Customer churn: the missing link in public transport marketing

Prudence Blake, Graham Currie, Alexa Delbosc, Chris Lowe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Growing public transport user markets is a fundamental goal of transport organisations worldwide. In the field of marketing a widespread strategy for understanding markets and facilitating growth is the measurement of ‘Customer Churn’ or the number of customers that defect (cease using) a service. Despite its prevalence in marketing, there is a single study available of Customer Churn in the context of public transport markets. This paper identified four core elements of market change; customer acquisitions, customer defections, customer retention and internal variability. The relevant literature on customer churn and similar studies in public transport (net market change, customer loyalty and internal variability) were assessed against whether they addressed these four elements. This identified that there was no singular method of measurement that reviewed all four elements of market change. To address this a new framework termed Customer Fluctuation, that holistically measures the rate of customer acquisitions, defections, retention and internal variability is proposed. This framework offers the potential of a more efficient and less ambiguous approach to understanding market changes and facilitating market growth.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2017 - University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 27 Nov 201729 Nov 2017
Conference number: 39th (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2017
Abbreviated titleATRF 2017
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address

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