Power to the people: Irish switchers are good news for analytical marketers
By Alan Gormley, SAS Ireland
So it seems we Irish have gone from grudging acceptance of bad service…to an empowered people of hyperactive ‘switchers’. A survey from Accenture this week shows that 72% of Irish consumers have actively moved their spending away from companies that do not deliver: up 11% on last year and way higher than the global average of 54%.
So what does this mean for analytical marketers? Personally, I think it’s great news. Customer inertia kills innovation; so an environment where customers are willing to find better is a huge opportunity. Just as long as you have a 360-degree view of your customers, what they want, when they want it, and how they want it delivered.
In a multi-channel environment, most companies have the data to do this. We’re collecting information every day on their transactions, browsing habits, sentiment, etc. The real question is: what information should the analytical marketer be looking at? Here are a couple of thoughts:
Predict propensity to churn
A staggering 86% of customers told Accenture they would have stayed, had their issues been resolved. How can this opportunity have been missed so consistently? Predicting which customers will leave – and, more importantly, why and what can be done to retain them – has been possible for years and should be standard practice.
Understand customer profitability
This has never been more important than in the switcher environment. The truth is many customers add little value; and price sensitive, hyper-switchers are definitely the ones to avoid. So, instead of trying to bump up new customer KPIs, it’s time to concentrate on attracting customers with real potential.
Target to win back
When valuable customers leave, we need to win them back. After all, there are only 4.5 million of us in Ireland to choose from (and that’s assuming your product suits babies and adults alike). As they were once our customers, we know more about them than anyone else. So we need to analyse the data they gave us over the years and figure out their needs, their value to us, and how much to spend on getting them back. The alternative is to give everyone a discount and end up with the low-value hyper-switchers coming back too.
Grow new customers fast
The best way to protect customers is to grow them; the more they use, they more we can understand them and fulfil their needs. And the more inconvenient it becomes for them to switch. Customer acquisition strategies should therefore include fast onboarding to quickly convert new customers to multiple products and services. Understanding their initial usage, and their behaviour before they bought, allows us to target them with the right products to grow them – fast.
In short, the new switching economy is a chance for the analytical marketer to shine. We’re the people who can use customer insight to fight back; it’s time to get the gloves off.
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Customer inertia kills innovation; so an environment where customers are willing to find better is a huge opportunity. Just as long as you have a 360-degree view of your customers, what they want, when they want it, and how they want it delivered.