Can Customer Churn Be Good for a B2B SaaS Business? Sometimes...
Customer churn tends to be viewed negatively by SaaS companies, and for good reason. However, in specific scenarios, it can actually be, dare we say, a positive.
“Vitally solves the problem of giving us one central place where all of our customers exist, where all the data about the customer comes in, and where our customer success strategy lives…”
Darren Chait, Co-Founder & COO @ Hugo
Hugo is a B2B meeting platform that powers the meeting workflows for thousands of teams like Adobe, Netflix, Slack, Spotify, Shopify, and beyond, by combining meetings, notes, and tasks all in one place. Through 20+ integrations, Hugo is the only meeting notes solution centered around their users’ calendars, where meetings originate. They’re purpose-built for meeting notes specifically, unlike cumbersome CRMs or disorganized scratchpads like Google Docs.
Hugo had an entirely self-serve business model with thousands of customers signing up every week—and no single source of truth for their customer data.
“There was no one place where we had the full picture of the customer: their usage of the product, their details, who was who on the team, the outreach and conversations we were having with them, etc.,” said Darren. “We were stepping on each other's toes and customer tasks were falling between the cracks.”
The lack of visibility into their book of business led to concerns around the quality of the customer experience they were providing, and an inability to proactively reach out to customers when needed.
“Without playbooks and Customer Success strategies, we were leaving a lot of value on the table, and providing a subpar customer experience.”
With all of these concerns top of mind, Hugo made their first Customer Success hire in early 2020. That was also when they realized that as soon as they had more than one hire dedicated to the success of their customers, a single source of truth for customer data was no longer a want, but a need.
“We needed one place where the entire customer story existed,” said Darren. “That for us was the driver to look for the best solution out there.”
Hugo’s journey to find the “best solution out there” came to a head late one night when Darren was struggling to figure out the last time a particular account had been reached out to, and what was happening within that account overall. That’s when he began browsing through the Customer Success section of Segment’s Integration Catalog.
“One of the most important aspects of Hugo is that we're incredibly data-centric. We choose products and tools based on how well they integrate with our data stack,” said Darren. “We initially came across Vitally because of their Segment integration, and that, for us, meant we could connect our entire data stack—everything our customers are doing, our data warehouse, all of our analytics, and all the data we store for a customer—to their customer profile.”
While having powerful integrations that seamlessly integrate with Hugo’s entire data-stack was a non-negotiable when deciding on a Customer Success platform, Vitally has empowered the CS team at Hugo to take their data analyses to the next level by leveraging Success Metrics.
“We can look at average engagement per user; we can look at very specific scoring that requires quite complex calculations based on other metrics, and that all happens in Vitally,” said Darren. “We don't need a data science team to build a transform layer on top of our data to calculate this stuff. All the data comes into Vitally, and we can then run those calculations and have those metrics accessible for the Customer Success team.”
As a B2B SaaS company with no sales team and an entirely self-serve business model, Hugo’s tech stack does not necessitate a CRM—far from it. Instead, Hugo uses Vitally to house customer data, power customer engagement, and empower customer relationship management.
“Vitally solves the problem of giving us one central place where all of our customers exist, where all the data about the customer comes in, and where our customer success strategy lives…” said Darren. “There's no bad or fragmented data across lots of tools, we know where to look when we want to understand the customer, and at the same time, we're able to implement our customer success strategy on top of those customers.”
Beyond using Vitally as their source of truth for customer data, Hugo’s Customer Success team has found value in a number of Vitally features, namely: Playbook automation, automatic task assignment, and Customer Health Scores.
“We can go in and build out Customer Success strategies very quickly, figure out what we'd like to do or when we want to reach out, then use the customer data for high levels of personalization and triggers,” said Darren. “And we can rest assured that all of those strategies are executed automatically. So the Vitally Playbooks, and the way they're implemented, makes it really easy for us to provide an amazing Customer Success experience.”
As for Customer Health Scores, Vitally has reimagined this traditional Customer Success concept to empower B2B SaaS companies to create and manage the overall picture of their customers’ health with extraordinary precision.
“[Customer] health score is a basic concept in Customer Success, but in Vitally, scores are re-calculated in real-time based on all of our data, giving us a pulse check on the state of any customer,” said Darren. “With the one to ten score and traffic light system, you can get a sense of how a customer is tracking. In short, health scoring is one of the most foundational requirements for effective Customer Success and Vitally makes it super easy.”
Ultimately, the value Hugo has experienced from Vitally is synonymous with business value in the form of more activated customers who are better retained, happier, and more satisfied, all of which nets out in the form of greater revenue.
“We've had one of the best years we've ever had at Hugo, and that, in part, is powered by Vitally,” said Darren. “Activations are the best they’ve ever been, retention is the best it's ever been, revenue growth is the best it's ever been.”
In Hugo’s eyes, Vitally is the only Customer Success platform that meets the needs of modern B2B SaaS companies.
“There are some old-fashioned alternatives out there that are built on top of Salesforce and other CRMs that just don't work for an SMB or mid-market company or modern enterprise that wants their teams using the latest, best-in-class tools,” said Darren. “For that reason, I would absolutely recommend Vitally to any team that's using a modern [tech] stack and wants a Customer Success platform that integrates with the rest of their stack.”
For companies who are in the early stages of building out their Customer Success departments, the team at Hugo recommends making sure you have an answer to each of the following questions:
“If you can map all of that out first, getting going with Vitally will be super easy because you're literally just putting all of that into Vitally, building the playbooks, and setting up the success metrics and elements,” said Darren. “And Vitally will be up and running for your Customer Success strategy in days.”
When it comes to building out a world-class Customer Success organization for the first time, Vitally is the first and last CS platform you’ll ever need. From enabling you to straighten out data and process issues to getting up and running without operational support, Vitally is the Customer Success platform that’s built for the new generation of B2B SaaS.
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