In a perfect world, customer retention would never be an issue. We would acquire new business, the relationship between ourselves and our customers would be perfect and they would stay with us forever. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and, sometimes, people leave us. While it’s a difficult topic to think about, it’s not necessarily devastating. An incident in this vein can actually be a positive. It all depends on what we make of it.
The most successful organizations don’t go about business assuming they will never lose a customer under any circumstances. Instead, they have systems and strategies in place to capitalize on a particular situation by obtaining all relevant information pertaining to the event and using it to improve the overall company. Ultimately, by keeping an eye on the churn rate, companies can make efforts to keep it down.
A recent article in Inc. Magazine listed five metrics every marketer should pay attention to. Churn was included because of all the important bits of information that can be processed whenever a customer leaves.
“Nobody likes to talk about churn because we all want to believe that no one would leave us and move on, but it happens and it’s an incredibly powerful metric,” wrote Janine Popick, the article’s author. “If you measure it consistently and over time, you will see any unusual spikes or valleys. And you can track those back to things that may have happened.”
Suppose your customers leave primarily during the summer, or what if churn occurs consistently after prices go up, or whenever your communication systems fail (like your website going down.) This information can be collected, processed and used to adjust certain aspects of operations accordingly. For example, if it’s determined that the majority of customers who leave do so during the summer months, the next time the season rolls around it might be a good opportunity to run a promotion to entice customers to stay. While fixing price hikes or technical issues is a bit harder, having that information will at least let companies know the magnitude of those situations, which will only help in the long run.
For this data strategy to be successful, you need a system designed to process information quickly and display it in an easy-to-understand format. Building a custom database software system will give businesses the tools they need to make the most out of customer losses and turn churn from a negative to a positive.