angry and happy members interact with your gym whether you know it or not—even though most people don’t fill out surveys

If you were physically in a room with someone having a conversation, would you listen only to their words and ignore their facial expressions and behavior? Of course you wouldn’t.

If you made someone dinner and they told you it was delicious, but the whole time just pushed the food around on their plate while frowning and not actually eating it…would you give more credence to their words or their behavior?

Maybe your ego would want to give more credence to their words, but at that point, it would be just wishful thinking.

But that’s exactly what many businesses do when they rely solely on surveys and customer feedback and don’t include the equally informative—or often more informative—dimension of customer behavior. Now, I’m not knocking surveys or customer feedback. The vaunted Net Promoter (NPS), for example, is great at identifying product champions, uncovering dissatisfied customers that you can help, highlighting common customer experience issues, and assessing your capacity to upsell/cross-sell. However, it’s not great at predicting which of your customers are going to leave you. Studies by ProfitWell and others have shown NPS correlates very poorly with retention. In a company I previously worked for, Net Promoter non-responders actually had a higher churn rate than customers that gave us very low scores.

happy person and group of people who have had their behaviors predicted by their health clubWhy? The most likely answer is that customers who bother to take the time to give you negative feedback probably have some emotional investment in your product but just want you to make improvements. Those that don’t respond? Who knows.

I get bombarded every day with requests for feedback about products, services, and applications I have purchased or currently use—only rarely do I respond. These offering subscription-based services are in the dark about my sentiment or intentions if they aren’t paying close attention to my usage behavior. And I’m not an outlier—80% of customers don’t bother giving feedback of any kind.

There is a subscription service I’m getting ready to cancel because I don’t use it much anymore. I haven’t complained to them, and haven’t completed any of their Net Promoter survey requests. I just don’t care enough to take the time. My Voice of Customer has been silent. Or has it? If this service has been tracking my usage patterns, they’d certainly see a steady decline.

happy people running towards and reaching their goals because their health clubs listened to them—no more member churn!If they were using any sort of churn predictive model comparing my usage behavior to other subscribers who have canceled, I most certainly would be throwing up the reddest of flags. Yet I’ve heard nothing from them. No attempts to get me to re-engage with the service, no attempts to educate me on the value I may have missed by not utilizing certain features, no tempting offers to renew. Just more emails asking me for feedback I won’t take the time to give.

If you’re collecting any kind of product usage or subscriber behavior, AI/Machine Learning does a very good job of identifying patterns of behavior—even very complex patterns the human eye could never detect—and predicting the likelihood a customer is going to leave in the (near) future. And it can do it for 100% of your customers every day, even if they never give you a single word of feedback.

Stop ignoring the Voice of Customer of the 80% of your customers you don’t hear from. Retention is essential to revenue growth and profitability, and AI/Machine Learning has become so affordable that there’s really no reason your subscription business shouldn’t be using this technology right now.

laptop with data analytics for health clubs that has become simplified, leading to less time wasted and increased revenue