andEnd. is the world’s first customer ending business.
That sounds counter intuitive? Let me explain...
Endings can help businesses align with new business models, increase consumer engagement, raise customer satisfaction, broaden business influence, pre-empt legislation, and maximise sustainability.
Improve new business models
Many businesses are lost in an old model of consumer engagement, where on-boarding is costly, loyalty infinite, and off-boarding overlooked.
In a new streamlined world, with consumers moving between multiple relationships, clean and considered endings will be a competitive differentiator.
Established thinking suggests talking about the end of a product or service relationship will deter the sale. Yet, some of the most successful and fastest growing companies have found success doing exactly that.
Kia cars introduced the 7 year warranty in 2007. Perceived as an end of product life guarantee - humans find it hard to project beyond 5 years in to the future. Its a product death date with the customer invited to the funeral of their car. According to COO of Kia Australia, Damien Meredith “The major reason people buy our product now is the warranty. Price has slipped to third.” Since the 7 year warranty was introduced Kia’s market share has doubled.
SnapChat claim “Delete is our default.” 35% of Snapchat users use it because their content disappears. SnapChat hit 191 million users in Q1 2018.
Raise consumer satisfaction
Entrapment is an old approach to denying churn. Companies with this worldview approach consumer engagement as a single engagement model, where a consumer becomes a customer once and never leaves.
Many gyms approach customer engagement like this. The 30-50% churn in the gym industry is countered by contracts to enforce longterm loyalty in customers. Sky, a UK Pay-TV broadcaster, requires leaving customers to endure a 1 hour sales interview, pressuring them to change their mind as a method to halt the churn.
Future business models however, will rise above churn and recognise loyalty through multiple engagements. Netflix engages in this new approach. Saying “We are proud of the no-hassle online cancellation. Members can leave when they want and come back when they want.” Netflix subscriber growth hit 118.9M in 2018, up from 94.36M the previous year. Achieving customer satisfaction of 78%, which dwarfs traditional Pay-TV at 62% the lowest result in 11 years.
Broaden business influence
We can break the consumer experience in to three sections.
On-boarding, Usage and Off-boarding.
Businesses focus on the acquisition of a customer at On-boarding and the product quality at Usage. Overlooking the consumer ending.
Off-boarding falls to municipal groups, governments and of course the lonely consumer.
Neglecting control of 1/3 of the consumer experience seems reckless.
Some of the worlds biggest business sectors that commonly denied consumer endings have had it forced upon them though legislation.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) from the European Union has empowered consumers across Europe to end their data relationships. It is considered “the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years”. https://eugdpr.org/
Energy Switch Guarantee, places expectations on the UK energy industry to help people switch within 21 days. Research found a shocking “56% of those customers had never switched supplier, did not know it was possible or did not know if they had done so”. In response the ESG aims to… “increase consumer confidence in switching, and to improve the speed and the ease of the switching process.” www.energyswitchguarantee.com
Current Account Switch guarantees customers a 7 day switch. A report by the Independent Commission on Banking found “75% of personal current account holders have never switched, with nearly 1 in 5 saying this was because of the hassle and potential risks.” Previous to the 2008 crash, people would stay with banks in the UK for an average of 26 years. The Current Account Switch has empowered 4 million customers to leave their banks. www.currentaccountswitch.co.uk
Many companies pride themselves on credentials of recycling, yet overlook the consumer experience of off-boarding. Sustainability needs to move beyond a discussion about materials being recycled at end of life to helping consumers off-boarding to the end. Helping them engage and reflect upon the benefits of their consumption and action clean up and dismantling.
These should be collaborative conversations between provider and consumer, that encourages the consumer to part with unused products lingering in homes.
According to professional organiser Regina Lark, the average U.S. household has 300,000 things, from paper clips to ironing boards. The University of California has found storage of goods has "become an overwhelming burden for most middle-class families, especially in the West, where basements are generally not available to absorb possessions." Small surprise that the New York Times found the largest growing real-estate segment in the US is off-site storage - apparently 1 in 10 Americans use it.