Sep 21, 2018

Read Time 4 min

Churn Monster: The Victim


It’s monster time again! Today we are going to take a look at our fourth churn monster – the victim. This is one of the worst churn risks out there, because the customer isn’t actually doing anything wrong, but they are still being affected in a negative way, which increases their likelihood to churn.

A victim is a customer who is attempting to use your product to help them achieve a goal, however they are either running into a poor user experience and/or product issues.

Let’s a look at a scenario where this churn monster is involved and see how you can go about defeating this customer churn risk.


You have a new customer- Valerie. You had a positive welcome call and have since gotten the platform configured. Valarie has been registered for your on-boarding group training course. She attends all three days of the virtual training and it looks like she’s gotten a solid grasp of the platform’s core functionality.

Now that Valerie is trained up she is ready for the initial go-live. She seems excited to take ownership of her company’s instance and begin using it on (hopefully) a regular basis.

You schedule your first check-in call for three weeks later. The purpose of this call will be to see how things are going and if Valerie has adopted the product and see where you might be able to offer guidance.

Meanwhile, you don’t have to wait for your first check-in call. You hear from Valerie within the first week, and she’s not happy. She has complaints that now after attempting to work with the platform hands-on she has experienced a lot of issues.

You are worried that Valerie is at risk of churning given these complaints. What do you do?

Plan of Action:

First, you immediately respond back to Valerie’s email saying you are sorry that she has experienced issues and want to set up a call to learn more. You schedule a call for later that day.

You again offer an apology for the poor experience and ask Valerie to provide more information on the specific issues she has encountered thus far. You listen carefully to what she has to say. You empathize with her position, so she knows she’s been heard, and let her know you are going to work with her to resolve the issues.

You start by digging deeper into each complaint with more specific follow-up questions to help identify the full scope of the problem, so it can be better troubleshooted.

One of the issues seems to be more of a misunderstanding, and you show Valerie the correct way to accomplish the task she was after. You also send her a link to documentation that she can reference later on. You then let her know you plan to provide feedback to the training team that this specific task could be explained better during the on-boarding course.

One of the other issues seems to be a problem with the initial configuration of the platform. While you are on the phone with Valarie, you make it easy on her by submitting a support ticket on her behalf with the details. You assure her your implementation team will dig into the error and correct it on the backend of the system for her.

The last issue that Valerie explains appears to actually be a product bug. While on the phone with Valerie you take screenshots, and again submit a support ticket on her behalf with the details of the issue.

Knowing things haven’t gotten off on the right foot, you wrap up the call with Valarie and promise to personally follow-up on the two support tickets and make sure they are resolved in a timely manner.

The configuration issue was fixed later that same day. You ping Valarie to let her know that issue has been resolved and also provide an update on the product bug. You let her know the bug has been escalated. Fortunately, since the fixed won’t require a lot of development time you let her know there is a hotfix scheduled for the upcoming weekend. You follow-up with her on Monday to inform her the fix has been deployed and the issue has been resolved.

Given this recent influx of support tickets and the slowing of product adoption in the beginning of Valerie’s customer journey, you see that her customer health score is in the red and marked as at risk of churning. However, over the next few days you see her health score has improved due to the positive survey feedback on both of the now closed support cases.

You schedule a call with Valerie for later in the week to get a gauge on if things are still rocky or running more smoothly. First, she thanks you for your help in championing to get her issues resolved so quickly. It also appears that her confidence in having the product work for her has been restored. You track her product usage and she has since been logging in and using the platform on a more regular basis.  You also see that she’s engagement with some of your more sticky features.

An automated NPS campaign is sent to Valerie now that she has finished training and has logged-in five times within one week. Valerie gives you a nine on the NPS score and is now marked as a Promoter.

All of these factors have helped in bringing her customer health score up to green.

It sure was a rough start with bringing Valerie on-board and her likelihood to churn was high. However, your hard work paid off and you cleared the barriers to Valerie’s success and saved her as a customer. Valerie is a victim no more!

Follow the links below to learn about the other churn monsters we’ve covered so far and stay tuned for churn monster #5 next month!

Fight Customer Churn!


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...