How TravelPerk reduced churn by building features that create superpowers for their users.

Javier Suarez




Javier Suarez
Javier Suarez

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have Javier Suarez, co-founder of Oliva.

In this episode, we talked about what it feels like to start over again after building TravelPerk, a hyper-growth startup. Javier also shared how the anxiety that came with being a founder of a hyper-growth company motivated him to start Oliva just a few years later.

We also discussed how TravelPerk viewed churn and retention and what they did to solve it in the early days, we then dove into the evolution of their product team as their company scaled, why they focused their efforts on small to medium-sized businesses, how they made that decision, and how it influenced their product strategy.

Mentioned Resources



What it feels like to start over again after building TravelPerk, a hyper-growth company. 00:01:60
How the anxiety that came with being a founder of a hyper-growth company motivated Javier to start Oliva just a few years later. 00:03:26
How they viewed churn and retention at Travelperk and how they solved it in the early days. 00:07:33
The evolution of Travelperk’s product team as the company scaled and how they approached reducing churn and retention. 00:18:31
Why Travelperk focused on small to medium-sized businesses, how they made that decision, and how this influenced their product strategy. 00:20:19
How would Javier reduce churn and increase retention for a company in just 90 days. 00:25:53
What's one thing Javier knows about churn and retention today that he wished he knew when he got started with her career. 00:27:05


Andrew Michael: [00:00:00] hey, Javier. Welcome to the show.

Javier Suarez: [00:00:02] Thanks so much.

Andrew Michael: [00:00:04] It's a pleasure for the listeners.

Have you as the co-founder of Oliva , uh, they provide meaningful online therapy for busy people, uh, prior to Oliva, um, Javier started out in business development in and then moved on to found TravelPerk and served as the chief product officer. So my first question for you, Javier is.

How does it feel starting over again, coming from my hyper-growth startup, you found it the beginnings of a new company now at the ideation stage and about to launch

Javier Suarez: [00:00:34] great question. Thanks. It, it feels much easier. It feels much easier because you just understand the faces of the company a lot better.

And of course there were a lot of mistakes that I've made in early phases, right? The wrong hires, wrong this. And, um, so I've learned a lot from those mistakes and it just feels that I can. Yeah, I have a lot more visibility of, of, of what's to come in the future.

Andrew Michael: [00:00:56] You have a roadmap. Yes. And, uh, you, you.

[00:01:00] Javier Suarez: [00:01:01] And of course the emotional side as well.

Right. Like I know exactly, you know, what I can expect in terms of, of, you know, being in this early phase, uh, you know, how intense it's going to get the first time around. I had no idea. I just went, went for it. And then I realized that it's really, really intense and many, many more things. But, um, but now I feel a lot more, uh, um, Yeah, it just, it feels a lot better and easier to start and to process it in my mind and to build a team and et cetera,

Andrew Michael: [00:01:30] for sure. It can definitely as well, like starting out a new company can be an emotional roller coaster, uh, with highs and lows. And, um, I'm interested as well, like. Obviously we've had censure on the show as well previously, um, from Oliva who you co-founded the company together, but from your perspective, sort of what was the motivation to get started now with Oliva?

Like after TravelPerk, uh, deciding to find a new company, like where did the idea come from? Where did the motivation come to found it?

Javier Suarez: [00:01:58] Yeah, absolutely. Um, [00:02:00] so look, I mean, and TravelPerk was, was an amazing, right, but it was as well, uh, it was hyper-growth as you said. So it was very intense and there were moments where I just didn't know any more, how to take the next step basically, right.

From an emotional perspective. And, and so I started getting a lot of insight during, during, and during that journey. Yeah. And I thought, okay, you know, it was, it was a new thing for me. And I was getting used to the whole feeling and what is this, et cetera. So I decided to. To try to get some help, some professional help right there.

The obvious thing is, Hey, just go to Google and look for, for a psychologist. And that's when it became so real and so obvious that it was just a nightmare to get help, right? You go into Google and then you have, you know, hundreds of hundreds of different providers and they all use this like clinical jargon and you have to call, and then you have to write down yourself the appointment that was too, which is very hard.

