Lost customers really are an interesting bunch. Last week, I finished a lost and declining customer study for a major, global educational program and it spurred some interesting takeaways…
- Essential segmentation
Results from this study took on greater meaning when we looked at the characteristics of students and educational facilities that have churned, and why. For instance, we found that students and instructors in a couple of countries were facing extreme economic and political forces (and I mean extreme: unemployment rates in the 40-50% range, and governmental bodies that strictly regulate educational curricula).
- Competitive intelligence
Did they stop purchasing, in general, or did they go somewhere else? If you tie together why they are leaving you and where they are going, you can draw out additional competitive intel for your marketing and sales teams.
Often, lapsed customers will be happy to tell you what it takes to get them to come back, too. Recently, another client tested different incentive ideas so they could find out which ones were most attractive to each segment of lost/declining customers.
- Double-check your retention metrics
This was a new twist for me over the last few weeks. We found a sizeable share of customers who were still using educational services from the company... they just weren’t registering their activity! Revving up the value proposition for registration will improve their retention metrics and also help ensure that all their marketing and communication efforts are reaching their true customer base.
Project Group Manager, Walker Information