Churn Monster – Acquired Customer

Churn Monster #11: Acquired Customer

customer churn monster acquired
It’s time for us to take a look at another churn monster that causes a lot of risk – an acquired customer. For any company that has been acquired it goes hand in hand that automatically most things about the future become uncertain, especially the likelihood of continuing to do business with existing vendors.  

As a Customer Success Manager this can be a very worrying time, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your business relationship. If you are proactive you can navigate things to where your company is able to stick it through the merger or acquisition and retain the customer.

Let’s take a look at a scenario involving an acquired churn monster and see what you can do as a Customer Success Manager in this situation.

The Scenario

One Tuesday morning you log onto our computer and check your email to see that you have received a Google alert that one of your customer’s company has been acquired. You click through to read the news release.

You are immediately concerned that this is a customer churn risk. What should you do?

Plan of Action

Luckily you got wind of the news just as it broke so you are able to try and get out and ahead of what’s to come. You do your best to try and understand the nature of the deal. You do some more research by looking at other articles addressing the news story and figure out that your customer’s company was bought by a significantly larger company. As far as you can tell your customer’s leadership team is still intact.

You clue in your Director on the news and sit down to discuss next steps. You decide to reach out to your day-to-day contact with an email addressing the recent news and ask for a meeting to get more information on any business changes you should be aware of and to offer your assistance during this uncertain time.

During this phone call you plan to try and suss out the following information.

  • Will there be or has there already been any job losses with the acquisition?
  • Are there any new decision-making contacts that you should/could be introduced to?
  • Does the acquiring company have their own solution that is similar to the product or service you provide?
  • Does anything change in the near-term for invoicing (e.g. new billing address, new accounts payable contact)?
  • What can you do that will be helpful as they go through this transition phase?

From this call you find out that your customer’s company was acquired because the purchasing company was looking to diversify their own product offerings. You take this as a sign that you could possibly still continue your relationship with the newly absorbed operations unit.

Since the question of the budget moving forward is still up in the air, you tell the customer that your team will be putting together a business review of your relationship thus far, and that you would like the chance to present to the existing and new decision makers after the dust has settled a bit.

In this presentation you outline the challenges the customer had prior to coming on-board and how your solution has aided in overcoming those obstacles as well as increased team efficiency and the return that has been realized to date. You also outline opportunities for future success moving forward, especially given the new found room for account expansion. You also stress that you will still be able to serve them and their needs as they scale as a result of this acquisition.

Your POC says she will follow-up internally to try and champion for the renewal. You have requested that they also keep you in the loop of any business changes as they occur so you can best serve them and their needs.

As it turns out your organization will have to complete an RFP to be considered for continued business under the new parent company. Since you had just put together the business review for the decision makers, your job is slightly easier as you are able to pull details and KPI results from the presentation to fill out the proposal for the renewal.

A few days after you submit the proposal your contact reaches out to let you know that the renewal has been approved and they are able to remain clients, which you both are very happy about.

Good job, defeating that very uncertain customer churn risk and coming out on the side of the renewal!

Follow the links below to learn about the other churn monsters we’ve covered so far and stay tuned for a new churn monster next month.

Fight Customer Churn!


Churn Monster Playbook: Your Definitive Guide to Fighting Customer Churn

In this playbook, we will catalog the twelve common monsters that attack customer retention. For each churn monster, we will give a description of what its churn risk looks like, so you can easily identify it within your customer accounts. We will also give you actionable tips to help you combat each churn monster, and insight into how ChurnZero can help.

Download this playbook now to learn how to fight customer churn.

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