And then. You know, you might get to the therapist actually, and then you, you get there and you don't like the person. [00:03:00] And then just the thought of, of doing that again. And you just stop basically, most people just stop after the first try and, and in my mind, you know, it's 2020, like it makes no sense that mental health support or however you want to call it should be so outdated and so hard.

So I thought and you know, and everybody has a mind. So, so the addressable market is just massive. And, um, so I just thought the whole time, and I tried multiple times and I just thought this has to be fixed. This has to be fixed. It's too big of a problem. And too important to. So leave it this way. So I kind of left it in my pocket for a, and I knew that if I had the energy after travel to do something again, I want it to be very meaningful and something that I had and a real problem that I had.

And this was the biggest problem that I had. So that's kind of what inspired med

Andrew Michael: [00:03:50] yeah. Source of neuro-diversity that you suffered from anxiety and that you were looking forways to sort of focus on that, but that this came out of like a really [00:04:00] strong problem that you had personally, and then you went ahead and sort of, uh, starting to build the company now.

Um, and I can echo as well, sort of that feeling, I think for myself personally, Um, a while back had decided, okay, I wanted to go and see somebody. I was about to have a son. And in my mind, I sort of wanted to get my mind right. In the sense that I am, we all come with our own cognitive biases and I wanted to be aware of those so that I didn't sort of bring those onto a newborn that I was bringing into this world.

And I tutored sort of a similar thing, like try to find somebody to speak, to like a, wanting to work on my mind a bit. And it just. That felt more of a chore and more of an effort than like the good that it was going to come out of it. And I ended up giving up. Um, and obviously I think, cause you know, like recently, uh, tested out Oliva myself, like to try and, uh, start speaking to somebody cause also embarking on your entrepreneurial journey.

Like I really want to be making sure that, like you said, like you're working actively on your mind to make sure, um, that you're ready for [00:05:00] this next emotional roller coaster that I know is going to. Um, so I tested the product side a kick and said like the experience so far has been really, really impressive, like really smooth.

Um, and it's been good to sort of just be able to speak to somebody. And, uh, I think next week is going to be the first session that I have. Um, so I'm looking forward to that and testing it out. But. Can definitely see and, uh, great that it sort of came out of this problem that you had it, obviously, I think resonates with a lot of other people that just busy.

You don't have the time don't want to go through the effort, but really could, uh, use and, uh, the help. And obviously that just like we go to gym and you have a membership to sort of work on your health on your physical health. I think mental health is just as important, uh, when you go through it. So cool.

Let's um, jump back to TravelPerk then. Um, And sort of like you mentioned, uh, some anxiety and, um, I'm interested sort of, uh, did churn and retention have anything to do with anxiety at any point. And, uh, maybe you want to talk us a little bit through [00:06:00] sort of how you viewed churn and retention at TravelPerk.

Javier Suarez: [00:06:05] Yeah, absolutely. So it definitely had to do with my anxiety, the churn and retention, and, um, so. I guess the, the, the, the whole way, the whole issue in TravelPerk was that we were trying to build a platform or a platform that companies could use to completely manage their travel. Right. And, and we were competing against platforms that already existed, but just not very well done, eh, but they existed.

So, and, and, and we knew that we needed, uh, a quite wide set of features. To make it work for companies, right. They only, they don't know, they don't only need, uh, the booking of a fight about hotel, but they also need visibility into how much they're spending, you know, how many they need approval systems, et cetera, et cetera.

So I really had to, like, from the very beginning, I had to think, okay, what is the absolutely most painful thing that we can [00:07:00] remove from these companies so that they stay with us. Right. And, um, and that's what exactly what I did. We had a small pilot founding member program, similar to a lever and, uh, And we've got some companies on board and I asked, you know, what's, what's the thing that annoys you the absolute most right now.

And the first one that they said to me was I hate having to go to multiple sites to book flights and hotels. So I said, okay, great. Let's put that into one site. So we just literally built two verticals. And now all of a sudden we had flights and hotels under one roof for them to book. And, but that obviously was not enough.

