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Micro-personalisation: the marketeer's key weapon against churn
by Tom Jenkins

Losing customers is a challenge that every company in every industry faces, but telecommunications businesses have a particularly difficult job addressing it.

This is because churn doesn’t present itself immediately. Customers are usually locked into 12-month contracts, which means bad service may push them away early on, but the effect will not be felt until months later.

If a customer is unsatisfied in a supermarket, they can air their complaints at the point of purchase, which can then be rectified and leave the manager with a good idea as to whether that shopper will return or not.

This is not the case for telcos. Customers might be dealing with bad service for weeks before picking up the phone. They may even disappear without a word. Telcos have to deal with customer journeys which may span years rather than minutes and every step has to be perfect to guarantee retention.

To do this, you need the right data. You need to create a single customer view using qualitative data, such as complaints history and usage patterns, as well as quantitative data like NPS, service interruptions and buying patterns.

From this data you can start to build a comprehensive picture of each customer and from there you can assess the likelihood that they will part ways at the end of their contract. You can also calculate their lifetime value to work out whether they spend enough to merit the effort it takes to retain them.

There’s no point bending over backwards for a low-spend customer that complains regularly and makes unreasonable demands. It is far better to focus on the customer who spends more but has logged two complaints in the past month and may be swayed by your competitors’ recent media spend.

Once you’ve identified the customers that are in danger of churning and are worthwhile trying to save, you then have to work out how to appease them. Check out Right time, right place, right offer, right customer – reducing churn couldn’t be easier! to explore the five key decision-making styles that your customers fall into and find out the best ways to deal with them.

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