When evaluating a customer’s risk for churning, companies tend to instinctively over-index on product usage. Are customers using the product, and to what extent?

But product usage, unfortunately, is too high-level to be actionable for Customer Success leaders. It’s a binary indicator of renewal: If the customer is not using the product, they have a high risk of churn. If the customer is using the product, their churn risk is unpredictable.


Nuffsaid’s CEO Chris Hicken recently sat down with Ethan Beute for an episode on the Customer Experience podcast. They covered: 

  • Which questions to ask within each of the “four buckets” to assess customer health and risk
  • Why CS leaders should own more of the go-to-market strategy in the future
  • What to consider in pursuing product-led growth, sales-led growth, and marketing-led growth
  • Why free and freemium may not be a good fit for you
  • How to go upmarket from SMB to Enterprise


Listen to the full episode here, or read the transcript from the interview. 


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Short on time? Here are a few takeaways from the discussion:

  • The categories that provide leading indicators of customer health can be broken into four buckets: customer maturity, the product, the experience, and the pricing. You can break each of those buckets into specific questions that help you accurately assess customer health.
  • When we’re talking about product-led growth, marketing-led growth, and sales-led growth, we’re essentially asking “Who’s getting paid to generate the leads?” Are you paying product to generate the leads? Marketing, Sales? 
  • The problem with freemium is that anyone can try your product. Lots of people will try the product that aren’t in your target audience, you’re not solving problems for those people and they’ll have a bad experience with your product.   
  • Advice for CEOs moving upmarket: 1. Mentally prepare for the investment required to build a team that can support enterprise sales. 2. The team you built to sell into SMB will be different than the one required to sell into enterprise. Either mentor your existing team or hire new team members.