Dec 29, 2020

Read Time 7 min

ChurnZero’s Greatest Hits from 2020 Feat. Top 10 Blog Posts and Other Noteworthy News


2020 was a real mixed bag of emotions.

Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get during life in the pandemic. (Though more often than not, we ended up with the gross strawberry cream flavors.)

Isolating at home felt like being stuck in your own glass case of emotion.

Caught in the throes of our fickle feelings – with a laugh giving way to a cry giving way to a half-laugh-half-cry hybrid – this weepy track played on a karmic loop as did the use of “unprecedented” when describing virtually anything.

Now, I’ll spare you my attempt at summarizing this last year because it looked different for all of us. Some of us slowed down. Some of us sped up. Most of us felt like we somehow simultaneously did both.

All I know is that if someone were to ask me if I’ll miss any aspect of 2020 (perhaps the solitude and introspection of it all), my reaction will most likely be this:

So, here’s to hoping we find a few more chocolate-filled chocolates in next year’s box.

For the love of mercy, make it anything but the fruit.

Roll Back the Tape

Though this year was a bit of an oddity, we didn’t want to break from our annual tradition of reflecting on our proudest accomplishments (and yes, shimming into stiff, uncomfortable denim pants called “jeans” was one of them – a ludicrous concept, I know) over the last 14,039 days (which *checks calendar* is indeed accurate) and putting them in a post. So, here’s our greatest hits compilation of our top content, milestones, and happenings from 2020.

Top 10 Blog Posts from 2020

  1. 9 Well-Meaning Yet Harmful Phrases to Avoid with Customers

This article is a roundup of the not-so-obvious phrases you should avoid saying to a customer no matter how well-intentioned or deserved. While people might not remember exactly what you said, they’ll always remember how you made them feel. Check out this post to see if you’re inadvertently sending subliminal negativity to your customers.

  1. Customer Success Operations 101: Drive Productivity with Purpose, People, and Process

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a high-velocity sales, marketing, or product team without a designated operations function. As Customer Success teams continue to mature, and their need to automate grows, having their own operations roles will become increasingly essential and prevalent. Learn why an operations role is the key to scaling Customer Success, what this role looks like within a mature organization, and when you should hire for it.

  1. Rethinking the Quarterly Business Review (QBR)

A relic from bygone days of old-school Account Management, QBRs are a classic, but not timeless, practice; one that feels perfunctory and misplaced in today’s always-connected, data-enriched landscape. Customer Success teams (and their customers alike) feel the pain of conducting QBRs dictated by a now seemingly arbitrary timeframe and requisite. In this article, we question the “Q” in QBR and if Customer Success teams are blindly following a best practice that may no longer be relevant to their customers’ success.

  1. 9 Must-Have Integrations to Level Up Customer Success Software

Customer Success teams can easily level up their performance and optimize their output by using third-party integrations to bring their company-wide customer data into a central hub. Check out these essential integrations for Customer Success software that put customer insights at your fingertips to create more enlightened customer experiences.

  1. How To Nail Implementation and Customer Success Handoffs

As a critical cog in customer onboarding, implementation can cause a domino effect of delays and bad impressions if they don’t effectively communicate with Customer Success to transition customers. Read this article to find out how you can take seamless customer handoffs from being a fanciful notion to an everyday practice.

  1. 6 Dos and Don’ts for Improving Your Customer Onboarding

Is your customer onboarding turning into a fixer-upper? When you neglect the routine maintenance and upkeep of your onboarding, you only worsen the problems and costs down the road. Learn how to spot the signs that it’s time to revamp your onboarding as well as the dos and don’ts of improving the most influential phase of your customer’s journey.

  1. The SaaS Debate: Who Owns the Renewal and Upsell? Customer Success vs. Sales

Whether Customer Success or sales should own the renewal, expansion, and upsell is a hot-button issue in today’s SaaS sphere. As such, we tapped industry experts for a verbal duel on the subject, which took the form of an Oxford-style debate, at BIG RYG, ChurnZero’s annual Customer Success conference. (You can watch all the on-demand sessions from the conference now.) This article dives into each side’s argument as they debated for and against Customer Success owning these revenue sources. To find out who wins, check out the recap.

  1. Top 4 Metrics Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) Must Know

With a dizzying number of SaaS metrics—from acquisition costs and account expansion to customer churn and satisfaction—all vying for headspace, CCOs must focus on the measurements that really matter. To help CCOs hone their focus and avoid the dangers of fixating on irrelevant or flawed metrics, we asked ChurnZero’s CCO Abby Hammer about the Customer Success metrics she cares most about and why.

  1. 5 Ways to Reduce Churn by Delivering a Consistent Customer Experience

Did you know improving customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%? Reducing customer churn is a profitable endeavor for companies and customers alike. In this article, Acquire shares their top five tried-and-tested strategies to help reduce churn and iron out your customer experience.

  1. 7 Trust-Building Tactics to Increase Customer Loyalty

Customer Success is often the conduit for change – whether you’re getting a customer to adopt your product, change their existing processes, test an untried strategy, or expand their account. When there’s a deficit of trust, it causes team inertia and an unwillingness to evolve. Customers don’t value your word, which as consultants, is how you effect change to drive success. Following the trust formula from Rachel Botsman, a world-renowned trust expert, we share some of our favorite tactics to engender customer trust and confidence.

If you enjoyed these posts, don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to start your new year with the latest Customer Success insights right in your inbox. 

Other Noteworthy News

Despite the inextinguishable dumpster fires and 24/7 Zoom happy hours, we still have much to be thankful for this year which was filled with many “firsts” for our team.

For starters, we launched BIG RYG, our first annual Customer Success conference, which featured an incredible speaker lineup. With topics ranging from Customer Success operations and renewal ownership to behavioral economics and remote team management, there was something for everyone. Humble brag alert: the attendee engagement during the sessions absolutely blew us away.

Not to be that person, but you kind of had to be there. Luckily for those who weren’t, you can still watch every session for free through our BIG RYG on-demand library. And stay tuned for our next BIG RYG conference happening in fall 2021 (more details to come).

We launched our first Customer Success Leadership Study to help shed light on the current state of Customer Success and its influence within SaaS organization. The full report releases in early January 2021 (you can subscribe to our newsletter to receive it). In the meantime, check out our webinar with ESG and HigherLogic for a sneak peek of the survey results as well as our growth and maturity recommendations based on the findings.

To give a quick shout out to our notable product enhancements, we supercharged our reporting with custom dashboards, completed our customer survey trifecta with the additions of CSAT and CES to NPS, and launched our Rest API to seamlessly integrate ChurnZero data into the rest of your tech stack.

We also took on the prestigious honor of bestowing our first ChurnHero awards to recognize ChurnZero customers who put their words into action to create a customer-first organization with Customer Success at the heart of it.

And yes, we look at them the way Elon Musk looks at his rockets.

Lastly, we took home several top designations ourselves to include:

To wrap up, 2020 was full of realizations, and there’s a lot we’re still figuring out. But one thing we do know, without a doubt, is that this past year underscored the importance of having a Customer Success team that’s equipped to make data-driven decisions at scale.

Customer Success is entering an era of leveling up that will be marked by agility and scalability. It’s not a question of “if” but “when” Customer Success becomes the top performing department in SaaS organizations. We believe Customer Success is positioned to have a banner year in 2021 as they leave the pandemic stronger than before.

With all the love and gratitude we have, ChurnZero wishes you a Happy (and more functional) New Year.

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Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero





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