast, uh, is not gonna work.
That's a crazy idea. Who needs that? And we, I needed to respond to these things and to, to, to paint out a better future, which is towards this new blue ocean that we are, we are getting through. And, uh, that, that's how, how I, how I made it happen, uh, eventually, but it's a process. And uh, for me it was very helpful to, to read some, uh, uh, some books.
One of that was play bigger. Uh, which, uh, basically, uh, convinced me that it's possible to actually carve out a new category. And it's, and it's such a, such a, a, a hard to get objective that it's, uh, exciting and frightens me at, uh, at the same time. [00:28:00]
[00:28:00] Andrew Michael: Yeah. Um, I think play Big is an interesting one. I was actually chatting a while back to, I think it's l Ramadan, uh, to get him on the show, one of the authors, uh, of the book.
I really enjoyed that. So definitely recommend play bigger, uh, around thinking about category, uh, creation as well, and um, going off to a big opportunity. And yeah, so I definitely feel that as well, like as an entrepreneur myself, like. You, you're not precious with the idea, like you should stay focused on the problem and that you're trying to solve.
But like the end solution or the results is something they should be willing to scrap and give away. But also see like internally with a team, like where they decide, okay, Miami's the place I wanna be like this is what I wanna do. That it is quite difficult sometimes for people to get on board and especially like if in an early stage you might need to change two or three times.
Um, and being able to keep the team along with you on that journey, I think is also a skill, uh, that you pick up after time. Are there any sort of things that you've seen [00:29:00] that have been effective, like navigating through this?
[00:29:03] Valentin Radu: Um, first of all, to be, to be honest about, um, what you feel without, uh, without downsizing the importance of what you already do.
So in order to pivot you, you need to be very cautious because people are there for. You for the other colleagues, but also for the dream that you've sold to them. So selling, selling another dream. It's, it's a job of, of actually making them aware about what's, what's going on in the market, you know, and coming up with the, with, with support because, uh, uh, another thing that, that is happening, you are the, uh, visionary, usually the, the, the.
Founder is the visionary, and you are always coming up, throwing ideas at them, you know, and they are fed up with the new ideas because someone needs to execute on those ideas and you're not that person. You know, you're always going to excite [00:30:00] them about new things and you are always going to let them.
Do their job because that's why they're in the, uh, in the company. So basically, for one, one suggestion would be to, to, to, uh, emphasize why is this important and how is this going to affect them as well? Because you are working on this position and what's, what's, what's this position going to look like?
For instance, we had the, we have a consulting arm and we are working with large companies to help them in the conversion rate optimization and with the data analysis. But how is this, uh, uh, going to affect. Uh, them in the future, how that team is going to be affected, and that's going to be affected by training other agencies.
And now we have a program and we have a whole academy around this. We teamed up with the, uh, heavy hitters in this space, and now our team is helping, uh, Basically other agencies and other competitors to provide these type of services and emphasizing, um, [00:31:00] how this thing is going to affect all the roles, all the positions, and building, building a momentum, you know, finding out the right momentum where you already have, uh, the, the most senior people and the influencers within the team that could, uh, could help you out because it's, uh, it's not only a matter of, uh, the manager.
Because you can have people with very, very large authority, which are just, I dunno. You can have someone which is just, uh, Front and developer, but he has so big charisma and influence within the company that you need his help as well. So you need to talk with everyone which has the, the power to, to convince the other ones that this path must, must be taken.
And if you have the right people on the bus, like it's that saying, uh, it doesn't matter where the bus is going. Right? So if you have enough. Uh, enough good people that are there for you and for the, uh, for the initial cause. You can, you can make them, uh, jump on [00:32:00] board to the next, uh, next chapter of your existence.
[00:32:03] Andrew Michael: Nice. Uh, I see we round up on time, so I wanna make sure I ask two questions. Ask every guest. Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario. You arrive a new company, China attention's not doing great, and the CEO comes to you and says, Hey, Valenti, you need to turn things around. You have 90 days to do it.
