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8 essential tools to track, manage, and reduce churn

If you’re concerned about your customer churn rate, check out these 8 tools that help you track, manage, and reduce churn. You’ll find a fit for your business.

June 26, 2020 by Cyn Meyer

Running a subscription-based business with increasing customer churn (a.k.a., customers leaving your business) can feel like you’re on a boat with a hidden slow leak. 

You’re still afloat, and you have your destination figured out.

You just need to find that pesky hole and fix it ASAP before you, or your profits, start sinking. 

The promising news is there are tools to help you track, manage, and prevent customer churn so your business not only avoids sinking, but it thrives.

Because you may not need every type of churn tool, today we conveniently organized eight useful tools into four categories for you:

  • Failed payment recovery 
  • Analytics
  • Customer insights
  • Customer success 

Let’s get right to it. 

8 Tools to track, manage, and prevent churn

Failed payment recovery

Tools that help you recover failed payments are particularly useful if you have recurring payment plans set to autopay. There’s a significant amount of passive and involuntary churn that happens when your customer payment charges don’t go through.

In fact, 10-15% of recurring payment charges fail on average. 

What’s the solution? 

Tools that help you combat involuntary churn from failed payments with features like alerts, communication campaigns, and landing pages specifically for payment updates, to name a few.

Here are a few of your options:

#1. Churn Buster

Churn Buster is a platform that helps you end passive churn due to failed payments while preserving your customer relationships over the long-term. Their focus is on failed payment recovery for ecommerce, SaaS, and digital subscription companies. 

Features: Features include high-value opportunity alerts, exports for retargeting, bounced email alerts, timed SMS messaging and nudging, optimized email campaigns, analytics, and reporting. 

Price: Pricing starts at $50 per month for up to $150k in monthly recurring revenue (MRR) for SaaS and subscription companies and up to $250k in MRR for ecommerce. If your MRR is greater than that, the next level plan goes for $300 per month.

Best for: Churn Buster is ideal for ecommerce, SaaS, and digital subscriptions and membership companies that want to focus on recovering failed payments by sending tailored messages and actions for specific reasons.

Not ideal for: Businesses looking for an all-inclusive solution beyond payment analytics, such as improving customer service through real-time chat, engagement, and customer service prior to failed payments.

#2. Stunning

Touting over $5 billion in recovered failed payments, Stunning is a tool for Stripe payments that helps you prevent involuntary churn from failed payments. 

Features: Stunning comes with features including an in-app notification bar, SMS responses, backup payment methods, customizable dunning pre-emails and emails, payment update pages, unpaid reactivation, upcoming charge emails, and customizable receipts. 

The tool also comes with a “Smart Retries” feature that retries failed payments at optimal times based on customer data. Other bells and whistles include conditions for emails, including welcome, cancellation, trial expiration, and refund emails, billing history, and Slack notifications.

Price: Pricing ranges from free for less than 250 paying customers to $500 per month for up to 5,000 paying customers (you also get access to the founder’s cell phone at their highest plan). All plans come with all features, Stripe integration, and a money-back guarantee.

Best for: Businesses that use Stripe to accept payments and want a standalone solution for reducing passive churn from failed payments. 

Not ideal for: Any business that doesn’t use Stripe for payments and businesses looking for churn reduction features beyond standalone recovery of failed payments.

Analytics

The second category of tools is analytics, which helps you track and analyze your churn.

Without metrics, reporting, and analytics in place, it’s difficult to pinpoint where your growth problems exist and find your way to your revenue goals.

A staggering 90% of analytics and business professionals claim that data and analytics are vital to their organization’s digital transformation initiatives. 

Granted, they’ve got some stake in that claim (or they’d be out of a job), but where there’s smoke, there’s bound to be a fire, and that’s definitely true of analytics.

So, ready to leverage analytics to meet your digital transformation initiatives?

Here are two tools that give you a snapshot of your current business growth metrics, so your next move is pointed in the right direction.

