Churn Prediction in Subscription Services: an Application of Support Vector Machines While Comparing Two Parameter-Selection Techniques
CRM gains increasing importance due to intensive competition and saturated markets. With the purpose of retaining customers, academics as well as practitioners find it crucial to build a churn prediction model that is as accurate as possible. This study applies support vector machines in a newspaper subscription context in order to construct a churn model with a higher predictive performance. Moreover, a comparison is made between two parameter-selection techniques, needed to implement support vector machines. Both techniques are based on grid search and cross-validation. Afterwards, the predictive performance of both kinds of support vector machine models is benchmarked to logistic regression and random forests. Our study shows that support vector machines show good generalization performance when applied to noisy marketing data. Nevertheless, the parameter optimization procedure plays an important role in the predictive performance. We show that only when the optimal parameter selection procedure is applied, support vector machines outperform traditional logistic regression, whereas random forests outperform both kinds of support vector machines. As a substantive contribution, an overview of the most important churn drivers is given. Unlike ample research, monetary value and frequency do not play an important role in explaining churn in this subscription-services application. Even though most important churn predictors belong to the category of variables describing the subscription, the influence of several client/company-interaction variables can not be neglected.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 34 61
Fax: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 35 92
Web page: http://www.ugent.be/eb
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- W. Buckinx & D. Van Den Poel, 2003.
"Customer Base Analysis: Partial Defection of Behaviorally-Loyal Clients in a Non-Contractual FMCG Retail Setting,"
Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium
03/178, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
- 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.
- Rust, Roland T. & Metters, Richard, 1996. "Mathematical models of service," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 427-439, June.
- Dekimpe, Marnik G. & Degraeve, Zeger, 1997. "The attrition of volunteers," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 37-51, April.
- B. Larivière & D. Van Den Poel, 2004. "Predicting Customer Retention and Profitability by Using Random Forests and Regression Forests Techniques," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/282, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
- Athanassopoulos, Antreas D., 2000. "Customer Satisfaction Cues To Support Market Segmentation and Explain Switching Behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 191-207, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:06/412. 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: (Nathalie Verhaeghe)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.