Shrinking Big Data Can Decrease Customer Churn

BY Danielle Kucera ON January 23, 2015

Big data isn't always best. There’s a practice among scientists of figuring out how small a sample group will accurately represent a population. They use it for finding things like the minimum amount of animal test subjects needed to inform a study. It's also reliable, which is why we base FDA guidelines on such studies.

Small data, a population as little as one, remain relevant even as companies are toppling over one another to derive meaning from the bigger version -- usually millions of data points or more. When it comes to customer success, it's best to use the two together; small data can help reduce customer churn, while insights from big data can lead to upsells.

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4 Customer Service Mantras for 2015

BY Danielle Kucera ON January 16, 2015

You don’t get to have bad customer service unless you own a monopoly. In a November survey, more than 200 companies told us that customer service was the one of the top five causes of customer churn. Despite advances in software from and others, we're falling down the same rabbit hole year after year. Here are a few mantras to keep in mind as you work toward happier customers in 2015.

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How to Stop Creating Irrelevant Product Features

BY Danielle Kucera ON January 14, 2015

There’s a rat-race problem in SaaS. Competitive advantage is sometimes seen as having the biggest feature list, something that prompts customers to buy “premium” versions of software. But in pursuing too many features, they can end up glitchy, hard to use, or worse -- impossible for customers to find. The race is about compiling the longest list rather than the most functional or valuable one.

This problem compounds -- and customers leave for competitors -- when one of two things occurs. The first: a disconnect forms between a customer's needs and the company's perception of those needs. The second: when the company creates a product that would meet customers needs if it were easier to use.  

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Customer-Quoting Teams Build Better Products

BY Danielle Kucera ON December 16, 2014

Last week, I went to a conference that lost power because – wait for it -- it rained in San Francisco. Attendees foraged for breakfast yogurt by candlelight and gathered kumbaya-style around the speakers, who were awkwardly shouting wisdom. For about two hours, it became more camping party than tech event. (This was the Lean Startup Conference, by the way.)

But in the vein of writing about the conference portion, I'm going to share what I learned from a great session on how to make sure customer feedback directly affects your products. Greg Nelson, product manager at a company that makes video software for coaches and athletes, has figured out how to solve this problem that even oh-so collaborative startups face. 

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One Surprising Signal That Will Help You Reduce Customer Churn

BY Danielle Kucera ON December 09, 2014

Background noise is something we try to ignore. I used to work for an e-commerce company whose office doubled as a warehouse. The acoustic ambiance was the constant pulling and ripping of packing tape – not an easy thing to tune out when you're trying to pull a quarterly business review together. 

But when it comes to customers, you need to tune in. If you ignore background signals – an indication of customer health that occurs outside of your application – you won’t have a full picture of who your customer is, whether she’s satisfied with your product, or if she’s about to churn.

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