In pursuit of enhanced customer retention management

Review, key issues, and future directions

Ascarza, Neslin, Netzer, Aurélie Lemmens, Zachery Anderson, Peter S. Fader, S. Gupta, B.G.S. Hardie, Barak Libai, David Neal, Foster Provost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

In today’s turbulent business environment, customer retention presents a significant challenge for many service companies. Academics have generated a large body of research that addresses part of that challenge—with a particular focus on predicting customer churn. However, several other equally important aspects of managing retention have not received similar level of attention, leaving many managerial problems not completely solved, and a program of academic research not completely aligned with managerial needs. Therefore, our goal is to draw on previous research and current practice to provide insights on managing retention and identify areas for future research. This examination leads us to advocate a broad perspective on customer retention. We propose a definition that extends the concept beyond the traditional binary retain/not retain view of retention. We discuss a variety of metrics to measure and monitor retention. We present an integrated framework for managing retention that leverages emerging opportunities offered by new data sources and new methodologies such as machine learning. We highlight the importance of distinguishing between which customers are at risk and which should be targeted—as they are not necessarily the same customers. We identify trade-offs between reactive and proactive retention programs, between short- and long-term remedies, and between discrete campaigns and continuous processes for managing retention. We identify several areas of research where further investigation will significantly enhance retention management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-81
JournalCustomer Needs and Solutions
Volume5
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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Future directions
Customer retention
Remedies
Data sources
Trade-offs
Methodology
Machine learning
Integrated
Customer churn
Leverage
Business environment
Academic research

Keywords

  • customer retention
  • churn
  • customer relationship management (CRM)

Cite this

Ascarza ; Neslin ; Netzer ; Lemmens, Aurélie ; Anderson, Zachery ; Fader, Peter S. ; Gupta, S. ; Hardie, B.G.S. ; Libai, Barak ; Neal, David ; Provost, Foster. / In pursuit of enhanced customer retention management : Review, key issues, and future directions. In: Customer Needs and Solutions. 2018 ; Vol. 5, No. 1-2. pp. 65-81.
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Ascarza, Neslin, Netzer, Lemmens, A, Anderson, Z, Fader, PS, Gupta, S, Hardie, BGS, Libai, B, Neal, D & Provost, F 2018, 'In pursuit of enhanced customer retention management: Review, key issues, and future directions', Customer Needs and Solutions, vol. 5, no. 1-2, pp. 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1007%2Fs40547-017-0080-0#citeas

In pursuit of enhanced customer retention management : Review, key issues, and future directions. / Ascarza; Neslin; Netzer; Lemmens, Aurélie; Anderson, Zachery; Fader, Peter S.; Gupta, S.; Hardie, B.G.S.; Libai, Barak; Neal, David; Provost, Foster.

In: Customer Needs and Solutions, Vol. 5, No. 1-2, 03.2018, p. 65-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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