Right. And for them to stay, that was, that was a great start. And, and they would keep talking to us, but that would not keep them in the house forever. So then I quickly realized, and after asking more that a huge pain for them was invoicing, you know, for now, since they were all self managing their, their travel.

They would have to go to, to the airline every time into the hotel and request the invoice so that, you know, so that employees could, it could expense it [00:08:00] and that could take days, weeks, et cetera. And as you know, if they don't have the invoice, they can't turn it back. So it'd be you. They can't get that money back.

And it was a real pain for them, but, and so I said, you know, this is a great opportunity. We can, we can, with our model, we were able to generate invoices in real time because we were the ones actually selling the travel. We were not, we were not sending you elsewhere. You were actually booking with us.

Which gave us the capability to be able to create invoices in real time, you would book. And then the next second you would have your invoice. And that was magical for a lot of companies, right? Because all of a sudden they had, they were saving all this time and headache in having to chase all these airlines and hotels for invoices.

And that was a really, really good hook to prevent churn in the early days, just with that one thing. But, but that one thing to time to find. Right. Eh, but for us it was, it was crucial. And, and that's, that was the first, basically the first action that we [00:09:00] took to prevent churn at a very early stage where we knew that it was going to take a few years to get the complete set of features that these, um, that these companies truly needed to really be able to manage travel, like they imagined and wanted.

Andrew Michael: [00:09:18] Yeah, I love that as well. Sort of, uh, knowing and realizing early on that you had sort of this sort of David versus Goliath needing to, uh, bold, uh, so many features in order just to keep up. Uh, but generally just going back to focusing on that single biggest pain point that. The end user had. And how can you solve that problem better than anybody else?

Cause I think this really hits at the core of everything when it comes to churn and retention . I mean, ultimately if your customers have a problem and you're able to solve that problem effectively and efficient manner, like there's absolutely no reason why anybody would ever turn. Um, they're like outside of involuntary churn, which is just outside of your control, but if you're really able to [00:10:00] nail.

What their problem is, and then effectively solve it. Eh, you Verde sort of prevention is better than churn. So how did you then, like you mentioned, sort of you asked the users and, uh, you came to this sort of, what did that process look like? Like when did you get this aha moment and invoices was the thing you needed to double down on.

How did you get to that point?

Javier Suarez: [00:10:21] Pretty straight forward. I, we literally talked to the customers, right. And, and, and we asked them, Hey, where are you losing the most time while can travel? Because. Companies, you know, travel is just, it's just a waste to have mean like these companies don't work in travel, they just want to get to their meeting and get back and they'll have to think about the whole process.

And, and so, so I asked him, where are you using the most time? What is the biggest headache and invoice? And it just kept coming up. Actually, in fact, it kept coming back because they kept asking us for an invoice before we had that feature. It's like, I really need this invoice. I really need this invoice.

And at the beginning we will do the work for them before we had. Adapted [00:11:00] the model to be able to create invoices, we would actually go out and try to collect these invoices for them. And then we said, okay, this is nuts. We have to generate the invoice ourselves. If you want to scale this. And then we, and then we generated the invoices.

Andrew Michael: [00:11:15] Doing things that don't scale to begin with and then finding a way to automate exactly, exactly. Um, and it also sort of reminds me me a little bit about, uh, like the cost first value matrix when it comes to churn and retention, sort of, um, being able to put together a four by four matrix and understanding sort of who is your highest risk.

Okay of churn and who's the lowest in the sense that, um, on the X axis you can have cost and that being like the cost of your product or the time needed to invest to get value out and on the Y the amount of value that they're extracting from your product. And it, a lot of ways sort of, um, the value sort of focusing Danville down on the product, ultimately, uh, reducing costs as well for companies.

Um, it really has a good positive ROI, uh, overall, which. [00:12:00] Can lead you to sort of another lane keeping customers around for longer. Um, so I'm interested in that then as well. Like, so this was the early days, like you really need to figure out like a way David versus Goliath. How do you beat the competition?

