Manage customer retention by creating a transfer window for your business | DMA

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Manage customer retention by creating a transfer window for your business


Football is now big business, however it's a business where the buying and selling can only take on specific times of the year. The transfer window is enforced seasonality within an entire industry.

The enforced seasonality was supposed to make things easy - for example, these periods are usually off-season, and you know when your 'trading period is'.

However, it's also created lots of difficulties as 'it's can become a hugely pressurised situation and it's very time sensitive' as Man Utd and Real Madrid found out on Monday night.

What can you learn from this?

Imagine if your business operated in the same way? The truth is, you might not have reporters and TV crews tracking your every deal or transaction - but if you have customers then I'd suggest that you have an active transfer window in your business every day.

New customers are arriving probably with a fanfare, but existing customers are leaving 'silently'.

Identifying the transfer window within your business can unlock huge potential and profit.

The transfer window within your business

The transfer window focus for this post is about retaining your customers.

This is hugely important, as a 5% increase in the number of customers you retain can increase your profits by between 25%-95% (Bain and Co).

And, the best bit is. Unlike the sales process of finding new customers, you already know who these customers are, where they live, how to contact them and what they have bought!

Operating in your transfer window

We aren't in the football business (yet), but we do know a lot about customer retention and managing churn.

In your transfer window, we'd suggest that you need to follow these three key steps.

1. Identify value

Transfer windows are all about identifying value for your business. So in this case, we need to define a customer value blueprint to answer the question

"Who are the customers that bring the most value to my business"

What have they bought

How often do they buy

Where can I find them

2. Find value

This is a transfer window within your business - that's the best part! In stage 1, you've identified what who you are looking for, now you need to need to find it within the data you hold inside your business.

3. Retain the value

You've created the customer blueprint to define the value.

You've created the customer segmentation to identify those who provide the value.

Now you need to create a marketing strategy and implement a marketing process to retain the value within your business.

Of course, we'd recommend Websand as the marketing automation software you need to use to manage your transfer window and keep your business at the top of the league.

Different Types of Transfer Window

How the transfer window affects your business depends on the type of business you operate.

A normal retail B2C model

You sell in a normal way online or offline to consumers. In which case the create value transfer window described earlier will apply.

A subscription business model

You are already operating in a transfer window as you know the potential end date of each customer. You are each new customer arrives with a fanfare, if that subscription payment doesn't arrive, then an alarm will go off and the retention strategy will kick into operation (won't it?)

A business to business model.

A few things going on here.

1. The contract model (which is the same as the subscription business), an end date for the provider and the customer to work towards and then renegotiate.

2. The tender - a classic transfer window. We are looking for X, who has it and how much is it going to cost. If you are in the creative industries, then it is like a Premier League team buying from a lower league team i.e. 'please do all the work before we decide if we want to buy it'.

3. Normal supply and demand. In which case the create value transfer window described earlier will apply.

A seasonal business model

A transfer window in the traditional sense. Make hay while the sun shines. Fill that caravan park while the sun shines and fix the caravans during the cold dark winter months.

This post is based on an earlier post on our blog. For more details please see

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Thanks. What are your thoughts on B2E (Business to employee) and investing internally for your staff?