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The Hidden Churn Indicator - Absence of Signal

The number one goal of a B2B experience program is to increase retention, promote up and cross-sells and grow the business. Most companies that are running a true Account Experience program know and practice this. Conventional wisdom says that you should put the most resources into the detractors to turn them into passives and a large block of the remainder to get promoters to leave revews, refer you, etc.


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But what is often missed is the hidden indicator of churn. At CustomerGauge we call it the absence of signal and it's the most common in your passive (7-8 NPS) customers. The absence of signal is simply that—the account as a whole has gone quiet. They don't respond to surveys, they don't put in support tickets, you just don't hear from them.


This week on the Account Experience Podcast we spoke with Maurice FitzGerald, CX author, guru, and Editor in Chief - Content at OCX. Maurice has spent a long career in the CX space and in a study, he conducted with a multi-billion dollar B2B company he found some very interesting results that supported the case to spend more time engaging with passives. When Maurice looked into the data he couldn't help but compare his realization to three types of married couples.

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Promoters - The Lovebirds

The promoters are the happily married couple that we all know. This is the couple that everyone aspires to be more like. They're happy, they communicate, life is good.

Detractors - The Arguers

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we all know that couple that is constantly arguing and seem miserable. However, they've been doing it for years (or even decades) and they never seem to break up. They may be in a constant state of bickering, but they are communicating. 

Passives - The Non-Communicators

The final group we all know are the couples that don't really seem to be either. They're clearly not the happiest people in the world, but they're not fighting either. Maurice calls this the delay zone of mutual indifference. These are your passives. They don't communicate because they don't really care one way or another about your business. These customers don't churn because you've done anything wrong. They churn when another company swoops in and brings them flowers. This is why it is so important to (1) engage with passives that take the time to give you feedback and (2) track down any accounts that have an absence of signal.

Next Up: Is There a Silver Bullet to Getting Buy-In for Collecting Customer Feedback?

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