How Short Par 4 retains an extra 21% of subscribers *each month* by automating their dunning process
Short Par 4 is a monthly subscription-based company that specializes in golf apparel and accessories. Each month, customers are treated to a curated box worth far more than they pay.
Early on, rapid growth nearly took down the business. Through carefully scaling back expenses and developing new teams within the business, they have been able to find stable, predictable growth.
The following interview with Tad Frost, COO at Short Par 4, was conducted on December 10th, 2020.
What was going on at Short Par 4 that led you to Churn Buster?
One thing that we can't control is card declines. In any given month, we were losing anywhere from 400 to 800 customers on a monthly basis.
Internally we were able to create our own manual process for emailing customers and updating credit cards.
But it's a challenge... it's time, it's money... and at the end of the day we had multiple conversations about what solutions were out there. And we had tried a couple before Churn Buster.
What kind of results have you seen with Churn Buster?
I knew my numbers before beginning our trial with Churn Buster. On our own, our team was able to recover 45 to 55% of declined charges. And we had about a thousand card declines a month.
55% recovery was the number we were looking to beat with Churn Buster. Anything above 60% I would be very happy with.
In the first month we were able to hit 64.5%.
And in month two we hit 71%, which was beautiful... phenomenal, really. Now in the third month, we're above 67%.
With Churn Buster, we've been able to get better results than we could do ourselves. It saves our CS team time and energy for other aspects of the business.
Can you pinpoint the differences that led to a boost in recovery?
Yeah, the big difference is in the level of expertise. We don't know how to address card declines properly on our own, or have the capabilities to address them. With Churn Buster our systems are aligned to make the right adjustments and get the best results.
One thing that's awesome about Churn Buster is being able to extend the length of each recovery effort. Before, we would manually reach out three times over 15 days or so. Now we have several emails going out to customers, with a customized sequence also retrying payments over a 30 day period.
Churn Buster has an automated process that has proven successful.
How will Churn Buster impact your business over the next year?
Consider the difference of 50% recovered payments to 71% recovered.
That difference of 21% at a thousand card declines... around 200 customers each month, with a $50 average value... it's a big number. We get to focus on delivering the product that our customer wants, while easily retaining those extra 200 customers per month.
That's massive because our product keeps improving, and we multiply that value every month. It's massive for the company.
We're averaging 67.7% recovery with Churn Buster. And 55% was our peak when doing it manually.
To be averaging 12.7% above our peak recovery rate from before... it's phenomenal.
Did you have reservations before giving Churn Buster a try?
Yes, based on an experience we had with a similar type of business.
Before Churn Buster we ran a trial with another company.
The total recovery rate was roughly 55%... which is what we were able to recover when we did it ourselves. Because the numbers didn't look much different, I didn't see a point in paying them for the same results.
The company said they were able to "get us more than what I had paid" based on improving our recovery rate. I just didn't see it that way.
What advice do you have for someone considering Churn Buster for their business?
I would just say that Churn Buster works as promised.
I can say it works for our business. And when there's a money-back guarantee involved, there's no real loss, there's only upside to a business. So at the end of day, if you're worried about the monthly expense and Churn Buster is willing to step up to the plate and do what they did for us, for you... what do you have to lose?
Me personally, I am probably more skeptical of outsourcing certain things. But there are service providers that know what they're doing a lot more than we do, specific here to card declines.
I would be more than happy to jump on a call or have a conversation with anybody that has questions about Churn Buster, and how it has proved itself.
And I don't see us moving anywhere else in the near future for any reason.