A Quick-Start Guide to Low-, Mid-, and High-Touch Renewal Outreach Using Plays

Renewals require time-critical engagements that need to be planned, prepped, and set into motion long before a customer’s renewal date. But orchestrating and staying on top of renewal outreach can easily become overwhelming without repeatable or automated processes to keep you on task.

To give you an idea of what a renewal outreach sequence might look like, we’re sharing three Play examples from ChurnZero based on a range of Customer Success models:

  • Low-Touch Play: Mostly automated touchpoints to help the team show value before securing the renewal.
  • Mid-Touch Play: Automated touchpoints mixed with meaningful discussions surrounding value.
  • High-Touch Play: Many personal touchpoints driven by value-add, goal-focused discussions with some automation to support.


Before we get started, let’s explain a Play. In ChurnZero, a Play automates messaging and tasks based on a user or account’s engagement metrics. Even if you don’t have ChurnZero, you can use these Play examples as a guide to plan your customer onboarding workflows and communications.

Note: These Play examples are high-level and nonspecific to maintain relevance. Use them as a framework since your market and product context will modify your application. 

 

Step 1

For All Models: Conduct Preliminary Research

ChurnZero Action: Create a Task

Conduct preliminary research before reaching out to your customer.

  • Review your customer’s product usage
  • Check the account’s customer health score to pinpoint any gaps in value
  • Identify your customer’s wins and completed goals for the year

 

Step 2

For Low- and Mid- Touch Models: Present the Value

ChurnZero Action: Send an email

This step is critical. You’ve done your research and it’s now time to educate your customer on what they’ve accomplished this year. You want to highlight your customer’s big gains and wins throughout the year, as well as the major milestones they reached during their current contract.

If you’re using a mid-touch model, you also want to ask to schedule a meeting in the email.


For High-Touch Model: Call Your Customer

ChurnZero Action: Create a Task

You and your customer have likely built the kind of relationship where they’re used to being on the phone with you. Call your customer to explain that you’d like to discuss their achievements for this year, as well as what actions are needed to ensure they continue to meeth their goals in the next year.

 

Step 3

For Low- and Mid-Touch Models: Call the Customer

ChurnZero Action: Create a Task

For low-touch: Just because your customer is low-touch doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to review their account with you. Consider adding a touchpoint to call the customer to discuss the above email.

For mid-touch: Your customers expect to hear from you. Call your customer to discuss the above email where you define their realized value. On this call, your goal is to set a date in the future to discuss the email and the customer’s achievements throughout the year, as well as goals for the upcoming year.


For High-Touch Models: Set Expectations

ChurnZero Action: Send an Email

At this point, you’ve already introduced what you’d like to discuss on the call you scheduled with your customer in the prior step. Now, you want to reinforce these expectations in a follow-up email and meeting invite. At a high-level, highlight the customer’s key areas of success and goal attainment. Leave some hard-hitting information for the meeting with your customer.

 

Step 4

For Low-Touch Models: Reiterate Value

ChurnZero Action: Create an In-App Announcement

To reiterate the progress that your customer has made using your product, share a few key metrics that the customer cares about, as well as milestones that they’ve reached during your relationship so far. Use your merge fields to present metrics like Cost per Lead or mitigated costs on their end.


For Mid- and High-Touch Models: Conduct the Value Call

ChurnZero Action: Create a Task

Your customer is attending to this meeting expecting you to lead them through what they’ve done this year. Come prepared with visuals (even if it’s just the email above). Lead them into what they wish to accomplish the coming year. This will help them think about how they’ll use your software in the future. Expansion opportunities may present themselves here too.

If you’re using a high-touch model, it’s important to ensure that all key players (DMs, Executive Sponsors) are on this call.

 

Step 5

For All Models: Acknowledge the Renewal

ChurnZero Action: Send an email

Send an email explaining what your customer can look forward to in the upcoming renewal period as your partner.

If you’re using a low-touch model, acknowledge that the customer’s anniversary with your organization is approaching. Reference your previous email, in-app announcement, and call to demonstrate the value you’ve delivered. If you’ve kept in line with their initial goals, this should be the last email they need.

If you’re using a mid- or high-touch model, acknowledge that the customer’s renewal is approaching if you haven’t already discussed in the prior step. Detail how you’ll help the customer meet their goals as discussed. For high-touch, set a meeting to specifically discuss the renewal.

 

Step 6

For Low- and Mid-Touch Models: Send a Friendly In-App Reminder

ChurnZero Action: Create an In-App Announcement

Send the customer a quick reminder about what they can expect in the coming year. It’s OK to reference upcoming releases, benefits for tenured customers, and other items you feel would add value to your partnership.


For High-Touch Models: Conduct a Renewal Discussion

ChurnZero Action: Create a Task

Discuss the renewal in detail. Ensure all key players (DMs, Executive Sponsors) are on this call. Get any objections out of the way now and verify that nothing has changed from their initial buying process.

 

Step 7

For All Models: Send a Thank You

ChurnZero Action: Send an email

This step is extremely underrated and underused. A quick thank-you note can go a long way with a customer – especially if they know they don’t have the visibility and engagement of a mid- or high-touch customer. Reinforce to your customer that they’ve made a good decision and that they’ll be equally, if not more successful, in the coming year.

If you’re using a high-touch model, send your thank-you by hand if you can.

 

Final Thoughts

  • Don’t hesitate to acknowledge that the renewal is approaching
  • Share your customer’s achievements before discussing the renewal
  • Reiterate the good decisions your customer has made this past and upcoming year
  • Add a personal touch where you can – low-touch customers love this
  • Use automation to deliver key pieces of information at scale
  • For mid- and high-touch, pick up the phone and have a real conversation with your customer
  • For high-touch, get every stakeholder that’s involved in the decision to attend the Value Call and the Renewal Call

 

If you’re looking for more Play inspiration, check out these resources:


Customer Success Around the Web


Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero

 

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