What do you. Catches. You're not gonna tell me I'm gonna go and speak to customers and figure out their pain points, or I'm not gonna look at data and try and figure out from there, you're just gonna take a tactic that you've seen, either work at one of your client's companies or your company itself, and run with that blindly hoping that it helps reduce churn.
What would you do?
[00:32:39] Valentin Radu: That's a tough one, man. But, uh, I think I can, uh, I can, uh, shoot in the dark a bit. . Yeah. Yeah, one, one tactic would be to, to to, to get the customer success, uh, to, to make it harder for at least two, three weeks for people to, [00:33:00] to, to get rid of the solution, unless they give us the reasons, uh, why find out what is the distribution of those reasons.
You know, what, what is the distribution, what is the percentage and fix that, you know, try to fix that with the, if it's a marketing team, it's a, if it's a product problem, if, if it's a knowledge problem to, to, to fix that because it's clear that people are voting with their wallets and if the churn is the problem, it's clear that you are doing something wrong.
[00:33:30] Andrew Michael: Yeah. And you cotail it a little bit there by saying, using customer success to speak to the customers and service yourself, but I'll let you have it understand
[00:33:37] Valentin Radu: all. So we got, let's not use that. We, we simply interrogate the, the, we, we put there an open answer to the, to the customers before, uh, abandoning our product to tell us with their own words, which are at least 50.
Why they haven't, they are not using the product anymore. That's, that's my. Nice.
[00:33:59] Andrew Michael: [00:34:00] What's one thing you know today about China attention that you wish you knew when you got started with your career?
[00:34:05] Valentin Radu: One thing is that, um, it, it's not like gravity, so it's something that can be fixed. So, uh, and, and it's, but it's as important as gravity to your business.
I think that's, that's the thing that I should have known early, early in, in our, in my career.
[00:34:28] Andrew Michael: I like that a lot. Very cool, Valentine. Well thank you so much for joining. Is there any final thoughts you wanna leave the listeners with or how they could keep up with your.
[00:34:37] Valentin Radu: Yeah. Uh, I wanna say something to you.
Maybe there are people which are struggling right now with their businesses. Maybe there are people which are trying, trying a lot of things because we, Media is, uh, is giving us a lot of cool examples of, I don't know, very cool entrepreneurs that made it. But for every entrepreneur, which made it, maybe there are 99 that are, haven't made it [00:35:00] just yet.
My suggestion is to, to, uh, To, to find it in your heart to continue and to, because the, you, you can make it, you will eventually make it. Maybe not with this business model, maybe with another one, but don't give up on, on yourself. And, uh, something that, uh, It was crucial, important for me, and that could avoid my burnout back in 2017, was to not to put the equal sign between you as an individual, as a person and your results, because you can be a fantastic human being without the results, and you can have fantastic results by being a jerk.
So, uh, the, the, the game plan. Uh, is to have a life and to be, uh, uh, to, to, to accept yourself as you are. Because if you accept yourself as you are, you'll, the results will follow. Eventually, you, you can't avoid being successful if you have a good relationship with yourself and you're not beating up yourself too much like I did basically.
[00:35:58] Andrew Michael: Yeah, it's a [00:36:00] tough thing to do as well, I think, because like you said, a really high bar for yourself. Uh, and also what that does is set you up for disappointment very, very easily. But then if you actually take a step back and you look around you and you say like, Wait a minute, like. We've actually done a hell of a lot and a lot more than 99% of people would do.
Uh, there's a lot to be proud of, but I think it's very, very hard just to switch that mindset and say, Okay, like let's focus on, on what's good. Yeah. But I like the great end Valentine. Thank you so much for joining and I wish your best of luck now with the new direction going forward.
[00:36:33] Valentin Radu: Thank you as well, Andrew.
And, uh, all the best from Bucharest.
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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.