Terminix International is the largest pest control company in the world. The company currently encompasses more than 500 service centers in 14 countries. A unit of Service Master, Terminix International accounts for approximately one-third of its parent company's annual sales.
While Terminix International enjoyed phenomenal success as a sales machine for attracting new customers, this success was seriously undercut by a dismayingly large customer turnover. This turnover stemmed from a variety of causes related to service quality, communication and customer expectation issues. These issues led regular monthly customers to cancel their service until Terminix International found itself losing a third of its customers every year — an estimated annual revenue loss of $60 million.
During my tenure as Vice President of Marketing for Terminix International, I faced the challenge of creating and implementing new strategies for retaining long-term customers.
Before I could reduce the erosion in Terminix International's customer base, I had to determine the root of customers' dissatisfaction and what steps the company was currently taking to change their minds about leaving. I discovered that cancellation of service was extraordinarily easy for customers to request over the phone, with essentially no attempt by the company to change the customer's minds or resolve the issue that made them want to cancel. While investigating the reasons for customers' dissatisfaction, I found that three quarters of the reasons were controllable ones.
Strategic Actions Required