How do you analyze inactive customers?


We have an online application. Lots of people are using it but of course not everyone. My goal is understanding the recently inactive people and what I can do to make them more active. What I'm doing:

  • I'm sending a survey to our recently inactive customers to learn why they're inactive and what would make them more active.
  • I have a "champions" group with customers who've volunteered to provide feedback to us on a regular basis. (They're great.)
  • I'm analyzing our metrics to understand what that tells me.

What else should I be doing?

Much appreciate.

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asked Oct 20 '09 at 06:20
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1 Answer


The "champions" program is awesome, but will not help you with this particular problem because none of them fall into this category.

Survey is a good idea. It will probably generate more questions than it solves, but they'll be the right questions. For example, if an answer is that they're using a competitor, you need to know why that is, and that will drive next steps.

On metrics: Which features did they use and not use? It's possible that people are leaving because they just don't know how to best use the service. Here a way to help is through education, tutorials, or follow-up emails.

Another thing to try: Start a monthly newsletter. Highlight success stories, cool features "you might not know existed," or how to solve problems that you might not know you could solve. This gets inactives thinking about you again, and possibly educating them about how to better use your tool, which in turn might make them successful.

(Newsletters are useful for other things anyway, like announcing new versions, promoting external bloggers in exchange for reviews, highlighting customers, promoting your own blog, running a survey less intrusive than actually sending out a bunch of emails, etc.)

answered Oct 20 '09 at 06:59
16,231 points
  • Thanks, very good feedback. I was hesitating about starting the newsletter just yet but you've convinced me I need to do it now. And I will say that the Champions group actually does really help understanding inactive users. I've created these groups before and they're fantastic even though intuitively you wouldn't think so. – Chris 14 years ago

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