Archive for July, 2017

How to Prevent Churn of Your Most Valuable Customers

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Churn (or cancellation) rate refers to the percentage of customers who leave your product or service. For usage or subscription-based businesses, it is arguably THE most important metric to monitor. A high churn rate is a classic sign that the business you are running is no longer sustainable. The good news? Taking action to both identify your most valuable customers and improve user experience can quickly remedy the problem.

Here are seven strategies to reduce customer churn and, ultimately, increase revenue.

Streamline Your Onboarding

Just like your website may provide the first impression before a sale, your onboarding experience sets the tone for the quality of service you provide to customers. If your onboarding experience is negative, choppy or unprofessional, your customers will expect the same level of support throughout your partnership. In fact, new customers are most likely to churn in the early days of onboarding, so creating a smooth platform transition is vital to your relationship. An effective onboarding process will build your customer’s trust, demonstrate the value of the product or service, and set the foundation for the remainder of the partnership.

Pro Tip: Earn your customer’s affection in the early days and win them for a lifetime.

Improve User Experience

While user experience (UX) typically refers to how easy or intuitive a product or website is to use, good UX really comes down to meeting the needs of your customers. Our customer retention tip? Encourage new hires to interact with your product and service before getting your official training. Their fresh eyes will give you visibility into how new customers might approach your product or service. This will help you identify gaps, watch user patterns, and determine what may be less than intuitive.

Pro Tip: Talk to your support team and make sure these gaps directly influence your roadmap.

Offer Additional Services

What kind of technology are you providing for your customers? In today’s competitive market, the answer to this question could make or break your churn rates. Add over-the-top value by offering services above and beyond basic connectivity and data connection. For example, self-service capabilities can empower your most valuable customers to take charge of their accounts and help you stand out in the market.

Pro Tip: Learn about how to effectively roll out a new product or service, right here.

Proactive Customer Monitoring

Thanks to modern APIs, business intelligence is no longer exclusive to enterprise companies. Organizations of all sizes can access predictive analytics to detect early warning signs of at-risk customers. Recurring revenue and subscription-based businesses can avoid churn by tracking metrics like frequency of user engagement, customer satisfaction scores, and more.

Pro Tip: Look for a customer management tool that offers custom reporting to track the information that matters most to your business.

Provide Better Billing

Adopting a modern, automated billing system can improve accuracy, build trust, and, ultimately, improve retention. Billing is personal for your customers. One small mistake can trigger a major chasm of trust between you and your customers. Whether your customers are facing an inaccurate charge or unpredictable billing rates, chances are that trust will not only get lost in the billing process but also in your product or service as a whole.

Pro Tip: You can’t afford to make billing mistakes. Read more about how better billing can drive your client retention strategy.

Increase Quality of Customer Care

Mistakes happen, but the quality of your customer support can reverse, or exacerbate, these issues. Almost 70% of the identifiable reasons why customers left typical companies had nothing to do with the product. The prevailing reason for switching was poor quality of service. Make sure your support team is prepared and empowered to deliver quality care and views each trouble ticket as an opportunity to deliver world-class care.

Pro Tip: Choose a service provider that keep their development and customer support in-house to prevent this pitfall.

Businesses spend 5x more to acquire a new customer versus what they spend to retain an existing customer. To see how Rev.io can help you predict and prevent churn of your most valuable customers, request a demo or contact us today.

Join Us! Live Webinar: REST API Preview

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Your Opinion Matters: Join Us for a LIVE Rest API Reveal

We have exciting news for the Rev.io community. Next week, our founder and CTO, Ross Overstreet, will be showcasing our REST API design and plan. We’d love for you to join us on Wednesday, July 26th 1pm EST / 10am PST for a sneak peek of our Platform Team’s progress.

What Exactly is REST API?

REST (Representational State Transfer) is an architectural style that is often used in the development of Web services. It’s a popular building style for cloud-based APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and typically runs over HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to deliver interactions between clients and services.

What to Expect From The Webinar

During this one hour webinar, you’ll have the chance to weigh in on the future of Rev.io’s platform. Get ready to:

  • Hear the latest updates about our REST API from Ross Overstreet and Rev.io’s Platform Team
  • Provide feedback on our REST API design plans
  • Gain EXCLUSIVE access to the new REST API code
  • Participate in a live Q&A session following the preview

At Rev.io, we are committed to your success. We are constantly striving to improve so that you can take your business to the next level. Our team has been working hard to deliver innovative technology, but first, we’d like to hear from you.

Reserve My Spot

4 Things to Avoid When Rolling Out A New Service Offering

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You’ve spent months pouring your heart and soul into the development of a product or service offering that you’re sure will change the world… or, at least, the industry and customers you serve. Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “Now what?” With all the noise in the services ecosystem, it takes more than a great product to make waves. Thoughtful planning and strategy is required for a successful new service launch.

Here are four common pitfalls to avoid when rolling out a new service offering:

Making False Assumptions

Assumption #1: The Product is Perfect
When it comes to rolling out a new service offering, assumptions can be your worst enemy. To combat this, define a process that evaluates your expectations to achieve better results. Regardless of the initial design, customer feedback and user experience could change the final service offering.

