1. Intentionally pushed away – If they are unprofitable to serve, then they are not worth pursuing unless you can convert them to a more profitable product or service category.
2. Unintentionally pushed away – It’s sad but true. Profitable customers can be lost due to a service issue such as improper handling of a complaint, dissatisfaction with your product or service, disapproval of changes or policies, or a basic feeling that their business was taken for granted.
3. Pulled away – Yuck! A competitor offered them a better deal and they bit on it.
4. Bought away – Even worse… a competitor made a financially compelling offer to switch. That means you weren’t listening to your customer or your relationship wasn’t tight enough with them. A loyal client that likes you and appreciates your product or service will show signs that they are being compelled to leave you. Take note!! Stay involved!!
5. Moved away – When a customer has moved away from the primary service or trading area there is not much you can do about it.
Keep a close eye on your customers.
Changes in customer behavior can help you identify which ones are about ready to churn. As customers near the end of their life cycle, there’s a reduction in activity. Some customers say goodbye formally, others informally.
For instance, stopping your periodic visits is an informal way of terminating your relationship with your doctor. Transferring your medical records to another doctor is a formal termination. Another example is using your credit card less (informal) versus canceling your card altogether (formal).
By the time a customer formally terminates the relationship, it’s often too late to win her back. So watch for signs that could be signals of informal termination.
And be sure to observe the five reasons why customers defect (above).