September 16, 2021
If you have a subscription and customers can cancel your cancel flow is one of the most underrated customer experiences. After serving millions of cancel experiences over the last two years, we've learned many lessons. Here are six common errors we see in many cancel flows.
1. Do NOT “Set & Forget” The Options For Why A Customer is Cancelling.
The Exit Survey Question: "Why are you cancelling?" isn't just to keep track of what's going wrong for customers. This is your attempt to identify and solve your customer's problem. You should be regularly updating the options a customer can select.
The range of problems your customers experience evolves so your exit survey has to evolve as well (it should be evolving or it means you're not fixing the problems that drive customers to leave your business). In order to save a customer who is cancelling we have to overcome the issue specifically and swiftly, and specific problems are easier to overcome than "blurry" problems.
This requires getting granular. For example, if a customer says they are cancelling because it’s too expensive that can mean a lot of different things. It could mean they are having financial difficulties, it could mean they didn’t see the value for the money, or it could mean any number of financially related concerns. Each of these reasons for cancelling likely has a different solution, but we wouldn’t know that with a reason that is too broad. (Note: if you're just getting started with a cancel flow it's fine to start simple you just need to adapt once you collect data).
2. Be VERY Careful With The Response "Other":
If a large portion of your customers are cancelling and selecting "Other" as the reason, this is a sign that you don't know why your customers are cancelling and you therefore have no clue how to solve it.
Now, allowing customers to select "Other" as an option along with an input field for additional text is powerful because it will help you identify new reasons why a customer might cancel or reasons you haven't thought of before. However, once a certain number of customers have provided similar reasons you should pull those out and make them a selectable option.
A good rule of thumb is to keep "Other" at less than 5% of the reasons why customers are cancelling.
3. Do NOT Nest Questions
After asking the first question "why do you want to cancel?", each subsequent question drops the save rate by 6.7%.
Customers don't have a lot of patience. Customers who are intending on cancelling their relationship with your business have even less patience. Nested questions are seen as road blocks in the way of their intended “destination”. With each question you ask after the initial question, your ability to save the customer drops by 6.7%. (Refer back to #1 on how to get more out of the first question).
4. Do NOT Show Multiple Offers/Solutions. Similar to calls to action in marketing, too many options leads to the choice of "neither". When you present a solution to customers in your cancel flow, put the best offer for each respective customer up front. This should be your best attempt at solving the problem. If you have two different methods for solving their problem make it two separate steps instead of combining them into one screen.
5. Personalize Your Offers
We all like acknowledgement. Customers appreciate businesses who understand them and recognize them as individuals and not just a number in a sea of numbers. Acknowledge who the customer is, how long they've been with you, how much you appreciate them, and how you intend to reward them for their patronage. Personalized treatments in your cancel flow result in an increased save rate of nearly 11%!
6. Qualitative + Quantitative: Add Video Interviews for Qualitative Feedback
In order to get more granular into the issues your customers face, combine the quantitative information you can get from software alongside qualitative feedback. Your cancel flow provides a way to solicit churning customers for longer form feedback sessions. You should provide a way for customers who are cancelling to schedule an (incentivized and/or non-incentivized) interview over video/phone. This video should then be stored with the quantitative data on that customer: when they signed up, how long they were retained, how much they spent, etc along with the detailed feedback they provide in a video interview.
There will always be things your customers don't love about your product/service but the ones that drive them to cancel are the ones you have to focus on. Your cancel flow is your way of identifying these problems and learning IF, WHEN, and HOW you can overcome them.