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You Know Someone is Going to Churn – Now What?

Identify and address the key drivers of customer churn to enhance retention and keep your customers engaged

Josh Pindjak
Josh Pindjak
Senior Product Designer
You Know Someone is Going to Churn – Now What?

Churn is an ever-present threat that can quickly derail any company's growth and profitability. By the time a customer actually churns, it's often too late to save them. That's why proactively identifying and addressing the underlying reasons someone is at risk of churning is so critical.

While there are countless potential signals that may indicate churn risk, the core drivers that actually cause churn tend to fall into several key categories. Understanding these root causes allows you to take more targeted, effective action to resolve the issues before losing that customer.

Reason #1: Not Realizing Enough Value

Some customers simply aren't seeing or getting enough value from your product to justify continuing their subscription.

Red Flags 🚩

  • Low product usage/engagement
  • Not adopting key features
  • Negative feedback about missing must-have functionality

How to Fix It ✅

  • Guide customers through onboarding to achieve "aha" moments
  • Gather feedback on their goals to better match use cases
  • Provide educational resources to help them unlock more value
  • Identify friction within the product that increases time to achieving “aha” moments
Identify friction within the product that increases time to achieving “aha” moments

Reason #2: Wrong Product Fit

In other cases, the customer may have realized your product doesn't actually solve the core problem they need addressed, or their needs have fundamentally changed.

Red Flags 🚩

  • Concerns about lacking certain capabilities
  • Misalignment on intended use cases
  • Low and inconsistent product usage
  • High volume of support tickets

How to Fix It ✅

  • Validate their core problems and needs
  • Reframe your product's value proposition for their specific context
  • Help customers discover other problems your product solves that they might have
  • If they are truly a mismatch, gracefully acknowledge and offboard
Help customers discover other problems your product solves that they might have

Reason #3: Pricing Issues

For some customers, the decision to churn is primarily driven by pricing factors and budgetary constraints. A company’s budget for a product is usually dictated by how much value they receive from the product. So, if you’re seeing lots of inquiries about discounts and downgrades due to price, your customers may not be seeing or understanding  the value they get out of your product. 

Red Flags 🚩

  • Inquiries about discounts or downgrades
  • Reduced usage of paid product tiers/add-ons

How to Fix It ✅

  • Remind them of the value they’ve already received from your product
  • Offer pricing incentives or extensions
  • Surface quick-win use cases to realize more ROI
  • Quantify costs of not having your solution
Remind them of the value they’ve already received from your product

Reason #4: Switching to a Competitor

Customers may also be lured away by another product they now perceive as a better fit.

Red Flags 🚩

  • Data export or offboarding requests
  • Asking for competitor feature comparisons
  • Scrutinizing contract renewal dates

How to Fix It ✅

  • Offer incentives to retain the customer
  • Directly address any product gaps or shortcomings
  • Differentiate your unique strengths and value
  • Highlight potential switching costs and risks
Offer incentives to retain the customer

Reason #5: Poor Customer Experience

In some cases, churn happens due to issues with the service and support experience provided, eroding the customer relationship.

Red Flags 🚩

  • Frequent complaints or escalations
  • Negative sentiment in feedback surveys
  • Long response or resolution times for support tickets

How to Fix It ✅

  • Analyze and fix broken touchpoints
  • Prioritize proactive education and enablement
  • Amp up attention and resources for key accounts
  • Offer discounts, temporary upgrades or other small ways you can make up for their poor experience
  • Ensure they are made aware when issues they’ve raised have been resolved. Make sure to thank them for reporting bugs and issues.

Here's an email template you can use to reach out to a customer after a particularly poor customer experience:

Subject: Making Things Right for {Company Name}

Dear {Customer Name},

I'm reaching out regarding the recent support experiences you've had with our product and team. We take great pride in delivering exceptional service, so I wanted to address this directly.

You deserve better than the prolonged response times and unresolved issues you've dealt with recently. Please let me emphasize how valuable {Company Name}'s business is to us, and we take full accountability that our standard of support has fallen short of your reasonable expectations.

To make this right, I'd like to offer the following:

  • A {20%} discount on your next {annual renewal/monthly invoice} as a gesture of goodwill for the inconveniences caused.
  • Complementary access to our {Premium Support} tier for the next {3 months} to ensure you receive our highest level of responsive service during this period.
  • A dedicated oversight manager assigned just to your account to analyze the breakdown points and prevent any repeats going forward.

We're also implementing process improvements on our end, guided directly by the feedback you provided, to enhance our support flow and customer communications.

{Company Name}'s trust and satisfaction are of utmost importance. I'm confident we can not only recover from this experience but emerge with an even stronger partnership. Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to regain your full confidence in our product and team.

Thank you again for your patience and for being a valued customer.

Sincerely,
{Your Name}{Company}

Reason #6: Internal Factors

Churn can also stem from changes internally at the customer's company outside of your control.

Red Flags 🚩

  • Your champion left their role
  • Budget freezes or funding issues
  • Company being acquired, downsized or reorganized

How to Fix It ✅

  • Identify and nurture relationships with other internal advocates and stakeholders at the same company
  • Offer options to consolidate/move licenses
  • Explore geographic and departmental penetration in the company. Is there another location or department that could benefit from your solution?
Explore geographic and departmental penetration in the company. Is there another location or department that could benefit from your solution?

Reason #7: Customer No Longer Needs the Solution

Sometimes customers simply no longer need to keep using your product as their situation has changed.

Red Flags 🚩

  • Drastically reduced product usage
  • Inquiring about offboarding or account closure
  • Exporting, downloading or archiving their data
  • Stating their use case is being handled another way

How to Fix It ✅

  • Help customers discover other problems your product solves that they might have
  • If a customer still has the problem, but are solving it another way, highlight potential risks of their new approach. This is a good opportunity to compare your solution to competitors.
  • Provide a way to offboard while communicating that it’s easy for them to reactivate in the future. It’s also a good practice to allow customers to pause their plan instead of canceling. 
Provide a way to offboard while communicating that it’s easy for them to reactivate in the future. It’s also a good practice to allow customers to pause their plan instead of canceling.

Implementing a Proactive Strategy

The key is continuously monitoring for churn signals across your user base, diagnosing the likely root cause, and then executing tailored retention campaigns. Tools like Upollo bring all your customer data together to deliver proactive churn insights so you can:

  • Send churn risk scores directly into your CRM, marketing systems, and integrations you already use
  • Run automated email, in-app messaging and incentive campaigns based on the identified churn reason
  • Escalate concerning signals for high-touch outreach by sales, customer success, or product teams

Measure, analyze feedback, and continuously refine your churn prevention playbook based on what tactics are actually impacting retention.

Retaining customers before they leave is vastly more achievable than trying to win them back after they've churned. By proactively recognizing the real root causes of potential churn and addressing them head on, you can resolve issues and keep your customers engaged, retained, and successful.

Read the Report: Upollo SOC 2 Type 1
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About the Author
Josh Pindjak
Josh Pindjak
Senior Product Designer

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