Jan 18, 2019

Read Time 3 min

Churn Monster: Ghosted


As part of our customer churn monster series today, we are going to be talking about ghosting. Unfortunately, in today’s society this has become a term that is used in both vocabulary and in practice. So, what do we mean when we say ghosting in a professional sense?

Ghosting in the CS world is when a customer ceases all communication with you and has stopped responding to your attempts to contact them, leaving you without any explanation as to why they have gone silent.

I’m sure this is a familiar occurrence to all CSMs. And since it’s something we can all relate to, let’s take a look at a scenario involving a ghosting customer and plan of action as to how you might be able to bring them back to life.

The Scenario:

You have been working with your customer Greg for a few months now. You have successfully gotten through all of the essential implementation procedures and even some introductory training. Things are looking good.

You reach out to Greg to cover some more best practices and advanced features and use cases…and you hear nothing back. He hasn’t responded to your email or voicemail about scheduling the final round of your onboarding program.

A week goes by. A week and a half. Two weeks, and still nothing. You haven’t received any out of office replies or automated bounce backs to your emails, so as far as you can tell Greg is not on vacation and is still with the company.

You are worried Greg is trying to ghost you. What do you do?

Plan of Action:

You decide at first you are going to refrain from declaring your past attempts to contact him. You think by drawing attention to his silence, you might only make him feel guilty, which instead of spurring action, might only make him want to continue his avoidance behavior.

You also try to vary your contact attempts by switching up the day of the week and the time of the day of your calls. Although, unfortunately your calls are still going unanswered.

After some time, you decide to throw a Hail Mary and send a handwritten note to his office with some swag. You feel like after he receives the gift, he will feel inclined to reach out to at least to say thank you.

In the meantime, you set up an in-app message for Greg with a very specific question about his account for the next time he logs in. You figure that since phone and email haven’t worked you would use this different communication method to try and reach Greg – when he is most engaged (i.e. when he is inside your product).  

And before the package you sent even has the chance to arrive, Greg logs in to the platform, sees your in-app message to him, and responds to the question you asked regarding his account.

Now that you have opened up an active communication thread with Greg, you are able to get him to lock down dates for continuing the final pieces of the onboarding program.

The next day Greg receives your package in the mail and sends you an email thanking you for the nice gesture and apologies for going MIA for a few weeks.

You hold your breath, and Greg shows up to the rest of your scheduled trainings. He really seems to grasp the value of your product and is excited to use it to its full extent.  

That was a close call with your customer almost giving up the ghost, but you were able to revive him to be a happy, successful customer. Way to go!  

Follow the links below to learn about the other churn monsters we’ve covered so far and stay tuned for a new churn monster next month.


Customer Success Around the Web



Subscribe to the newsletter   

Empowering your customer success team through community

Has your customer community lost its spark? Teams are often eager to launch this new initiative, however, sustaining that same enthusiasm in the months ahead can be a challenge. “It's one thing to create excitement and another to keep people’s attention,” says Shauna...