This article is for product and business owners who want to use Chassi’s Customer Lifecycles to improve customer engagement and reduce churn.

To quickly achieve practical results, we follow a strategic process we call the “4M Process” that includes mapping customer journeys, measuring customer behavior, managing the customer experience based on those insights, and then iterating through those steps to maximize the potential of the business. This post provides an overview of how that process works in terms of theory as well as implementation.

Controlling Churn in Four Steps

1. Map customer journeys

Use Customer Lifecycles to map customer journeys through your business by charting key events in the Chassi UI, and then adding a snippet of code to call our API as each event occurs so you can tell Chassi that the step has been reached.

To determine which events to map, ask yourself, “What activities are truly material to the business?” Out of everything that people could be doing in your application or business, what activities really indicate that customers are getting value from our service?

For example, in an email app, the material events might be receiving email, opening email, responding to emails, and sending email. Everything else (settings, signatures, folders, filters, archiving, deleting, adding attachments, etc) is secondary.

We suggest leaving secondary events out of your initial Lifecycle until you have a baseline of primary feature use because they add noise to the data without providing any signal.

2. Measure customer behavior

These first two stages work together in a process that’s like prospecting for mineral deposits. You start with a satellite pass – a very high level view of the whole region, looking for promising land forms that indicate there might be minable material. Once you identify likely sites, you verify each one by conducting increasingly closer passes in each area (aerial photos, ground inspection, drill for samples).

To detect trouble spots we start by generating a baseline for customer behavior within the business by taking measurements of the material customer activities that we decided on in step 1.

With a baseline established, you can start setting alerts that will warn you about emerging customer issues before they turn into cancellations. Like in your car, the oil light should go on well before your engine block seizes up.

Chassi measures cycle times (how long things take) and work-items in progress (how many users are on a step or in a set of steps at once). We generate several different reports using those metrics that allow you to easily identify choke points and areas that need improvement. Are users running into roadblocks? Are they consistently falling off at the same step?

Until you measure the journey it can be very hard to tell where the problems are.

In some cases, it may make sense to create a more specific journey to measure a particular process more closely. If, say, you see that most users are getting stuck right at the beginning of your overall lifecycle, you may want to drill down and map out all the steps of your onboarding process to see if there’s an issue there.

In addition, this is a good time to check for technical issues with a problem step (maybe the page doesn’t display correctly upon initial login?). You might also start reaching out to individual users who stop in a problem area for longer than is typical and get some feedback about why they paused there.

3. Manage customer experience

Once the data is in, you can start taking informed action to remedy the situation.

Depending on the problem, that might mean actively “nudging” customers toward a desired activity by notifying or contacting them in some way (displaying a tooltip, popping up a chat box offering support, highlighting an item, calling them on the phone, etc.).

Or, it might mean improving the general experience to reduce negative triggers that stop customers from taking action (like improving load times, or redesigning a confusing interface that’s making people give up on a task).

Where active triggers are required, Chassi makes it very easy to react to customer behavior in an automated fashion. Set a cycle time limit for a problematic step and you’ll get an alert via webhook or on our queue whenever someone hits the limit. Based on that alert you could send an email, start an in-app chat, pop-up a hint, ping a support rep, or whatever else might help.

Systems like Appcues, Pendo and Intercom are perfect companions to Chassi. When someone is moving away from the successful customer baseline, you can alert those systems to take action (pop up a chat box with a support agent, for example).

4. Master processes to maximize business potential

The last step of this process is to keep doing it. Drill deeper into more and more specific areas of the business, map out expected journeys to track new feature use, and test a variety of reactive responses to see how they affect customer behavior.

The Customer Lifecycles API includes the ability to create versions for each journey, allowing you to run A/B or multivariate tests and keep your lifecycle data up to date with changes in your business.

By following this process, you can use Customer Lifecycles to continuously increase customer engagement, reduce churn rates, and increase profits.