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What is a Customer Retention Management System, and Do You Need One?

For many people working in the SaaS industry, the term Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become a blanket ‘catch-all’ term for anything having to do with sales, onboarding, adoption, renewals, and, yes, customer retention. Those of us in the customer success world, however, know first-hand just how different these different buckets of the customer lifecycle can actually be from one another. Trying to squeeze everything that is unique about the customer success experience into a single platform can be trying and, frankly, unhelpful to both customer success teams and customers themselves.

In today’s multi-platform environment, innovative businesses have wasted no time in building retention-specific solutions specifically to address customer churn and attrition. Here are a few key components of a customer retention management system:

Customer health scores that update in real-time: Customer health scoring is key to understanding how a customer is feeling about a product in real-time. By combining different factors such as product usage, engagement, adoption, and more, a customer health score can help CSMs immediately pinpoint where there might be retention issues and work on these with customers.

Notifications for unusual or lagging behaviors: One component that sets Customer Retention platforms apart from generic CRM systems is that they are looking for very specific indicators. Something as simple as removing a logo from a page or submitting multiple support tickets for the same issue could flag a much larger retention issue.

Constant feedback and survey integrations: One of the best ways to understand how customers are feeling about an upcoming renewal or retention opportunity is to ask them! Sending out surveys (including NPS surveys) and asking for feedback can be gold for CSMs, especially if you’re going to actually use this feedback to make updates for customers.

Predictive modeling and renewal insights: Working with customers to reach a renewal agreement doesn’t happen overnight. Innovative Customer Retention Management platforms have intuitive modeling features and insights to help CSMs and account managers understand the factors impacting an upcoming renewal and overcome these roadblocks early on in the process.

So, do you really need a stand-alone customer retention management solution? The answer is maybe. If you’re already leveraging an industry-specific customer success platform with specific retention capabilities, then you’re set. If you’re still stuck in the CRM cycle, you might want to look for a retention-specific solution or integration to help address some of the unique problems or issues that might come up during the retention process.

If you’re still mulling it over, think of it this way: your current customers are not only your biggest advocates, they’re also your company’s biggest revenue source. Retaining customers is one of the most important tenants of a successful SaaS organization, and your team needs solutions and resources in place that provide this component with the attention and investment it deserves.

You can learn more about retention solutions available for SaaS customer success teams here.



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