How to fix Churn, and how can it affect your business potential?

Table of Contents

Last blog post we talked about the definition of churn. Today I don’t want to leave you without a solution. I want to help you understand more than the definition. We will look at its impact and how to solve it.

Ready to embark on this journey?

As we shared in the previous blog post:

Churn rate = the number of customers lost in the period / the number of customers at the start of the period.

How churn affects your business potential

Churn will get in the way of you growing your business as much as it can, while also messing up other vital KPIs: like your acquisition costs, revenue, and profitability.

If you look at any successful company that remotely thinks about valuation or being sold in the long term they would be looking for sure for EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) but most simply a good starting point is your ratio of LTV to CAC.

So like I said, if your churn is high it will impact your LTV (lifetime value) potential, limiting that ratio.

Also, high churn kills your reputation which also kills your word-of-mouth marketing, which will increase CAC… be ready for a snowball effect. And not the kind of snowball you were looking for.

But how can you fix it? Let’s continue what we started in part 1.

Fixing the most common churn scenarios

Your client doesn’t use your service

There is no emotional investment and no perception of value. If they’re not engaged they’re at risk of churning.

Explore: a simple strategy that highlights the importance of a Client Success Manager Team (or Account Manager or Coach, depending on what you call your fulfillment team).

Make sure you’re tracking client engagement, and if you see a decrease in engagement without an increase in progress, install an immediate churn prevention mechanism.

Your client has no resources available

Depending on your offer, resources could be time, money, and/or energy.

If your customer shows signs of lacking any of those they’re at risk of churning.

Explore: Make sure you keep an eye on your customer feedback, if they share they need to make a sale so they can continue, or they need to find a new job because they were fired… Find a way to keep them in, without allowing them to relapse and lose all the momentum they’ve built so far.

If you have downgrade options or give them a 14-30 free extension to help them keep momentum and figure things out, this can build a stronger relationship with that client.

Your client sees little or no progress

After a few weeks, they feel like they’re not making tons of progress and they go through what we call the “valley of disappointment”. This will trigger hopelessness and will put them at risk of churning.

Explore: Remember that value is as much perception, as it is reality. Remember that the client’s perceived value is as much perception as it is reality. With that in mind, your client’s perception of time to accomplish something is based on how they feel it.

They’ll look at other clients, success stories, and testimonials, and will try to gauge if they’re not moving as fast, and this will drive them crazy.

You only have one way to fix it: Reset Expectations.

Any expectation a client has is a result of a dose of effort with a determined timeline. 

Look at the ingredients and understand what’s not working.

Is it the expectation that’s unreal? Reset it, use case studies and testimonials, and help them survive this bump in the road.

Is it the effort? Are they showing signs of exhaustion? Can you make it easier on them, while explaining the consequences of the initial expectation and timeline?

Is it the timeline? Too short? Humans don’t perceive time, they perceive enjoyment. Is the journey boring and full of friction?

Find the answers to the above and you can save this account at risk.

The client feels unseen and unheard

When clients get stuck, if you don’t have the right support system in place they will feel neglected. It can be a slow buildup process or an overnight shift, and either one or another, it needs ro be addressed or the client will churn.

Explore: Never let them fall through the cracks, even the best clients want moments to connect, share progress, get a sense of recognition, and explore what’s coming next.

This is why I can’t recommend the use of a solid tracking system enough… You won’t be missing it, if you track it.

Your client feels stuck

Your client’s journey will be full of peaks and valleys, it’s never going to feel like a straight line. Knowing what the most common inflection points are will help you be aware of the possible time for a client who’s at risk.

Explore: Map your journey. Understand the Peaks, the Valleys, and the Big Milestones, and understand the client’s emotional rollercoaster. When you identify typical inflection points in your journey, plan a proactive reach out.

The client is unresponsive

Have you ever used the word “my client is ghosting me”, or the client is “MIA”? It means that the client hasn’t been engaged. This client is definitely at risk of churning.

Explore: Don’t throw in the towel, instead reach out. Explore different ways of reaching out that are still in your control. Did you message using Slack? Try an email. Try a phone call. Send another message. 

I like using the rule of 3:

  • First I go with a regular check-in.
  • Try a second and ask the client if they got the previous message.
  • Assume they’re not responding and put the ball in their court.

After you follow this, you will need to escalate to the leadership team to see what can be done next.

Unsuitable client

Sales teams have challenging sales targets and sometimes they might get a suboptimal client to buy from you. The main problem, and what puts this client at risk of churning, is that they won’t get the true value from what you offer.

Explore: As soon as you find a client that is clearly not a good fit for your offer, reach out to leadership so that you can inform the marketing and sales team, this will help them look for red flags, prevent churn, and provide an overall better experience.

No extra sale will be worth a dollar if it damages your reputation.

The loss of a Coach/CSM/AM

When you lose one of your key players, and that person leaves, chances are that the clients working with that key player will churn

Explore: Don’t ignore and assume everything is going to be okay. If there is a senior person who can personally reach out to the client and inform them about what just happened, make sure you edify the new person who will take care of this account as soon as you can.

Challenging Clients

Not all clients are challenging, but a lot of them are. And in order for you to drive full adoption of what you offer, clients will need to change. The resistance to change, perceived as massive friction for the client, will make adoption difficult. That will put that client at risk of churning.

Explore: Understanding archetypes is one of the key things to adjust your communication style and increase your adoption rates. Remember that our book costs 9.99 and teaches you all about archetypes and how to communicate with them. 

Just search Customer Success Manifesto.

Black Swans and Unexpected Events

Your clients might have the best intentions in the world, and have some real goals they want to accomplish.

But sometimes real stuff happens, and those Black Swan events can completely derail that client and put them at risk of churning. Medical or Health problems, the loss of a loved one, or losing a source of revenue are just a few examples.

(Even the pandemic which is more of an authentic Black Crazy Swan!)

Explore: There is an amazing psychological phenomenon called “fresh starts”. Similar to the euphoria of a new diet on the 1st of January, or a new exercise routine next Monday, your clients can benefit from a new start. The fine line here is that you need to understand if that restart will have any impacts in their original contract duration, and if so be very upfront with it.

The TLDR or summary

Our goal is to always help businesses become client-centric, serve people well, and actually provide the world with something good. And that doesn’t mean we don’t value money, or we don’t want you to make money.

Money can be good, but a good reputation provides you with longevity and profits, that will make more money while making more good.

Churn is the enemy of long-term money. While also being the enemy of doing good.

We really want you to have an Ethical Scaling process, and that’s what we do with our offers. We help online businesses decrease churn, increase success rates, and increase client contract duration.

And we have solutions for all budgets.

If you like to DIY, our book Customer Success Manifesto has everything you need.

If you have a solid system that is the equivalent of a Ferrari, but you don’t have someone on your team to drive it… You can use our Recruiting Services to Find, Vet, and Train a Coach or Client Success Manager who will be self-managed and give you your time back.

Or if you feel like your system is lacking, the KPIs are not good, and you have too many clients to keep ignoring it… Get our consulting services where we work with you 1:1 to rebuild your Customer Journey, create synergetic Offers that will increase how long clients stay with you, and we will train your existing team so you don’t have to do it.

Hope this doesn’t churn you 😀

Talk soon,


Ben McLellan
Ben McLellan

The Spiritual Entrepreneur- you can embody spirituality and still have a thriving business.

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