Why our customer success manager removed a discount that worked

Last updated on June 13th, 2023

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

We removed a 20% discount, for those who subscribed to our custom plan early, as it encourages ‘bad-fit’ customers and that costs everyone more in the long run.


The initial idea came from a service we were testing out. They offered all new trial users a 20% discount if they bought a paid account on day 1 of the trial. We like to experiment so we tested it out and offered it to new users. The consequences were as follows:

  1. More people paid and subscribed on day 1 of the trial.
  2. They were the people more likely to complain that it wasn’t right for them.
  3. We spent more time explaining the product to them.
  4. They were more likely to unsubscribe.

As an experiment it was certainly interesting but it does not fit with the customer success ideals of working with customers who can achieve their desired outcomes using the service.

“If you knowingly allow bad-fit customers to be acquired, nothing else you do in Customer Success will have the result you’re hoping for as those customers — no matter what you do — will never achieve their Desired Outcome.” Lincoln Murphy, SixteenVentures.

Without the discount, the users go through the full two week trial and we actively focus on understanding if they really have a problem we can fix.

In fact, we encourage them to extend the trial if they have not used it enough using one of our 20 automated emails we send to users and you can see all of these emails in the article below.


If you’re interested, we’ve also laid out how we use Intercom as our customer success software.


Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.