Reducing Churn through Cross-Channel Customer Journey Insights

Ronald van Loon
Posted: 08/24/2015
The cost of keeping an existing customer is in general around 10% of the cost of acquiring a new one. Reducing churn to increase client retention therefore is a major reason to optimize the customer journey. And to do so, you need a proper cross-channel view of your customer journeys.
The company in this case operates in a very competitive market, where retention is a key success factor. Therefore, they wanted to optimize the cross-channel customer journeys to make sure their customers get the experience and the service they are looking for. A special cross-channel team was in charge of establishing and maintaining this process.

Combining data sources

To optimize customer journeys you need relevant insights on all your touch points first.
The company communicated with customers via many channels, such as the website, e-mail, the call center and social media. Besides that there were various other sources with client data, stored in separate data silos. The company wanted to combine all these data sources to create one rich customer view, to map the entire cross-channel customer journey and to fulfil the business needs the company had. This all had to happen very fast, because the project had to prove that integrating separate sources of touch point data is indeed possible within a relatively short amount of time.

Connecting instead of replacing

A key factor in the success was a data science language called DimML. This allowed the implementation team to make excellent use of the existing systems, without having to redesign the infrastructure that was already in place. Thanks to DimML, the amount of technical changes was brought down to a minimum. After all, this project was not about implementing a new technology that would be another addition to the work load of the IT department. It was about implementing a solid and stable solution to deliver the truth about the company’s customer journeys.

Proof of concept (POC)

As a start-up to the total project, often a proof of concept (POC) is advised. In this particular case, it embodied the delivery of a working environment, based on integrated data from several data sources.

1) Collection and storage of data from the following sources:

• SiteCatalyst web data
• Call center data
• Incoming email data
• Outbound data (mail and e-mail)
• Generic client insights
• Data from an external website

2) Determining what data will be analyzed (examples):

• Changing dates of address mutations per client
• The former and new postal codes and house numbers of these clients
• Information from inbound calls and emails and outbound mail and email about these mutations

3) Plotting this data on a timeline

The data determined in step 2 was plotted on a timeline. Furthermore, the client contact history was available for a detailed view of the customer journey over time.

4) Deriving management information

In this stage actionable management information is derived from the plotted customer journeys. At first count the exactly similar customer journeys but also the journeys that were more or less the same.

5) Data visualization

Several visualizations were created, such as the top 10 customer journeys in general, the top 5 of drop-out points.

Implementation total solution

For the implementation of this customer journey solution, the following activities (among a few others) are performed:
• System design
• Initial setup
• Data collection
• Data modeling
• Customer journey reporting
• Training
• Go-live
• Impact
The cross-channel customer journey reporting environment enabled the company to really explore the various customer journeys their prospects and customers had. This cross-channel perspective changed their view on the performance of several individual departments. Even though these units were meeting their targets like response speed and performance, customers still dropped out later on in the customer journey. Before the project, this Customer Journey was never really noticed. Now it is, and actions to reduce churn are taken on regular basis. The result is a substantial reduction in the churn rate!
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Ronald van Loon
Posted: 08/24/2015


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