As defined by RationalWiki, “survivorship bias is a cognitive bias that occurs when someone tries to make a decision based on past successes, while ignoring past failures. It is a specific type of selection bias.” Applied to CX, it’s when you focus only on existing customers and ignore those who have left.
Let’s look at an example. There’s a national sports bar which saw its CX scores continually improving. Unfortunately, at the same time, revenue was declining. While CX was celebrating, the rest of the organization was panicked.
One reason: The restaurant focused on the guests who gave the highest scores, which were the hard-core sports fans. To please them, the noise got louder and the food got worse. That sports fan loved it even more and continued to give high scores, but the family visitors were annoyed. As more families stopped coming (removing the guests who gave the restaurant lower scores), CX scores kept increasing, leading the restaurant to its death spiral.