Churn stakeholders: who is responsible for customer retention?
Which department is responsible for reducing churn and increasing customer retention?
Too often companies make a single department, namely customer success, responsible for monitoring and improving churn, but the reality is no department is off the hook.
It takes a company-wide effort to optimize customer retention.
Let’s take a look at how each department plays a role.
When a customer is at their most confused or frustrated, whether due to a billing issue or a bug, they turn to your support team.
Support’s ability to empathize with your customer, understand the problem and identify a solution is critical to keeping your customers happy. Great customer service leads to customers that stick around.
Marketing creates name recognition, builds your brand and gets your message in front of your target audience. Generally speaking, marketing delivers people to your website.
You might think there’s little relevant to churn reduction here, but what happens if your marketing attracts the wrong buyers? You guessed it, higher churn and wasted effort. Marketing needs to attract the right people to your service.
Without an amazing product to sell, there are no customers. The product team must maintain a tight customer feedback loop to implement the features the market is asking for. This not only helps with acquiring new business, it keeps customers around.
Sales, the drivers of new business. Whether your salespeople prospect or take marketing-driven leads, it’s imperative they sell to the right customers.
It may be tempting to get those quick sales to customers that aren’t a long-term fit, but your churn numbers will show the folly of it, especially for those early in their customer journey. If sales does not properly identify the customer’s pain points and ensure your product fits, the customer will churn out early.
Customer success teams are usually tasked with onboarding new clients and stepping in to help at-risk customers based on their product usage, so it’s natural to think of customer success as most responsible for addressing customer retention and churn.
A good customer success team will ensure that your users get value out of your product by understanding their needs and guiding them to the right solutions. Customers that get more value out of your product are more likely to stay.
Churn is not any one department’s problem. When the whole team adopts a customer-centric mindset churn and retention rates will improve. This starts at the top from C-level executives and trickles down throughout the company.
No matter how easy it may be, don’t lump all of the churn and retention responsibility on your customer success team. Yes, customer success is vital, but they alone cannot reduce churn to the maximum. Every department plays a role.