IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Modeling churn using customer lifetime value

Listed author(s):
  • Glady, Nicolas
  • Baesens, Bart
  • Croux, Christophe
Registered author(s):

    The definition and modeling of customer loyalty have been central issues in customer relationship management since many years. Recent papers propose solutions to detect customers that are becoming less loyal, also called churners. The churner status is then defined as a function of the volume of commercial transactions. In the context of a Belgian retail financial service company, our first contribution is to redefine the notion of customer loyalty by considering it from a customer-centric viewpoint instead of a product-centric one. We hereby use the customer lifetime value (CLV) defined as the discounted value of future marginal earnings, based on the customer's activity. Hence, a churner is defined as someone whose CLV, thus the related marginal profit, is decreasing. As a second contribution, the loss incurred by the CLV decrease is used to appraise the cost to misclassify a customer by introducing a new loss function. In the empirical study, we compare the accuracy of various classification techniques commonly used in the domain of churn prediction, including two cost-sensitive classifiers. Our final conclusion is that since profit is what really matters in a commercial environment, standard statistical accuracy measures for prediction need to be revised and a more profit oriented focus may be desirable.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

    Volume (Year): 197 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (August)
    Pages: 402-411

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:197:y:2009:i:1:p:402-411
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Crowder, Martin & Hand, David J. & Krzanowski, Wojtek, 2007. "On optimal intervention for customer lifetime value," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 183(3), pages 1550-1559, December.
    2. Buckinx, Wouter & Van den Poel, Dirk, 2005. "Customer base analysis: partial defection of behaviourally loyal clients in a non-contractual FMCG retail setting," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 164(1), pages 252-268, July.
    3. Viaene, Stijn & Dedene, Guido, 2005. "Cost-sensitive learning and decision making revisited," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 212-220, October.
    4. Ma, Ming & Li, Zehui & Chen, Jinyuan, 2008. "Phase-type distribution of customer relationship with Markovian response and marketing expenditure decision on the customer lifetime value," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 187(1), pages 313-326, May.
    5. Van den Poel, Dirk & Lariviere, Bart, 2004. "Customer attrition analysis for financial services using proportional hazard models," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 157(1), pages 196-217, August.
    6. Lemmens, A. & Croux, C., 2006. "Bagging and boosting classification trees to predict churn," Other publications TiSEM d5cb664d-5859-44db-a621-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:197:y:2009:i:1:p:402-411. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.