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Improving Customer Attrition Prediction by Integrating Emotions from Client/Company Interaction Emails and Evaluating Multiple Classifiers

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  • K. COUSSEMENT

    ()

  • D. VAN DEN POEL

    ()

Abstract

Predicting customer churn with the purpose of retaining customers is a hot topic in academy as well as in today’s business environment. Targeting the right customers for a specific retention campaign carries a high priority. This study focuses on two aspects in which churn prediction models could be improved by (i) relying on customer information type diversity and (ii) choosing the best performing classification technique. (i) With the upcoming interest in new media (e.g. blogs, emails, ...), client/company interactions are facilitated. Consequently, new types of information are available which generate new opportunities to increase the prediction power of a churn model. This study contributes to the literature by finding evidence that adding emotions expressed in client/company emails increases the predictive performance of an extended RFM churn model. As a substantive contribution, an in-depth study of the impact of the emotionality indicators on churn behaviour is done. (ii) This study compares three classification techniques – i.e. Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machines and Random Forests – to distinguish churners from non-churners. This paper shows that Random Forests is a viable opportunity to improve predictive performance compared to Support Vector Machines and Logistic Regression which both exhibit an equal performance.

Suggested Citation

  • K. Coussement & D. Van Den Poel, 2008. "Improving Customer Attrition Prediction by Integrating Emotions from Client/Company Interaction Emails and Evaluating Multiple Classifiers," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/527, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:08/527
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    File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_08_527.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. J. Burez & D. Van Den Poel, 2008. "Handling class imbalance in customer churn prediction," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/517, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. K. Coussement & D. Van Den Poel, 2006. "Churn Prediction in Subscription Services: an Application of Support Vector Machines While Comparing Two Parameter-Selection Techniques," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 06/412, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    4. 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.
    5. B. Larivière & D. Van Den Poel, 2004. "Investigating the role of product features in preventing customer churn, by using survival analysis and choice modeling: The case of financial services," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/223, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. Bougie, J.R.G. & Pieters, R. & Zeelenberg, M., 2003. "Angry customers don't come back, they get back : The experience and behavioral implications of anger and dissatisfaction in services," Other publications TiSEM 1708fb71-fd68-41d9-b870-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    7. 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.
    8. Baesens, Bart & Viaene, Stijn & Van den Poel, Dirk & Vanthienen, Jan & Dedene, Guido, 2002. "Bayesian neural network learning for repeat purchase modelling in direct marketing," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 191-211, April.
    9. K. Coussement & D. Van den Poel, 2008. "Churn prediction in subscription services: an application of support vector machines while comparing two parameter-selection techniques," Post-Print hal-00788096, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. M. Ballings & D. Van Den Poel & E. Verhagen, 2013. "Evaluating the Added Value of Pictorial Data for Customer Churn Prediction," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 13/869, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. P. Baecke & D. Van Den Poel, 2010. "Improving purchasing behavior predictions by data augmentation with situational variables," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 10/658, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. Magdalena Swart & Gerhard Roodt, 2015. "Market segmentation variables as moderators in the prediction of business tourist retention," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 9(3), pages 491-513, September.
    4. K. W. De Bock & D. Van Den Poel, 2011. "An empirical evaluation of rotation-based ensemble classifiers for customer churn prediction," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/717, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. J. D’Haen & D. Van Den Poel & D. Thorleuchter, 2012. "Predicting Customer Profitability During Acquisition: Finding the Optimal Combination of Data Source and Data Mining Technique," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/818, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. Coussement, Kristof & De Bock, Koen W., 2013. "Customer churn prediction in the online gambling industry: The beneficial effect of ensemble learning," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(9), pages 1629-1636.
    7. Ballings, Michel & Van den Poel, Dirk, 2015. "CRM in social media: Predicting increases in Facebook usage frequency," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 244(1), pages 248-260.
    8. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:61:y:2010:i:1:d:10.1057_jors.2009.104 is not listed on IDEAS

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