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3 Ways to Keep Customer Relationships Strong (and Prevent Churn) During Challenging Times

Over the past few months, SaaS organizations have seen their fair share of change and uncertainty. Regardless of your industry, there are changes occurring in the world that will have a lasting impact on the way SaaS teams and their customers do business. For customer success teams, challenging times can manifest themselves through different customer conversations (or lack thereof). Customers might not be as responsive or available as before and competing internal priorities might push your project outside of the prioritization scope.

It’s important to remember, however, that these challenges don’t immediately preface a mass exodus of customers. With a strong business model and clear-headed leadership, most SaaS organizations will be able to weather challenging times without having to terminate vendor contracts. A targeted effort on the vendor’s part, however, can help differentiate a solution and increase the value of the partnership. This is where customer success managers can really start to shine during a crisis. By focusing on customer relationships and value, CSMs can play a pivotal role in decreasing churn during challenging times.

Here are three actionable ways CSMs can keep customer relationships strong during challenging times:

1) Go above and beyond for your customers. Now is not the time to be too focused on scope or reach of work when dealing with clients. Delivering an extra personal touch, going above and beyond to deliver a project, or expediting a customer request can be the secret ingredient to keeping your customers happy and reducing churn.

2) Be ready to pivot if necessary. Depending on the solution your organization provides, you most likely have a single value proposition that you work to deliver to your customer accounts. If there is one thing the coronavirus crisis has proved thus far it’s that SaaS organizations are extremely flexible and ready to use their technology for good. If your organization shifts or adds on to its core solution to address the challenge at hand, your customer success strategy will also have to pivot to help your customers adjust.

3) Focus on value, value, value! If customers do face a situation where they have to start making decisions about which vendor contracts are ‘worth it’, your team must be able to show them that the value you deliver outweighs the competition. Your customers started working with your team for a reason. Now is the time to remind them of the value you deliver and truly double down on delivery. 

While the last few months have been difficult for many organizations, the challenges we’ve all faced have opened up new areas of opportunity for strategic growth and planning. Having a clear, strategic path forward to deliver value to customers during this challenging time can help lay the groundwork for a new crisis mitigation strategy for the future. 

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