#3. FirstOfficer

A subscription analytics app, FirstOfficer allows you to track your company’s growth problems by tracking churn through subscription metrics for Stripe payments.

Features: FirstOfficer comes with robust reporting features, including retention curve, configurable lifetime value (LTV), customer segmentation, cohort analysis and profitability, churn tracking, MRR and revenue analytics, and renewal schedule.

Price: Pricing ranges from $29 per month for up to 250 customers and weekly reports to $249 per month for up to 5,000 customers, weekly reports, team members, cohort retention, custom CSV exports, and non-Stripe payment imports.

Best for: FirstOfficer is ideal for startups and subscription-based (i.e., membership-based) businesses that use Stripe payments and want to track their churn and growth metrics.

Not ideal for: If your biggest revenue channel is one-off products, you may want to pass on this one. It’s also not ideal for businesses who don’t use Stripe for payments, or those who want to dig into data outside of payment analytics.

#4. MRR.io

MRR.io is a payment analyzing tool that allows you to view reports across a range of business growth metrics. 

Features: MRR comes with robust reporting, including monthly recurring revenue (MRR, hence the namesake), new MRR, churned MRR, expansion MRR, MRR movement, gross revenue churn, LTV, downgrades, upgrades, filed charges, and average revenue per customer.   

Additional features include advanced email reports, metric forecasts, cohort analysis, and tapping into multiple data sources via MRR’s API. 

Price: The free plan has you covered for all metrics and up to 100 paying customers, including three team member slots and basic email reports. 

If you spring for the upgrade, it’ll cost you $19 per month and includes all metrics, unlimited paying customers and team members, cohort analysis, forecasting, and advanced email reports.

Best for: Small to midsize SaaS and subscription-based companies looking for a standalone tool that provides robust reporting and analytics. 

Not ideal for: Companies that aren’t subscription-based who need to integrate with a payment system outside of Stripe and Paddle platforms. Also not ideal for people looking for a churn tool that goes beyond MRR analytics.

Customer insights 

Customer insight tools help you understand your customers better (a.k.a., the most important part of your business). 

Even if you’re not an expert, if you can find a way to gather useful data and intelligence from your audience, it’s a surefire way to lower your churn rate.

Need numbers to back it up?

According to a Forrester Consulting study, 47% of marketers reported improved customer satisfaction, and 45% experienced improved customer retention as a result of marketing intelligence activities. 

Check out these two customer insight tools to help you follow suit and improve your retention:

#5. YesInsights

YesInsights is a platform that reduces customer churn by sending customers and visitors email surveys and website surveys to improve your business.

Features: Their email surveys feature one-click surveys that ask a single question, making it convenient for recipients to respond. Once someone clicks on the survey, you have the chance to follow up for deeper insights through a landing page or automated email.

Their website surveys feature one snippet of code for creating a popup survey where you can ask questions based on visitor behaviors and capture emails directly on your site. You can tailor your questions to target specific pages and actions on your website. 

YesInsights also integrates with most popular email marketing tools

Price: Pricing ranges from $20 per month for five surveys and 1,000 responses per month to $149 per month for unlimited surveys and 25,000 monthly responses.

Best for: Businesses of all sizes looking to increase their net promoter score (NPS) by asking simple questions that require a quick response either in an email or directly on your site. Also ideal for people who want a chance to analyze results in real-time.

Not ideal for: Those looking for a complex survey tool that provides advanced reporting features and analytics. This is a quick in-and-out tool -- great for most creators, but probably not ideal for people who want to get deep into data.

#6. Intercom

Intercom is a real-time business messaging tool that lets you reduce churn by engaging with your customers through a chatbox on your site. With conversation prompts and survey questions, you can gather insights to lift customer support and reduce customer churn.

Features: Intercom can do a lot, so we’ll focus on the specific capabilities it has for increasing retention.

For starters, it allows you to onboard and retain your customers with synchronous or asynchronous messages, product tours, customer segmentation, targeting, and personalization based on behaviors and attributes. 

