Jarratt Isted

Reducing Churn by Setting Good Customer Expectations

Jarratt Isted on

In the past, I’ve found myself signing up for a product trials based on the software’s website. I love buying software. 🙊

In most cases, the website explains the benefits, and when you get onboard you totally understand why you need the product. It’s clear.

The product is exactly as described. But sometimes it isn’t, and that’s disappointing

Some of the time, you sign up for a product and you have to customize or fiddle with the settings so damn much to make it even a little bit like the example shown.

Since I run a SaaS business myself, I totally understand the troubles of conveying the benefit. It’s super tricky. 

But when the product is nothing like described or shown in an example—it’s mega frustrating. 

And there’s no reason for it either. If your customers make the effort to sign up and start a trial, they’ll churn if they don’t understand the product or why it doesn’t look like/do the thing you said it would.

So how can you avoid setting yourself up for high churn rate?

1. Include Product Screenshots. 

If your software has a dashboard, then show it on your website. If you’re too afraid to show it off, maybe you should improve it until you’re not.

Seriously. Why should any buy it if you’re embarrassed of it? 

If it looks horrible and it’s almost impossible to navigate when they sign up, they’ll churn. Besides, if you don’t have any screenshots in the first place people may think something’s up anyway.

2. Show Off Your Product In Use. 

Want people to convince themselves to buy your stuff? Well, obviously you do!

To do that, you’ll need to give them an demo of what they might get when they do. For example, we use our own product for our knowledge base support site. 

I love using our product, and I think it looks pretty beautiful for customers looking for the answer to their question. So, there’s no reason for us not to use our product, and there’s absolutely no reason for us to customize our own without making changes to the core template.

If we think something will look better on our knowledge base, we’ll change the core template to make it the same. Simple as that.

3. Jump on a call. 

When you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to chat with new customers. Find out what they were looking for and how they stumbled on your software. This way, you can optimize those channels.

If your software just isn’t right for them, give them a heads up. It’s even OK to recommend they go to a competitor of yours if it’s the right thing for them. 

Although growth is super important, so is helping out fellow founders and startups.

4. Offer to help. 

If you run a startup, there’s no reason for you not to help your customers get the most out of your product. If it doesn’t look or work like they want it to, spend some time making sure it does.

If it’s a massive effort and would require a feature you don’t want to implement, then explain why you’re not going to do that thing. 

You don’t need to be fulfilling a customer’s every whim, but at least make them feel looked after.

Final Thoughts

When you’re running a SaaS business, it’s easy to go looking for new leads constantly. But perhaps it’s worth checking in with new or existing customers to make sure they’re getting the most out of your product.

Maybe it’s time to make sure you set good expectations on your website, meet them with your product, and then look after them by checking in.




Jarratt Isted Cambridge, UK
Jarratt handles Customer Success at HelpDocs. When he's not making sure customers are getting the most out of the product, he's watching Formula 1.