Wednesday, November 8, 2017

No Thanks

Why does a publication subscriber quit? Why does an association member?

Lapse research always shows she quits for one or more of these five reasons:
  • Your product is irrelevant
  • Your price is too high
  • She's too busy to take advantage of your product
  • She gets what she needs on line
  • She had trouble renewing
Drunk on their own "look at all we offer" Kool-Aid, however, marketers forget a customer subscribes or joins for a specific reason―and quits for a specific reason. She does the former to fill a need; and the latter when that need is filled; is no longer filled; went unfulfilled; or no longer matters.

It's convenient to marketers just to shove a quitter into some segment like "medical device sales rep"as if that had a whit to do with the reason she became a customerand conclude, "Well, some medical device sales reps are quitters."

But that facile conclusion sheds little light on the difference between the quitter and the loyal customer, and none on the specific reason the quitter quit. To do that, you need to contact her on the phone and have a "frank and open" discussion with the goal of listening.

When you do, you'll discover, indeed, she quit for one of the above five reasons; but you'll also unearth a lot more―real-world intelligence you can use to improve your product:
  • How―specifically―did your product become irrelevant?
  • Why is your price objectionable?
  • Why can't she "make time" for you in her day?
  • What unique value do competitors provide her?
  • Why is renewal a source of friction?
You'd be amazed at what in-depth lapse research will tell you.

One large national association I assisted discovered, in fact, it wasn't bleeding thousands of members every year, as it believed. Members were mailing their renewal payments to the local chapters, because no reply envelope was included with the renewal invoice. The chapters were banking the dues incomewithout reporting its source.
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