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The rate at which customers terminate their relationships with a company over a given period of time. For example, if five customers in 50 discontinue their cable every month, the churn rate is 5%. The church rate contrasts with the growth rate, which, in this case, is defined as the number of new clients or customers. If a company is to grow, the growth rate must consistently exceed the churn rate. The churn rate is important in the telecommunications industry, where several companies operate in a geographical area and compete for customers.