When a product is new and innovative, there are things customers live with because gains outweigh pains. But is there a future retention risk?
Do you know what your customers are tolerating about your product or service today? Is it an area of risk where you may lose them as customers in the future?
Often when a product is new and innovative, there are things we live with because what we are getting out of it outweighs the pains. We do this until something else comes a long that is better. Or our pain starts to outweigh the gains.
As one example… when mobile networks were new people didn’t mind dropped calls. Yet if the same thing happened on a landline we would have been outraged. We were happy with the ability of making calls anywhere. We also paid a premium for this lack of quality.
Now, with mobile being the standard product, we aren’t so happy with dropped calls. We are expecting a higher standard of quality.
Even if we can’t deal with the causes of the retention risk today, we can monitor and mitigate risk
The point is do you know if there are things that your customers are tolerating today that they might not tolerate tomorrow? Do you have a way of finding out? Or do you just think because a customer continues to pay today, that there is no risk for the future? Or are afraid to poke-the-bear and rattle a customer about something you can’t address today.
It is likely that you intuitively know what these problem areas are. There may not be easy solutions today, especially with innovative products as mentioned above. There may be a need, even from a cost perspective, to put off dealing with it until a future date. What needs to be done is to acknowledge it as a future retention risk, possibly find ways to mitigate the risk and find ways to monitor the risk.
There are post-sales metrics we can track to see trends that may give us insight. Rather than just track customer churn, we should also track customer retention. Our customer satisfaction surveys can provide valuable information. We can also do exit surveys when we lose customers.
What can you track to monitor if the product quality risk is growing?
In terms of service calls, we can look at our key problem areas. We can track a rate of First Contact Resolution, to see if this highlights problems where the customer reopens tickets on the same problem. We can also look at Average Ticket Time, and look for issues that deviate from this widely. Surveys at the time of ticket resolution can be used to collect information on how disgruntled the customer really is. Are there issues that we have difficulty resolving? That give our customers real headaches. Monitoring these things for trends will provide insights into how big a retention risk we have, and if that day is coming sooner than we think.
What are you plans to future-proof your products and services? Do you have a way to collect this kind of feedback?