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EMAC 2022 Annual

Understanding touchpoint criticality in customer churn journeys

Published: May 24, 2022


Roelof Hars, University of Groningen; Hans Risselada, University of Groningen; Jaap Wieringa, University of Groningen


Understanding and managing customer journeys is a key goal for firms that has received significant attention in the literature. Current empirical work has focused on customer purchase journeys, yet much less is known about the post-purchase stage. Since post-purchase customer journeys are equally relevant for firms, the authors introduce customer churn journeys to the literature. In doing so, this paper proposes a typology of key touchpoints, and uses a state space approach to study whether the effect of these touchpoints on customer churn depends on a customer’s prior journey. Using a unique longitudinal dataset from the insurance industry which covers internal touchpoints, external touchpoints, competition and transactional data on the individual customer level, the authors assess the added value of a journey-based approach in comparison to a more ‘traditional’ approach to churn. Initial results suggest that a journey-based approach adds important contextual information that can improve managerial understanding of churn.