Our client is a group of online office suppliers. Operating across Europe, they have a multi-million pound turnover and are leading supplier within the UK.
What they needed
Customer acquisition is driven primarily through online marketing – for example, through PPC and search engine optimisation. However, for the business to be profitable high retention rates are crucial; our client was finding that business acquisition was matched by customer churn and therefore the number of active customers was static.
To counter this, they wanted to develop a more rigorous retention strategy. As an initial step they needed to carry out a research project to understand the underlying causes behind customer churn, so appropriate strategies could be formulated to deal with these.
Our client had already developed a sophisticated customer segmentation matrix, which classified customers according to the demographic of the business and on behavioural indicators such as spend level and mean time between orders. The research needed to analyse trends within and between each customer segment.
What we did
Initially we worked with the client to develop a survey which would provide in-depth insight into customer behaviour – this included questions around levels of satisfaction, competitors they use, as well as any reasons why they had stopped ordering with our client. We ensured that weighted samples were contacted from each of the customer segments to allow accurate comparisons across the data. We gathered 1,139 in-depth telephone surveys across the course of the research project. The full raw database was shared with the client, and we provided in-depth analysis of the findings.
Detailed analysis showed that instances of outright customer dissatisfaction was relatively isolated. Instead, analysis showed that decision making was highly price-driven with low customer loyalty, low overall share of wallet and frequent switching between suppliers. Trends and differences between segments were also analysed, allowing us to formulate a series of detailed, actionable recommendations for developing outbound retention strategies to increase customer loyalty and overall share of wallet.
It was also found that there is a high turnover of staff in the decision making roles of relevance – meaning the quality of data decayed relatively rapidly. This was increasing customer churn, as key relationships and channels of communications were lost. We helped suggest changes to data capture processes to overcome this – for example, better integrating data cleansing into the scripts of the in-house customer care team. We also suggested changes to the structure of the database – moving away from a ‘flat’ system to one which allowed multiple decision makers to be linked to a specific business account, providing a greater level of customer intelligence.
What we achieved
Our client implemented many of our recommendations and used the intelligence gathered to overhaul their customer retention strategies. They subsequently continued to work with us to further understand and benchmark customer satisfaction, as well as to understand the impact of fulfilment and delivery issues on customer satisfaction rates. Our work continues to inform strategy and process developments within the organisation.