What were the signs you missed before you lost a major customer?

I remember the first time I lost a six-figure customer. It was a surprise:

  • They used the product every day, and constantly.
  • They had done a case study for us. In fact, they were on our homepage.
  • They renewed the contract and added additional seats.

And then one day, we got a call. Our competitor had been there, on-site. And convinced them they had a better solution for a few critical 10x features. (More on that here: The 10x Feature is Real. At Least, for a While. What’s Yours? | SaaStr).

We lost a top logo customer with no quantitative flags.

What should we have done? We should have:

  • Visited the customer. At least twice a year. We never did. It was all done over the phone.
  • Mapped out and met all the stakeholders. The SVP of Sales that did the testimonial was just one stakeholder. If he was all that mattered, we would not have lost the account.
  • Done quarterly QBRs. These would have highlighted any unknown feature gaps. Do these. Send out detailed quarterly reports to all customers at least at $20k+ ACV sharing all the metrics around usage, features used, value-added, ROI, etc. Everything you can measure. And you’ll get a bonus: they’ll send it around to promote themselves as heroes. And promote you internally.
  • Done annual roadmap presentations from the CEO / VP Product.  You really can save customers if you engage them with an annual 1-on-1 roadmap review.
  • Done monthly NPS surveys. This would have highlighted any hidden issues so we could have jumped on them earlier.

Instead, we just looked at our “Health Meter” which showed a high level of consistent usage.

That was necessary. But not sufficient.

(note: an updated SaaStr Classic answer)

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