How do you catch up to the feature parody, but then fast forward, maybe like a couple of years into travel perks, uh, growth, like growing, uh, really, really quickly, um, What did the product team look like as well? Like how did you scale product? And then the follow-up question to that would be like, how was the product team structured around, uh, focusing to reduce general retention?

Javier Suarez: [00:12:37] So, okay. So the first question was how we, how have we built that first, the first team?

Andrew Michael: [00:12:42] Yeah, the product team. How did it, like, how did it the first team that you put together in a hundred look when you left. Okay. Good.

Javier Suarez: [00:12:48] Fantastic. So the first, basically the first, uh, the first team that we built, we built it by, uh, by verticals.

Right? So, so in our case, we had very [00:13:00] specific service areas, so to speak, we had, you know, we had hotels, we had flights and then eventually we have trends in cars. So in the very beginning, we needed somebody to completely own this big verticals. Right. And so in the beginning we had hotels and flights, as I said, so we hired a PO to own the hotel vertical, and then another product owner to own the flights vertical, uh that's from a, from a product owner perspective.

And then of course, each of these teams, so we had the whole, from the very early days, we had the, the squad approach, right. Uh, That are completely, completely autonomous on their own. So we give them, you know, we gave each team a designer, we gave them a product owner and then we gave them basically two front end debts and two back in depths.

Right. And, and that was kind of like the bare bones teams. For each of the verticals and, and we basically replicated those, um, those mini teams for, for [00:14:00] the new verticals when they came, you know, for train. So that was the next one that came. And, um, and then as we started growing, we started going a bit outside of those verticals and we started, for example, We started to meet a lot more and internal tooling.

So we build another layer, which was more for internal tooling to make us a lot more efficient, eh, when reacting to customer requests to manual requests. Um, so, so if, if you imagine in your mind you have these verticals, right? And then when we had some stuff that was, that was crossed across all verticals and, and, and that was internal tooling, but also for example, tooling.

For, uh, for the companies to be able to manage their travel. So we built a tooling team to create the, the reporting feature, you know, all the, all the admin settings that they needed that were of course cross verticals. So you kind of had it like this matrix, right? You had people focused on verticals and then you had people focused on the cross-functional stuff that went across everything.

[00:15:00] And, um, and, and what we did is that we give them a lot of ownership, a lot of ownership, and they could do basically, they could completely own it and feel like, like mini CEOs. And, and that was it. It was, it was pretty, pretty straightforward.

Andrew Michael: [00:15:14] Nice. So it sounds similar to sort of like the Spotify, maybe coined it, like the squad model that Spotify uses for those.

If you want to Google it later, you can check it out. It's good to get explanation, um, is many medium blogs and sites that explain it quite well. Um, it's actually similar to Hotjar as well. Uh, sort of had this squad mentality and structured around, um, different areas of the product to begin with. I think later then we moved slowly, started moving towards.

The stages of the user journey. So, uh, active or acquisition activation engagement retention, sort of having squads around, uh, different functions as opposed to product itself. But the squad philosophy is the same, uh, I think, and then.

Javier Suarez: [00:15:57] Sorry. That was actually the next phase. [00:16:00] After, after that phase, we, we, we moved into that direction that you just mentioned.

So after a while we grouped, we kind of create tribes, right. And then you had the services tribe, right. And then within that services tribe, then you had three product owners for each vertical, and then you had the internal tooling tribe and they have different, different, I guess, not really verticals, but different service areas, service areas within that, that tribe.

Andrew Michael: [00:16:26] Yeah.

Javier Suarez: [00:16:27] Basically what you do is that you start creating yeah. Another layer of hierarchy. Right. And then you just start grouping stuff that, that, as it makes sense.

Andrew Michael: [00:16:35] Does that make sense for sure. Um, and then, so within this then like obviously churn and retention, sort of a multifaceted problem. It's like every aspect of it primates, I think making improvements to it, uh, can ultimately make an improvement to reducing churn.

So how will you. How was churn viewed within the company, maybe overall we can start there. And then how within the [00:17:00] product organization, did you focus on churn and reducing it?

