Product Usage Drop Signal Playbook

Playbook Overview
When should you run this playbook?
Product usage among accounts tends to be steady and consistent.
Decreases in product use have historically indicated churn risk.
Who to target?
Existing accounts that have historically been active within the product but have begun to decrease their usage
Playbook goal?
Defend. This playbook is designed to intervene at the first signs of churn risk, helping you retain key accounts and revenue.
Responsible team(s)?
Marketing and CS to support
  • When formerly engaged customers have a sudden drop in product use it may be an early sign they’re no longer getting value out of your product. 
  • Consider monitoring seat utilization, log-in frequency, and key metrics that make sense for your product, such as projects created or messages sent. 
  • Keep outreach friendly and focused on support. By offering resources and acting as a product consultant your customers will be more receptive to churn prevention efforts.

What is the key signal?

A previously healthy and engaged account suddenly has a significant drop in product usage. This may include a decreased usage of key features or logging in less frequently.

What is this playbook?

Customers only get value out of the products they use. Because of this, one easy way to spot accounts at risk for churn (and intervene beforehand) is by monitoring product use to identify drops in activity. Reaching out at the first sign that use is decreasing can help strengthen your customer relationships and position you as a resource rather than an unnecessary expense.

When should you run this playbook?

Product usage decreases, including a drop in log-ins, are often the first signs of trouble. The sooner you intervene, the higher your likelihood of retaining customers.

Try This Playbook

Step 1

Establish a baseline for product use. In order to understand when an account is dipping in product use, first you need to have a baseline for what “normal” customer behavior looks like. Some products are seasonal and may experience typical ebbs and flows in use (think tax and accounting software). Other products are “daily drivers” and have much steadier, sustained use, like team collaboration tools. By establishing expected use patterns you’ll have a clearer indication of when to run this playbook.

Step 2

Monitor for decreased usage. Now that you’ve outlined expected behavior, you’ll need to begin monitoring for decreased use among your accounts. Customer context is important here too. If an account has a small seat allowance, a dip in log-ins or product use could be due to one or two key employees going on vacation.

Step 3

Plan your outreach. Decide whether account outreach will be automated, manual, or a mix of both, and who on the GTM team will own messaging and execution. Building a waterfall strategy where accounts are initially targeted and nurtured via automated marketing messages, then escalated to sales or CS for manual intervention can help minimize the amount of effort individual reps need to expend to save accounts that may just need a little extra education or support.

Step 4

Connect with low-activity accounts. Now that you’ve identified the at-risk account(s), it's time to launch your playbook and start connecting with your contacts. Your team will need to test timing and messaging to determine what works best, but keep in mind the core purpose of your outreach: you’re here to help customers get the most out of their product experience. Focus on building rapport and offering support.

Need some ideas for what to write? Check out our examples for both Sales and Marketing below.

Sales Outreach Examples

Hi [First Name],

Hope all's well! Noticed your team has been less active than usual and wanted to check in. Is there somewhere I can unblock you or would your team benefit from more [product] training? 

Let’s grab some time to talk through your team’s priorities and how they can get the most out of [product].

Marketing Outreach Example

Hey [First Name]!

Are you getting the most out of [product]? We wanted to share our top resources and let you know about some of the new features we’ve launched.

  • Check out our [training/blog post/content] on [feature] to get even more out of your subscription. 
  • Schedule a call with one of our experts to ask any questions and walk through new features.
  • Explore our [tier name] plan to unlock access to [additional key features].

Enable this playbook in Pocus

  1. Connect your relevant data sources.
  2. Select your goal (in this case, Revenue Retention).
  3. Build your playbook based on the signal (trigger) and actions outlined above.
  4. Run the playbook by rolling it out to the relevant members of your team.
  5. Iterate over time based on reporting and results. You may find ways to improve this playbook’s effectiveness beyond what we’ve outlined here!
About the author
Alexa Grabell
Co-Founder & CEO at Pocus

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