Numbers Don’t Lie — Subscriber Retention Drives WISP Success

by | Jun 6, 2019

“A 5% increase in subscriber retention can net a 25% to 95% increase in profit.”1

Subscriber retention strategies is where the numbers are…

When it comes to increasing revenue, most businesses focus on new customer acquisition tactics. After all, new subscribers equal new revenue, right? It’s part of the equation, but acquisition is the priciest part!

Attracting new subscribers cost five times more2 than keeping an existing customer, yet only a handful of companies focus on retention.

And, data shows that the success rate to sell existing subscribers is 60 to 70% versus 5 to 20% for sales to new customers.3

If you’re the only broadband game in town, it might cross your mind that you don’t really need to know about retaining subscribers — there’s nowhere else they can go. But, that can change.

With the U.S. government approving hundreds of millions of dollars for grants and loans to help close the rural broadband gap, you could find a well-funded competitor encroaching on your territory, soon.

Don’t be caught flat-footed when subscribers are bribed with free enrollment and fees that are temporarily low enough by a competitor. Make subscriber retention a priority to keep customer lifetime value high and to drive profitability.

Customer Experience is the Key to Subscriber Loyalty

There is an undeniable correlation to your subscribers’ experience and their loyalty to your WISP. According to a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers and 318 U.S. businesses, customers who continue to purchase from a company do so because of the positive customer experience.4

The survey stated that there were three primary elements customers must experience to become loyal — success, effort (from their vendors) and emotion, with emotion playing the biggest part.

All three of these elements are necessary — but, amping up the positive emotion is what customers remember. Keep subscriber interactions personal, positive and involve yourself in things subscribers care about — such as community events and causes.

In a prior blog post, we discussed how to be out and about in your community to create engagement while still promoting your WISP — you might even pick up new subscribers. Read more tips here.


Customer loyalty programs are a key subscriber retention strategy.

Create a Loyalty Program

Happy customers stay put. And, current customers represent a 60% possibility of buying more compared to the 20% probability of a sale from new ones subscribers — you can see how loyalty programs pay for themselves.

Design a program that’s easy for subscribers to know how to get rewards and for you to calculate. And, if you base the program on something meaningful, like number of years subscribers have been with you, they’re more appreciative of the reward.

A rebate/reward program based on the number of years subscribers have been with you is easy for your subscribers and you to calculate, and the program increases the positive emotion that makes them want to stay around.

Always Respond to Customer Complaints

Handling subscriber complaints is never fun. But, it may get easier when you discover just how much bad customer experiences cost you when you only go through the minimum.

It’s logical to theorize that angry and disappointed customers cost you money. But, a 2016 survey of more than 10,000 bad experiences indicate that customer spending was impacted.

The study showed that the companies that responded badly saw a 63% decrease in spending from impacted customers. Companies that had a “very good” response to customer complaints only saw a decrease of 24%.

Mistakes happen — but, you don’t have to compound them by losing money because staff isn’t responding to your annoyed or angry subscribers.

Subscriber retention must be a part of your growth strategy. Employ tactics that keep customers engaged, happy and loyal to keep the growth machine going.

Now that you know how much a good subscriber retention strategy can net you in revenue growth and pure profit, what will you do to keep your subscribers?

If you need more business growth tactics to grow your revenue, check back with the WISP Success Blog. You’ll find articles that can ignite business success from a WISP’s perspective.


1 Bain and Company; Prescription for Cutting Costs; 2001;

2 Saleh, K.; Customer Acquisition vs Retention Costs — Statistics and Trends; https://www.invespcro.comcquisition-retention//blog/customer-acquisition-retention/

3 Huify; Acquisition vs. Retention: The Importance of Lifetime Customer Value; 2018;

4 Qualtrics; The Ultimate Customer CX; 2018;

5 Qualtrics; The Ultimate Customer CX; 2018;


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