Oct 18, 2019

Read Time 4 min

Churn Monster: Know It All


Churn Monster - Know It All CustomerHi churn fighters! We have a new churn monster to introduce to you today –  Know It All.

Know It All is someone who behaves as if they know everything, and constantly presents their input as though they were professionally trained or have firsthand insight into subjects when it is evident that is not the case.

Does that churn monster description ring any bells for you with your current customer base? The answer is most likely yes! As Customer Success Managers, I’m sure you’ve all dealt with a customer that puts up a fight every time you try to offer advice or guidance, because they disagree with your input and think they know better. This can be very frustrating and harmful to the customer relationship.

Since this is a situation we’ve all experienced, let’s take a look at a scenario involving a know it all customer, and how you might best handle this type of personality and help them be successful.


The Scenario

You have a new customer account come across your desk. You look through the hand-off notes from Sales and you are getting the sense you might soon have a difficult customer on your hands. The Account Executive informs you that the sales process was very drawn out, and the main point of contact, was a bit of a know it all, which created a lot of unnecessary back and forth in the buying process.

You are wondering how you should go about taking on this customer to have things go as smoothly as possible. 


Plan of Action

In your past experiences you’ve learned that when a customer acts this way, it most likely comes from their own insecurities. So, you decide in the welcome call to attempt to disarm this type of behavior you will start by offering kudos to the customer for clearly doing their research and making a smart buying decision. This seems to be taken positively.

As they are going through the onboarding process your Implementation Specialist informs you that the customer is insistent that their data needs to be mapped in a non-standard way.

First you meet internally to fully understand where the customer is coming from to try and know for sure if they are in fact correct. With the help of your Development team it is determined that the customer is incorrect and it most likely stems from a misunderstanding of how a particular feature operates. Since you know this could be a sensitive circumstance to correct the customer, you schedule a meeting and very gently and positively explain the misconception. You attempt to make them feel better by saying that they are not the first to have this same misunderstanding.

During this call they also state something else as a fact, that you know is incorrect, but you decide that that “error” is irrelevant to the current discussion, so you just let it pass without comment.

Now that you have gotten everyone on the same page with the data mapping procedures you guys are in a much better place and they have officially gone live.

Since this customer doesn’t like to be told what to do, you are worried that training will be difficult. They attend onboarding training and not surprisingly are one of the most vocals ones in the course, but your team just takes it in stride and offers recognition here and there for instances that they provide correct input.

You are so thankful that your team has a plethora of resources for your customers to help them with continued training and adoption. Since this customer likes to be an expert you make sure he is aware of all of the resources and certification programs available to him.

In the end, you positioned it right to allow this customer to become a champion of your product (and although irritating at times) has been empowered to become one of your biggest advocates and is very vocal in the marketplace on why your product is a smart buying decision and exactly how to get the most value out of it.  

You have also learned to tailor your approach with the customer to help strengthen the relationship. You firstly have learned to not take their constant questioning personally. You aim to shift these conversations to be respectful and a sharing of knowledge. You also whenever possible, keep your reasoning short and cite sources or examples, so it’s harder to pick apart. And lastly, you learned that since they seem desperate for a little recognition, and it costs you nothing to provide it (as long as you aren’t reinforcing false information), you make sure to give some praise in each of your interactions with this customer.

Awesome work on tackling this know-it-all churn monster head on!

Follow the links below to check out the other churn monsters that were previous part of our series.


Customer Success Around the Web


Subscribe to the newsletter   

Four customer engagement strategies for SaaS companies

Early-stage SaaS businesses tend to put most of their focus on acquiring net new customers. For a little while, customer retention is a manageable task with existing staff. When you have only a handful of customers, your sales team, product team, customer support...

Where do you stand?: Five hot topics of debate in Customer Success

The Customer Success industry is constantly evolving and developing new strategies for driving customer-led growth. With the emergence of new technologies, market trends, and CS practices, the industry is abuzz with debate and discussion. To explore some of the most...

Customer Success benchmarks: headcount and budgets

The most important part of Customer Success is the team. Yet, many teams fall well below industry benchmarks. More than three-quarters (77%) of Customer Success teams have fewer than 50 people on staff. That’s according to our annual Customer Success Leadership Study...