Taking a Look at Subscriber Attrition

“It’s been said many times, many ways…”

Subscriber attrition is the dealer’s and central station’s kryptonite. Attrition is a real problem when times are good and sales are growing, it’s even a greater challenge when times are rough and sales are shrinking. I have seen so many companies throughout the years almost in a state of panic because of attrition. Sales are not growing and in some cases sales are below historical levels. This problem is compounded with the reality that their subscriber account attrition is growing and dealers and central stations are losing more clients than ever before.

We all realize that many elements could be the cause for cancellations.  It is also understood that of the many elements that lead to account attrition, some of these elements are out of our control. This leaves many elements of attrition that we can effect and possibly avoid. These are the elements we need to focus on. If a company only had to deal with the attrition from cancellations caused by loss of a subscriber’s income, then the all-around attrition dilemma would be a lot easier to digest and handle.

The obvious elements that we all should be focusing on are quality of service, consistent client communication, providing the latest in technology and services, setting accurate expectations and delivering. Some may read this and state, “Great job at stating the obvious.” My response is that while most dealers believe they subscribe to this “obvious” statement, I strongly maintain most do not carry themselves accordingly. I see this in my one-on-one conversations and meetings. So many managers have become so reactive in response to the hard times they are experiencing that they have trouble being proactive and staying on top of the clients they have. 

I once read a book many years ago by the well known author Ken Blanchard titled, “Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service.” Although I recommend this book as a good, fast read, the message I have is simple and even more obvious and appropriate than my previous statement above. Do what it takes to make all your subscriber clients raving fans of your service and your business. You will hold on to these clients for as long as possible, and equally important, you will never stop receiving new referral business.


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About the Author


Peter Giacalone is President of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.

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