Javier Suarez: [00:17:03] So, um, the way we approached churn that we had, we always looked at cohorts and so, you know, different cohorts when they started and how long they would stay with us.

Right. And we would try to understand what would keep, uh, yeah. What would keep a customer within a four and what, and what wouldn't. And, um, and then we just had to be really strict into what pains and what basically we had to be really strict into what segment of, of, of company size. We wanted to focus on.

Right because   the needs of the different sizes of companies that there are, are so are very different. And in our, in our case, we made the decision that we wanted to focus in small and medium sized businesses. And, and then we would say basically, no, To everything that was not within that segment on purpose.

Right? We would, we were doubling down and making sure that we were creating and focusing on those features that would retain the [00:18:00] segment that we were after and not the whole world. And, um, and we were pretty strict with that. And sometimes we would experiment a little bit with bigger accounts and so forth.

And that's kind of like how we were around it, which is very, very at focus and strict into what was the segment that we wanted to target and made sure that we, that we were in very close contact to them at all times, to understand, you know, in, in a proactive manner. What is the next big pain that we need to solve for them and always trying to be a bit, uh, um, uh, proactive in that sense.

Andrew Michael: [00:18:35] Well, let's go a little bit deeper on that then. So this, these segments, small and medium-sized businesses, how did you go about sort of determining this? So you said you made a decision, how was that decision made? Um, and then after that sort of, how did this influence in the product strategy from there?

Javier Suarez: [00:18:51] Yeah. Yeah. Great question. Um, so look, it was pretty easy to make a decision because there was already, I mean, when we started the company, one [00:19:00] of the reasons why we started it was because there was already, it was, there was a clear, uh, so there was a regular group of solutions, so to speak corporate solutions, right?

Big TMCs travel management companies. And that was already servicing the big corporates. So they had all the solutions that they needed. If you were a corporate, there was plenty of solutions, but if you were a medium or small, there was nothing. So it was just this big ocean. Yeah. That was literally in front of us and without a solution.

So we said, why are we going to go and try to compete against the corporate accounts or for the corporate accounts, if we can serve these completely underserved side of things.

Andrew Michael: [00:19:39] Interesting. So it really started from like the product hypothesis to begin with, uh, having that segment in mind and also sort of realizing again, who the competition you're up against and where the gaps, uh, led from there.

Um, yeah,

Javier Suarez: [00:19:53] I must add that it's tempting, right? To break that rule. It's very tempting. Once you get a big account and they have a huge budget, like, [00:20:00] okay, what if we just build this feature for this one customer and saying no to that is really hard, but I think it's very important.

Andrew Michael: [00:20:06] Yeah. And do you, did you have a sort of a framework for this second?

The decision-making how do you, you said no, like it was just black and white. Like really, you just took feedback from small and medium-sized businesses and that could waited, uh, versus feedback from sort of large enterprise companies.

Javier Suarez: [00:20:21] No, look, I think that was not so, so black and white, right? We would, we would.

We would review every request. And basically what we would do is that we would have, let's say a hundred new potential accounts. Right. And we would see what their requests, what they wanted. And then we would see reading what features were needed by most. Right. And prioritize that way. Like if there was a feature that really could serve the vast majority of our customers, then we would go ahead.

If it was only for a really small subsegment of our customers, then probably would go a bit lower on the list. And, but it was just really trying to pinpoint those features that we knew that would create a superpower for, for most [00:21:00] accounts. And, and we had to focus on those until we had the capability to start experimenting with, with different types of accounts and maybe build a little taskforce to just to focus as an experiment.

Right. So we were not, we were not, uh, blindfolded to our corporates. We were just very selective into how we did it.

Andrew Michael: [00:21:19] Yeah. And did that change over time? So like you started out focusing small, medium business. Did you like eventually start to go move a little bit more up market or you stood, uh, true to the origins and kept focused on SMB and medium enterprise.

Javier Suarez: [00:21:35] We look, we, we, we did fluctuate a little bit, eh, up and down in terms of budgets signs through time. Um, but eh, but we always, we kept asking ourselves every six months we would have the strategy meeting and we would ask, is this really the best segment for us? And then we would compare it to the other segment and.

