In nearly all businesses
with regularly trading customers, there is a pattern of characteristics
and behaviour that provide a customer "DNA".
Monitoring this customer DNA and acting
upon changes improves retention. Identifying, then acting
upon migration signals in such a timely fashion usually retains
the customer. In the worst scenario, it makes you aware of
a customer who through changing circumstances beyond your
control will no longer be doing business with you. The result
is (up to six months) to plan and prepare for losing a large
and valuable customer (e.g. in the case of changed customer
needs), and part on better terms.
The characteristics and behaviour you need
to monitor varies by sector, but obvious examples are: complaints/issues
received, revenue in period, time between orders, number of
orders etc. Less obvious examples could include customer contacts
received and the inbound/outbound contact ratio.
Once a change in behaviour has been identified,
you need to take timely action to 'test' the customer e.g.
asking for participation in P.R., requesting a referral, or
involvement in a focus session. It is important to test the
customer with requests that they'd normally have no problem
agreeing to, to tease out and uncover the problem.
This alone will usually confirm there is
a problem, or help you gain understanding of a change in customer
circumstances that can be managed proactively. From a customer's
perspective the result is that your organisation appears more
perceptive and proactive with regard to their needs.
In summary, customer behaviour tracking
is not done for the sake of it. It saves customers, their
revenue and profit contribution. All this is achieved by establishing
a pattern to your relationship with that customer and monitoring
that particular customer habit pattern, recognising a change,
and acting upon it. A customer patterns may include:
- · Pattern of purchasing: frequency
- · Pattern of paying.
- · Pattern of contact.
- · Pattern of complaints.
(Refer also to migration