Assumption #2: The Whole Team is On the Same Page
It is easy to assume that your team is clear with deliverables, expectations, and specific details surrounding a product launch, but this is one of the hardest things to achieve. To avoid delay of the product release, replace generic requests like, “I need it soon” with something more specific like, “I need it by 8/1/17.” Be specific and clear and regularly check in with each member of the team to ensure you are all on the same page.

Assumption #3: Your Job’s Over After Launch
In reality, you’re just getting started. Every facet of your team is counting on you to guide them towards a better service and customer experience. Whether it’s setting up best practices for troubleshooting, creating training collateral for customers, or gathering strategic marketing materials, a successful product rollout is an endurance game, not a sprint.

Foregoing Transparency During Beta

Whether you decide to release a generally available product or test through beta, make sure this distinction is crystal clear to your customers. Without transparency, early adopters can get frustrated when working through the inevitable kinks of a less-than-fully-functional product. Our recommendation? Be bold and brave by spreading the word that you’re releasing a beta and that you’re open to feedback, and provide people with your future development roadmap.

If you’re having trouble finding people to participate in a beta, you may need to provide incentive offerings. Typically, your biggest advocates will be excited that you’re trying something new and happily volunteer. Plus, being open with clients about your new release can increase overall customer engagement and transparency. A win-win. Here are a few additional benefits of beta testing:

  • Gives your team the chance to make user-led modifications to existing functionality.
  • Helps gather ideas for future enhancements.
  • Lets you resolve any bugs or performance issues that would otherwise delay a successful launch.
  • Starts spreading the word about your new offering before general availability.

Avoiding Agility Post Launch

Great ideas and technology evolve over time, and customer testing and/or market research can only go so far. Your product may very well function differently once it’s released into the real world. Knowing this going in can help you be prepared to stay agile and flexible post launch. Rather than focusing all of your budget on the rollout itself, be sure to allocate some of your resources to post-launch updates.

Working in Silos

If there’s one piece of advice we would love to impart on our readers today, it would be to avoid building and launching any product or service in a silo. In today’s connected world, there’s no need. Whether it’s from customers, support, the c-suite, or your service community, aim to receive as much feedback as you can while remaining agile to support a better overall launch plan. If you’re solely relying on your development team, engineers, or IT experts for feedback, you’re missing a major opportunity to build a more comprehensive and thoughtful product.

Rev.io uses agile methodology as a framework for all of our internal projects. One of the key components? Agile retrospective. This refers to regular reflection on what’s working, what’s not working, and opportunities for improvement. Most importantly, it’s about adjusting your behavior based on those outcomes. By embracing change, your team can become more effective in all areas of work. If you can get comfortable applying lessons learned from previous projects, you’ll be well on your way to a successful rollout.

Final words of wisdom…

Most importantly, as you’re developing a new offering and preparing for a product rollout, always keep your end users in mind. Embrace the experience you’re about to ask your customers to go through, and engage them through every step of the process.

Have questions? Contact Rev.io’s VP of Operations, Geneva Gross. Or, sign up for Rev.io’s newsletter to receive more content to help you learn and grow.

Behind the Scenes With Rev.io & WIT Girls 2017

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One of Rev.io’s top values is “caring for employees, clients and the community.” One of our favorite ways to give back? WIT Girls Job Shadow Week.

While women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, they only account for 29% of the science and engineering workforce. This disparity becomes especially apparent in college, where America lags behind in the number of students majoring in science and engineering at colleges and universities, especially females. WIT Girls collaborates with Georgia businesses to support and inspire girls looking to break through barriers and advance in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) careers.

Our team has been proud to participate in this annual Women in Technology event for the past three years. Rev.io would not be what it is today without our female engineers, and we love giving young girls a glimpse into the future of a career in technology. This hands-on experience provides participants with a better picture of what their futures hold upon earning a degree in a STEAM field. Other participating companies include Sage, StateFarm, SunTrust, SecureWorks, and The Weather Company.

Behind-The-Scenes of 2017’s WIT Girls Job Shadow Week

This year, we brought in ten girls between 9th and 12th grade to shadow our female engineers. Monday was full of warm introductions, a tour of the Rev.io office, and the week’s assignments / expectations. Tuesday through Thursday, participants had a chance to shadow the females of Rev.io and experience their day-to-day responsibilities and skillsets. On Friday, the girls were tasked with creating a presentation on what their impact could be as a female in STEAM.

WIT Girls Geneva Gross .      WIT Girls Brent Maropis

The Rev.io team helped participants with presentation, leadership and soft skills as well as more technical experience (including writing code!). We always offer each participant a GitHub account so they can start a foundation or portfolio for a career in tech. Who knows…perhaps they’ll be engineering the next key piece of Rev.io’s technology one day.

The program is led by Rev.io’s Gevena Gross, a 2016 Woman of the Year in Technology honoree. She speaks on why Rev.io decided to get involved:

“I had worked with WIT in the past, and while I would love to take full credit for Rev.io’s involvement, it was really the men of Rev.io that brought this to fruition. They wanted more female software engineers. They wanted that diversity and perspective to make our software stronger. Rev.io is passionate about this program, and were thrilled to get involved. It was really a no-brainer for us to volunteer.”

We’re proud to help guide more young women towards STEM careers. To learn more about WIT Girls and how you can get involved, visit their website. Learn more about the Rev.io culture to learn more about our company values.

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