In last week’s post we looked at Sky and the difficulty they have with the value they place in customer acquisition vs. retention offers.  

This week I’m not going to talk about how Sky have lost sight of the customer and are deploying the playbook in trying to maximize short term returns and decimating their long term health. Or how they should decide if they want to be around for more than a few years.  If not, then they should thrash the business to bits and pay it all out as dividends. If so, then look at the business as a portfolio of businesses, optimize the core and stop investing in old world technology. Unbundle the content to extract surplus and go much harder in digital using a Greenfield’s model.

But that’s right I’m not going to talk about that.

What I am going to talk about is the question I left you with last week;  ‘what would you do if you were at Sky and looking to manage customer retention?’

To do this we need to define what customer lifecycle management is. It can be defined in these categories and activities:

  • Awareness: trying to get the attention of the people we want to reach and those that you want to buy from you.
  • Consideration: potential customers become aware of your service offering, are in the market for your service and would consider purchasing your product
  • Acquisition / Conversion: When a potential customer takes up your offer and buys something from you. This can be with or without a specific acquisition offer i.e. 3 months free or a free set of steak knives
  • Onboarding: helps the customer find their way setting up and using the product or service.
  • Upsell: Encouraging customers to buy a comparable higher-end product than their existing one.
  • Cross sell:  aims to encourage customers to buy related or complementary items.
  • Retention: the activities and actions you take to reduce the number of customer defections or churn.
  • Loyalty / Advocacy: we would like the customer to become more than a customer: a loyal partner and even a ‘brand advocate’.
  • Churn: customer churn occurs when customers stop using and paying for your businesses company or service.

So looking at retention alone, here’s a laundry list of (almost 50) things Sky could do…

Here are 50 ways to not leave your lover for Sky retention

  1. Understand The Client’s Needs, then customize your solutions
  2. Superior technology and solutions
  3. Provide anniversary awards or gifts
  4. Always provide great value (note, I said value not price)
  5. Leverage your sponsorship properties to create ‘money can’t buy experiences’. These could be, meet the players, inside the changing room on game day,  tickets to the Sky Box (I’m picking the Warriors one is hard to fill at the moment).  Add some prestige and make these available to long tenure customers only
  6. Give away or discount an adjacent service i.e. broadband. The best thing you can give away is an item with a high perceived cost but low actual cost, so maybe not broadband.
  7. Look at a recognition scheme – Sky UK just launched a VIP club and you move up tiers the longer your tenure
  8. Provide packages that people want
  9. This bullet point was intentionally left blank
  10. Give rugby fans the rugby channel for free
  11. Give long standing customers free upgrades to HD
  12. Invite them to co-create products and offerings with you
  13. Join a loyalty scheme that provides benefits to customers
  14. Or develop your own – note Sky has launched Sky Perks but it has a one-star rating in the app store
  15. Be good buggers
  16. Send them a sample of a new product or channel
  17. Priority service for long standing customers
  18. Use data science to work out which customers are likely to churn based on viewership call them with an offer
  19. Invite them to customer only events
  20. I’m renaming the song 30 ways to leave your lover – this would have been easier
  21. Offer them friend get friend with great benefits
  22. Turn the Crowd Goes Wild show into a ‘filmed in front of a live studio audience’ – only available to customers
  23. Recruit customers to help choosing content
  24. Offer free kit  – everyone loves free kit
  25. Really I’m only up to 25?
  26. Have a best value guarantee
  27. Buy one give one program to local charities
  28. Engage with customers – on social, face to face
  29. Teneur discounts so they don’t look at the in market offers
  30. Be generous, waive late fees, credit card fees, all those things that piss customers off
  31. Remember, our friend the value equation (value = benefits – costs), make sure you are always on the right side of this.
  32. Don’t just do these in a piecemeal fashion, build a cohesive lifecycle program


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