In the book “Good to Great,” Jim Collins revealed that if he only looked at “great” companies, and didn’t compare them to “good” companies, he would have learned that “they all had buildings.” Thus, it is the comparing and contrasting that created his insights.

Similarly, most attrition studies only talk to those who have defected.  This doesn’t give us a chance to compare and contrast.  To make matters worse, recent behavioral science has revealed that many may not even know the real reasons behind their decisions.  No wonder traditional attrition studies don’t tell us much.

How Defection Detection works

What makes this approach unique is that we directly compare what current clients/customers say about the brand to what those who chose to defect say about the brand.  The real insights occur when comparing the differences or “gaps” between these two groups.

But we don’t stop there. 

Many times the reason may be the customer’s shifting needs.  Life events or other factors may lead a customer to re-evaluate their options.   Even though your firm had no service breaks, the customer might still leave.  Sometimes, satisfied customers leave.  Identifying the real reason they left will allow your firm to ensure the positioning and solution offerings meet the needs of the ever-changing market.

An Added Bonus

Finally, this gives us even more.  Since we have responses from clients, we can compare the drivers of satisfaction and delight to the drivers of attrition.  Myth buster – they are not the same.  Many times the drivers of attrition would never be measured in a typical satisfaction study.  Identifying both types of drivers adds significantly to understanding your customers’ client experience.  It also gives you more information as to where to focus your efforts.  In this grid, we want to focus on dimensions that are drivers of attrition AND delight (upper-right in this quadrant).