Productize & Scale

Improving Your Customer’s Lifetime

  by Brian Casel
July 9, 2020
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If your business runs on a recurring revenue model, like a SaaS or many productized services, then your number one priority should be keeping customers subscribed.

How do you do that?

You can focus on reducing churn by uncovering the most common reasons people cancel and fix those things.

You can improve your onboarding to make sure you’re not losing customers while they’re in a “trial” mindset.

You can hire a “customer success” person to do… Does anyone know what a customer success person actually does? As far as I can tell, this role involves a mix of cheerful emails welcoming new customers and responding to occasional mentions on Twitter.

Now here’s something I haven’t heard much in the “reduce churn” conversation:

Make the experience of using your product get better with time.

Maybe the key to improving your customer lifetime value is to actually improve your customer’s lifetime. Incentivize them to stay onboard by delivering benefits that get exponentially better wth time.

Most recurring products solve the problem once, then repeat the same solution for X number of months. Yours could build a solution that starts by solving the immediate need but enhances and becomes more and more “essential” the deeper the customer is in their lifetime.

I’m not talking about artificially delaying benefits. I’m suggesting you use time to your advantage and find ways to leverage time to make your solution even better.

Remember—Your customers intend to stay awhile. Few customers decide to purchase a recurring service with the intention of canceling quickly. They want your solution to work over the longterm. They just need to see the vision of how that will happen.

So here’s how I improved our customer’s lifetime in Audience Ops:

For the first year, we essentially delivered the same set of benefits every month for as long as the client stayed onboard. This worked well enough for a while. Content is an ongoing need, so if the client wants to keep their publishing schedule going, then our solution keeps working.

But we can do better than that. Since content marketing is inherently a longterm strategy, we should be optimizing for longterm benefits.

So we launched what we call our 12-Month Roadmap. It’s a document that we give to clients on day one, which lays out all of the enhancements we plan to build into their content strategy over the coming year. By communicating this up-front, we’re sending the message that your Audience Ops service gets better with time.

Our core monthly blogging and content promotion service remains the same. But we’ve added enhancements that could only happen once enough time has gone by. We call these enhancements “Long Term Multipliers” because they’re designed to make the benefits of content marketing exponentially better.

Here are a few examples of these Long Term Multipliers that we’ve built into our 12-month roadmap for clients:

So how can you improve your customer’s lifetime the longer they stay onboard?

Here are some ideas to get the wheels turning:

Improve your customer’s lifetime.  Then check in on that churn metric.  My bet is you’ll be happy with what you see 🙂

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