Companies acquire and communicate with customers for one specific reason ”they want to retain their business. Most companies have no idea when they lose a customer ”or why. They might guess at the why, but few have the time and resources to put in the effort required to grapple with the issue effectively, identify the event that caused the loss and contact customers about it. The companies that achieve this level of contact with their customers dominate their markets.
The wireless industry, for example, is notorious for its rate of churn. Getting a handle on customer retention can put a wireless company in the top ranks of its industry. But understanding the reasons for churn is only half the battle. Acting on the information is even more critical because the rate of information atrophy is startling, not only in the telecom industry, but every industry.
The customer retention battle is event-driven and requires quick and precise responses. Imagine a trigger event, for example, canceling a wireless account. If the wireless company wants to change its customer s decision it needs to make that contact within 24 hours. Approximately 75 percent of all positive responses to customer retention calls result from calls made within the first 24 hours after the trigger event. Three-
Making contact with a customer as close to an event as possible is the key to retention. Many of the banks you ll see in these pages have, for example, built business rules that generate action prompts following specific trigger events on an account. The action prompts are followed up within the day.
Another retention approach favored by many companies is loyalty or rewards programs calculated to bind customers more closely to the company. Rewards programs traditionally have mixed results. It s not enough to simply offer customers the chance to accumulate points and redeem them for product or
Harrah s customer loyalty program and tiered loyalty card enable it to keep very close track of its customers and precisely tailor its contacts with each customer to ensure the most benefit for both. Customers use the cards in slot machines where they are recognized and can trigger service experiences immediately. For example, Harrah s staff may approach a customer who has earned a free restaurant meal with the offer, while they are still playing the slot machine on which they earned the reward.
When a loyalty customer checks into the hotel, desk staff can see the Total Rewards information and act
Retention issues take on a special twist in the retail industry where it s often
Steven Stone, Vice President of Lowe s, a company emerging as one of the strongest