And in all cases, we would always go back to the small and medium size [00:22:00] business. But, you know, it's more than medium is still pretty big. It's a huge chunk. Even within that, eh, we, we did have different ranges that would fluctuate with time, depending on, on the demand they were getting. And, um, but it was always within range.

Right. Uh, and, and that's kinda like how we approached it.

Andrew Michael: [00:22:19] So I'm interested as well. Then what was sort of the comparative measures that you were measuring them up against? Cause I think definitely like when you think of the context of general attention, uh, SMB and mid-market SMB specifically is definitely, always going to have higher churn rates.

Uh, you just nature of the business, uh, companies go bankrupt, they can't afford your service. Like, um, so you definitely on one end sort of. Um, having this constant battle with general attention when you're dealing with SMBs and it is very sort of tempting to move up markets for a lot of, uh, people. Cause that's typically like on the enterprise and mid-market to larger companies tend to have lower.

So what was sort of the comparative measures you were measuring things up against to sort of decide. Okay. Yes. It still makes sense to focus on [00:23:00] SMB and mid-market.

Javier Suarez: [00:23:03] Um, basically what's available. Right? What, like, we, we, we knew that there was not very many options in that segment. So, so we knew that it was, we had a big advantage because we were kind of one of the first ones to get started.

And, and, and we just kept building momentum and, and improving, improving the platform, improving the platform and to be quite Frank men and the travel and, and, and on its core business travel and its core, I would say it's pretty sticky. So churn is actually in tra in business travel. In our case, it was very, it was very low the whole time, because.

Once you've deployed a system within your organization, right. Specifically travel and, you know, there's passports in there. There's cost centers reporting, you know, once you've set up the system to work for you and your, in your organization. To change to assist you. It's it's, it's a crazy head pick, right?

Not because we make it hard for them, but just because there's so many people involved, like it's so many things [00:24:00] involved, like, like I said, passport payments method who pays with what, eh, what are the policies and, and, and all the contracts that we might have made for them to get in better rates. So it's a very sticky product per se.

Eh, TravelPerk. And, and for that reason, we never, I must say churn was never the biggest, eh, once we had. Once we had, uh, let's say a basic, like he called it feature parity. That's when we were up there, eh, churn was never. And I'm going to say actually now that I think the back turn was never read, the biggest problem that we had was always among the smallest problems.

Eh, we, of course there's the, there was a few times where, where maybe a very important account was about to leave for a reason, but I would say no 95% of the cases, or even more. We never lost them. Eh, there isn't very many travel perks in the world, which were just fantastic.

Andrew Michael: [00:24:57] And it makes a lot of sense. I think you sort of, the switching costs [00:25:00] for companies really, really high, like, uh, once you have maybe a hundred people, I think we use TravelPerk at October as well.

Like once you've got everybody's details and everybody's got their profile set up, travel and working to get everyone in your company, not to move to a new provider, that alone is just some like a huge decision that's weighted against, um, the team internally before they make a switch. But yeah. Cool. So let's, uh, change gears a little bit.

This is the question I ask every guest that joins the show. Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario. Now that you join a new company, you arrive at this company, tryna is not doing great. And the CEO comes to you and says, Javier, like we needed to turn things around. We need to do it fast. We have 90 days. I want you to make a difference.

Like what would you want to do with your time in those first 90 days to try and reduce churn?

Javier Suarez: [00:25:53] Well first, so we'll do a massive deep dive in to understand why they're leaving. Right. I would need to completely understand what's going on. Like, [00:26:00] what is the main, what are the main triggers that are causing people to leave and where are they going? And so I would try to identify that once that's pinpointed and validated with customers, I would, um, I would, I would get on it.

I would literally, uh, prioritize and, and, and, and, and start building and start and start iterating until we, until we see the metric go down.

Andrew Michael: [00:26:26] Yeah, it's one of those things. I think though, like with Turner's in specific 90 days as well, but it's something very difficult to move within their timeframe because it isn't like it's an output metric of a lot of inputs.

