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How to Identify – and Stop – Customer Value Decay

When you stop to think about what ‘customer value’ really means, what things come to mind? It’s probably along the lines of customer sentiment, issues, and feedback. While these are all excellent baseline measurements, every customer is different. For that reason, all of these value-based metrics will hold a different meaning from customer to customer. This makes it hard for CSMs to determine customer value – until it starts to decline.

Identifying customer value decay

In a perfect world, customer value is always trending up. They’re happy with the product and looking to grow/expand their feature footprint or product user base. However, if one user has a bad experience, makes a complaint, flags an issue, or escalates a problem, then this value is no longer trending up. It may plateau for a while before righting itself or decaying, but it needs to be identified immediately. These negative experiences can quickly add up to become customer value decay and, once a customer trends too far down, it is tough to right the ship again. 

Here are a few key ways to identify customer value decay:

  • Irritation or confusion from customer stakeholders right out of the gate during onboarding.
  • Wasted time or down periods during what should be a tightly planned implementation.
  • Negative customer support experiences.
  • A flood of customer support inquiries around a specific feature or function.
  • A customer going dark or becoming hard to reach.
  • A drop-off in product usage

If you start experiencing any of the above, it’s high time to check in with your customers and get things back on track.

Steps for preventing customer value decay

While watching customer value decay can feel like a hopeless decline, CSMs can get in front of the slide by being proactive and action-focused. The key way to prevent customer value decay is to deliver recurring value for your customers. Recurring value drivers are constant, consistent reminders to customers that your team – and your solution – is dedicated to providing fantastic customer experiences.

Here are a few steps to prevent customer value decay by delivering recurring value:

  1. Develop value-based goals for each stage of the customer journey and diligently work to deliver on these goals.
  2. Identify stakeholders throughout your customer organization (from end-user to executives) and consistently reach out for feedback and input.
  3. Optimize your internal support processes to ensure impeccable customer interactions, even if it is on the heels of a platform issue.
  4. Build your customer success journey around elements of recurring value, so accounts never slip through the cracks.
  5. Use the lessons learned from customers that may have termed to help inform conversations and interactions with customers at-risk for value decay.

Want to learn more?

CSMs dedicate much time to fostering and maintaining customer value, and proactively preventing value decay is key to the long-term success of any customer. You can learn more about building and delivering customer value with these resources:

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