In addition to that, it also lets you create and optimize in-app, email, and mobile push campaigns. 

Price: Pricing for the standalone customer engagement features ranges from $49 to $75 per month. Pricing for the standalone customer support features ranges from $38 to $78 per month. 

There’s also an all-in-one option that includes customer engagement, customer service, and the additional lead generation features, which ranges from $87 to $153 per month.

Best for: Businesses of all sizes that want to provide real-time and additional customer support to their customers as well as gain insight into their issues. Also ideal for people looking for a live chat solution that helps with lead generation.

Not ideal for: Intercom isn’t ideal for businesses that want an all-inclusive churn reduction solution. It’ll help you get a handle on your churn with its insights, but if you’re not interested in utilizing its chat features regularly, it’s probably not the tool for you.

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Customer success

Our final category of tools is customer success, which is vital for reducing your customer churn. Without customer success, your customer and membership retention won’t survive. 

The good news is that customer success is an investment that pays itself back. Your customers are likely willing to pay more for a better customer experience. 

That’s what 86% of buyers say, anyway, and it’s anticipated that customer experience will trump price and your product as the new brand differentiator this year. 

To complete your buffet of tools today, here are two more tools to consider for reducing churn with a focus on customer experience.

#7. ChurnZero

Founded in 2015, ChurnZero is a real-time customer success platform that helps subscription-based businesses reduce churn by providing insights on product usage and customer health. The platform integrates with most popular third-party tools.

Features: Features include customer health scores, customer segmentation, real-time alerts, customer journey tracking, marketing automation, product walk-throughs, integrated NPS scores, and reporting. 

ChurnZero also integrates with a wide range of popular CRM, support and ticketing, finance and accounting, NPS, single sign-on, and usage tools.

Price: Pricing is custom per user. 

Best for: Large-sized subscription businesses and SaaS companies looking for a real-time platform for tracking overall customer success and customer health. Also ideal for people who need to integrate with other third-party platforms to add their marketing stack.

Not ideal for: Like most tools on this list, ChurnZero isn’t for smaller businesses that don’t have a recurring revenue model as their primary income stream. Likewise, because ChurnZero covers so much ground, it’s probably not a necessary expense for newer creators.

#8. Planhat

Planhat is a robust customer success platform that allows you to reduce churn by better understanding your customers, building playbooks, and increasing upsells and referrals.

Features: Planhat’s platform includes a suite of features including customer overview, health score, conversations, revenue management, onboarding, and team performance analytics. 

The platform is modular and can be tailored to use individual features within each of these feature categories. 

For instance, the health score category includes health trends, alerts and triggers, user analytics, health profiles, flexible input, and unlimited key performance indicators (KPIs).

Price: Pricing starts from $500 per month (+$1 per customer per month), which is ideal for startups. The next level up is ideal for teams and goes for $1,500 per month (+$1 per customer per month).

Best for: Large to enterprise-level businesses looking for a robust platform to handle customer success and churn reduction.

Not ideal for: Small businesses or people looking for a standalone solution for one element of reducing churn, such as failed payment recovery or tracking metrics.

You can’t save everything, but you can use tools to save your churn rate

While dealing with a rising churn rate can send you into a panic, the good news is there are tools to help you curb the impact. 

And the better news is that you can pick and choose from a range of tools to pinpoint the cause of your customer churn and customize a fix for your business without going belly-up on your cash flow.

In sum:

  • Use tools like Churn Buster and Stunning for tracking and managing failed charges. This will help you automate a failed payment recovery in no time.
  • Try tools like FirstOfficer and MRR.io to help you analyze your business growth metrics. The right reporting will help you pinpoint problem areas and fine-tune your next move.
  • Check out tools like YesInsights and Intercom to uncover vital customer insights that will keep your customers satisfied and on board over the long-term.
  • Consider tools like ChurnZero and Planhat to handle your customer success. By increasing your customer experience at all times, your customer churn doesn’t stand a chance.

Here’s to reducing your customer churn like nobody’s business (pun slightly intended).

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