Preventing Customer Attrition

Mar 6, 2013

When we think about personalized, data-driven communications, we often think about boosting sales. Why not? It’s a highly effective use for 1:1 (personalized) printing. But there are many other uses of 1:1 printing that can boost your bottom line, too. Are you taking advantage of them?

One of those ways is using the more intimate, personalized nature of 1:1 communications to reduce customer attrition. According to Attrition Busters, it costs the average company eight dollars to replace every one dollar lost to customer attrition. If you could use data to hold onto your customers longer, that has both an immediate and a long-term impact on your profitability.

Customer attrition is different from customer retention. Customer retention is about keeping your existing customers happy. Customer attrition is the actual defection of those customers. Preventing attrition (also called “churn”) is something that is often done on a highly targeted basis based on the likelihood that a customer will defect.

One courier service, for example, used to anticipate defections by manually tracking its customer activity levels. When it got too large to do this by hand, it invested in software that detects likely customer churn by tracking drop-offs in volume or revenues. The software then sends the company an alert so it can address the issue right away—before it’s too late to get the customer back. Using this proactive approach, the courier service has been able to reduce its customer attrition by double digits.

Whether you are watching customer churn manually or by using specialized software (or just reacting to irate customer phone calls), you can use 1:1 printing as a powerful tool to reduce customer churn and boost your bottom line. Here are some ways to do this:

Make personal contact

Talk to each customer personally. Make them feel that they are more than just a name in a database.

Find out what happened

Find out what’s happening and how they feel about your company, products and services. Send them a personalized survey via personalized URL. Or send a hard copy survey in a personalized card.

Respond quickly

Respond to their feedback in a timely manner. Let them know that you appreciate their input. Send them a personalized coupon or other incentive of immediate relevance to them.

Nurture the relationship

Once you’ve prevented a defection, nurture that relationship with other personalized, relevant communications to keep that customer close and build their loyalty over time.

The risk of customer defection can be a scary thing. But handled correctly, customers on the verge of defection can become your most loyal customers if you handle the situation right.

More Insights To Enjoy:

+ Your Customers Have a Secret

+ Use Your Data to Describe and Predict

+ Understanding the Lifetime Value of a Customer

© Action Graphics, 2013. Article taken from Action Insights, Issue 19. Sign up today to receive future issues of our newsletters.

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