Oversimplification of Churn
There seems to be a growing segment of “experts” striving to reduce complicated situations into overly simple constructs. I’ve read a few customer experience (CX) related articles recently in which the author seems to go out of their way to make something quite complex seem simple. I've read generalizations like:
“B2B customers churn because they aren’t getting value.”
“Your company is losing sales deals because you haven’t effectively conveyed to the prospect why your solution is better.”
“Renewals decline because you have a problem with product adoption.”
The Complexities Of Churn
At Satrix Solutions, we conduct hundreds of interviews and field even more surveys to understand precisely why customers churn, what drives customer satisfaction, and why buyers select one vendor over another. The reasons are almost always multifaceted and require extensive analysis and probing to understand completely. Some of the common pieces to the churn puzzle are:
Common Churn Factors
- Feature gaps compared to alternatives
- License fees too high
- Frustrations with migrating to a new platform
- Poor responsiveness from the account rep
- Misled by the sales team
Generalization of Value
Maybe the drivers of satisfaction or churn can be generalized to all fall under the umbrella of “value,” but how helpful is that to a leadership team that wants to take action to address specific gaps or pain points? And yes - there are some cases when the customer’s decision is straightforward and one-dimensional, such as procurement selecting the lowest price solution or losing an account after your champion left the organization. But I can confidently say those are more the exception than the rule.
Platitudes such as “deliver more value” are good for LinkedIn posts, but it’s dangerous to overly simplify complex challenges (like churn) that many companies face. Getting the complete picture requires time, expertise, and investment. However, business leaders can act accordingly when they understand the drivers of satisfaction and frustration. Such actions enable an organization to preemptively address other customers' issues or identify what success looks like so it can be replicated. That’s when the financial payoff becomes substantial.