When I think about the number of services and subscriptions I’ve cancelled or failed to renew over the years, my first thought is how unnecessary it should have been. In the overwhelming number of cases, the company I severed relationship with could have kept my business, if only they cared about my business and didn’t take it for granted:
- The phone company that lost my business waited until after I called to terminate my service to offer me a package to lower my bill.
- The news weekly which offered to lower my subscription price months after I failed to renew.
- The F500 company ending a string of multi-hundred thousand dollar a year purchases in great part because a sales rep had not called on them in over a year.
Churn can kill a business. It’s part of the customer acquisition challenge — the more customers you lose, the more the pressure to chase new customers. For many companies, you can’t get new customers fast enough to make up for the one time buyers and lost customers you already have.
I’ve worked with and for a number of companies who missed the key message in this post: You need customers and repeat business to have a business. There are exceptions, but exceptions are just that.
Repeat buyers provide a base of revenue and level of protection against lean times that can’t be replaced and should never be taken for granted. Every business needs to have ongoing programs and focused attention on keeping the customers they have.
What do you think?