Um, but definitely I think everybody always starts with like, just diagnose the problem, really try and understand, um, where you're losing customers. And then sort of like you said, prioritizing, uh, then picking the ones that maybe have the highest value in the shortest time return as well to make a denser.

Um, cool. One other question then, as well as like, what's one thing that, you know today [00:27:00] about churn and retention that you wish you knew when you got started with your career.

Javier Suarez: [00:27:05] Hm. Well, it's, it's obviously very, very important, right? Like, uh, the last thing, the last thing  that you want is to be having to, to acquire a new customers over and over and over and over again. Right. It's just expensive and painful. So, and I. I think that just staying true to what, to, to, to the real pains of a customer and not going after the shiny stuff that looks cool.

Right. Just really try. Really try to focus, even if it's, if it's it's a, it's a bit boring or gray or whatever it might be, uh, focus on that, like really need to identify what is the biggest pain that is making this people come to you for the first place. And then you, obviously, they didn't give it to them.

So why are they leaving? Right. And, and, and I think it's just, it's just [00:28:00] crucial to, to. To be able to put your finger on that and say, Hey, this is the reason why people are not staying. And then you have to throw all your eggs against that. Right. And make them stay. I, I, I often see a lot of people in the early stages that they.

They just try to build too much, too much. And like, they, they try to, you know, add all these features and then they don't really know why customers are there because they have so much stuff and they don't know what they're leaving because it's all diluted basically in the product. But if you just have.

Three features, for example, you know, before you've been building anything else, if I look, is this working? Are people staying? No. Okay. Do they need more value? Let's add more value now, but just go step by step and not, and I would say not the don't overload the roadmap in the early, in the early days. It's just about.

It's just about really fixing the biggest problems first and doing it in a, in a way that that works well for the customer. That is

Andrew Michael: [00:28:57] yep. Nice. I think so you just like [00:29:00] stay true to the pain, avoid the shiny objects and sort of double down on solving. The one problem that, you know, exists really, really well.

I really liked the point you made as well. Like having so many features, not knowing then what people are there for as all makes it really, really difficult to sort of, uh, improve the product in the right direction as well.

Javier Suarez: [00:29:19] Exactly. Exactly. And of course, right, the obvious just stayed very close to the customers and just be obsessed about talking to them.

churn happens when, when, when you've been talked to them, when you don't, when you don't, when you don't have a proactive approach and, and you don't catch them in time and they leave. Right. But if you're obsessed about talking to them and measuring stuff, and just making sure that you understand how they're doing with your service or product, then you'll have a much better bet of not losing that customer. Eh, um, yeah,

Andrew Michael: [00:29:49] absolutely. Well have, yeah, it's been a pleasure having you on the show today. Uh, is there any sort of final thoughts you'd like to leave the listeners with anything they should be aware of or how they can keep up to date with your work?

[00:30:00] Javier Suarez: [00:30:01] Yeah, absolutely. Thanks a lot. And so look, yeah, and if we're creating a lever, the new company and it's, please go in and check it out.

And it's basically made for all those people that understand the importance of, uh, of their mental health and either want to fix something or work on something or simply be proactive. And what we do basically is that we'll make it very, very easy for you to find that for you to find the right help. For you.

Right. Uh, and so I would, I would encourage everybody to give it a, to give it a go at, for me, it's, it's moved mountains. It's changed my life. And, and a lot of people that will through the process of therapy as say the same thing. So I would, I would encourage everybody to have the courage to do it at least once.

And just give yourself a chance in your mind to get to where it could be. And then we'll see the wonders that it can create.

Andrew Michael: [00:30:52] Very cool. Yeah. I definitely recommend checking it out. We'll have a link in the show notes as well, but again, it's like, so it's Oh, well I V [00:31:00] Um, check them out.

Thanks again for joining. Really appreciate the time was excellent. Ave. Wish you best of luck now going forward.

Javier Suarez: [00:31:08] Thank you so much.

Andrew Michael: [00:31:10] Cheers.


Javier Suarez
Javier Suarez

The show

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.


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