12 Considerations Retention Leaders in the Pest Control Industry can Rely on
12 Considerations Retention Leaders in the Pest Control Industry can Rely on
Over the years, we have met executives from several pest control companies and realized that customer retention is one of their topmost priorities. However, for most of them, retention programs haven’t delivered the desired outcomes. The primary reason is the limitation of traditional churn prediction models.
While these models can predict who is more likely to cancel, they can predict only the next 15 to 30-day cancellations. They also fail to provide insight into precise drivers of the churn risk. As a result, retention teams end up giving expensive retention offers that are not only too late but also not relevant to every customer, leading to a poor retention ROI.
To help these executives, we have put together 12 considerations that will help you get visibility of the gaps that drive dissatisfaction and implement a successful customer retention strategy. These considerations are based on our work with leading pest control companies.
We hope you find them useful.
1. Use the voice of customers to understand drivers of churn.
An in-depth understanding of customer pain points and expectations at the individual customer level lies at the center of an optimal retention strategy. For this, there cannot be a better source than the voice of customers. Use contact center agent notes to analyze the questions and issues customers are voicing throughout their lifecycle.
This can equip you with granular insights into customer wants and the root causes of customer dissatisfaction. You can leverage AI and machine learning to convert these insights into large-scale retention actions and drive profitability through proactive and personalized engagement. After all, as much as 79% of customers agree that personalization increases loyalty.
2. Meet customer expectations proactively.
A strong customer relationship should not be transactional. Although churn is inevitable and depends on various factors, proactive customer engagement can help significantly lower it. It will help you detect discomfort or an issue early in the customer lifecycle.
Text analytics can help you analyze unstructured textual data from agent notes and survey responses to understand the needs, wants and expectations of the customers. Text analytics also uncovers insights into customer sentiments and intent.
Such a deeper understanding of customer expectations can help you in meeting their expectations proactively and delight them in the process.
3. Deal with signs of risk before it’s late.
Identifying and addressing cancelation risk is critical before customers call for cancellation. Most customers do not even call before canceling. They will simply stop paying and switch to another service provider. Even if they call to cancel, retaining them will be more difficult and expensive because they would have already decided to leave you.
You can leverage AI and machine learning to analyze customer interactions with your contact center and track risk signals early in the customer lifecycle. It enables you to address minor customer discomfort before it transforms into an irreversible churn risk in the future.
4. Leverage AI and machine learning.
AI and machine learning are indispensable to stay ahead in the retention game. When we talk about leveraging customer interaction to boost retention, we mean analyzing millions of text records to extract unprecedented intelligence using AI, text analytics, and machine learning.
These technologies can help you process diverse pools of massive customer data to decode complex behavioral patterns of customers. It includes gaining an in-depth understanding of their sentiments and intent. With this intelligence at the customer level, you can design personalized retention offers and reduce the overall churn rate.
5. Use multiple prediction models.
A single predictive model can only answer one question at a time and differentiate between at-risk and not-at-risk customers. It fails to offer contextual risk insights, drive CLV and enable timely intervention.
Multiple predictive models can allow you to identify not only which customers may cancel but also why they may cancel. A retention approach powered by multiple machine learning models provides the visibility of churn risk and CLV opportunities throughout the customer lifecycle. It also equips with prescriptive intelligence to minimize customer churn through proactive actions.
6. Run targeted retention campaigns
Every customer has a different buying journey; hence, the risk level differs for each. Using machine learning, you can create individual risk profiles for customers, assign predicted risk scores to each of them, identify churn drivers, and create risk-based microsegments. These microsegments will allow you to differentiate customers based on churn risk and revenue opportunity.
Using segment-level intelligence, you can create and deliver personalized retention offers to customers through care and marketing. The targeted campaigns for each segment stand higher conversion chances at a lower investment.
7. Leverage location intelligence.
Geographic intelligence can equip you with novel opportunities to boost retention by uncovering otherwise hidden relationships and trends. You can leverage it to get a geographic view of churn risk drivers, track your competitors, and tailor your marketing campaigns.
Location-based insights can be extremely helpful for subscription businesses with multiple branches. They can link branch performance KPIs like revenue, retention rate, and service costs and guide branch managers to fill performance gaps. Additionally, if yours is a field business, such as pest control, you can combine location data with other information like call logs, complaints, and service history to get a street-level visualization of risk-aware service routes.
8. Empower your frontline.
Empowering your frontline is critical as it is your first line of communication with your customers and has a determining effect on how customers perceive your brand, vision, and culture.
It is important that you share with them the broader vision of the organization and how they contribute to achieving it. They should have all the resources, guidance, and intelligence to do their job well and deliver a good customer experience. You can assess the importance of agent empowerment, considering you can prevent 67% of churn if the customer issue is resolved in the first interaction.
They should also be given a certain degree of decision-making abilities to offer a quick resolution to disgruntled customers. You must make it a priority to invest in their upskilling and reward their performance.
9. Predict customer lifetime value (CLV).
By predicting CLV for every customer, you can determine how much value your customers are expected to bring you and understand who your high and low-value customers are and which customers are more likely to stay. Thus, you can prioritize high-value and high-risk customers to maximize revenue impact.
10. Prepare the right winback strategy.
Winning canceling customers can be expensive, considering the cost associated with targeted and personalized marketing. However, due to the prior relationship, acquiring some of the canceled customers is easier and more profitable than acquiring new customers. Additionally, since you know your customers and their needs and they are familiar with you, it makes selling to them relatively easy. Moreover, you have a 20% to 40% chance of success in selling to a former customer, whereas the odds of selling to a new potential customer are only 5% to 20%.
A key consideration here is to avoid mass targeting. Leveraging AI-based winback scoring and customer lifetime value, you can determine which customers are worth winning back and target your outbound campaigns driven by this insight.
11. Build trust with customer obsession.
The road to retaining your customers starts with trust-building, and customer obsession is becoming an imperative today to earn that trust. Customers trust you when they know you understand them, value their expectations, and deliver on them. You should design your vision and strategy around customers’ interests. Empathy and value-based interactions should be key components of your service delivery.
Today, you have enormous customer interaction data gathered from all touchpoints at your fingertips. You can leverage AI and machine learning to customers’ needs, resolve their concerns timely, gain their trust, and establish a customer-obsessed enterprise.
12. Treat customer retention as the North Star metric.
Despite being the frontline of defense against churn, contact centers are still seen as cost centers by many enterprises and often fail to receive the budget they should. It is important to note that retention is more profitable than acquiring a new customer. Loyal customers tend to spend more and bring more referrals and it is cheaper to serve them.
Therefore, you should ensure that you allocate the customer retention program the budget and resources it deserves. Additionally, you should celebrate every retention as a new sale and keep your frontline at par with salespeople regarding rewards and recognition.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and feel free to write to us if you have any questions.