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Retaining Customers With Humor In Your Cancellation UX

How adding humor might help you overcome cancellation requests.
Sarah Reyes
2 minutes
Retaining Customers With Humor In Your Cancellation UX

The UX for cancelling a subscription is an afterthought for most businesses, and as customers, we all know that cancel processes are about as enjoyable as a scourge of mosquitoes.

It doesn't have to be this way.

In the summer of 2021 we started noticing that more subscription businesses were making their cancel flows humorous, and the early results were tremendous. Chalk this concept up as a counterintuitive approach that works much better than you might suspect.

Here are a few examples of applying humor to conditional treatments/salvage attempts:

Slightly darker humor (if you've seen Squid Game) but this one has a save rate that is 11X vs a variant offering the same 19% discount but no GIF.
Self-deprecating and acknowledging errors.

While adding humor to cancel treatments is straight forward, you can also apply it throughout the cancel process. Even addressing the cancel request itself with a humorous angle.

The results for adding humor are nothing short of astounding.

Over six months, we measured 220,571 cancel experiences where two identical cancel treatments were triggered equally, but one variant had funny content. The humorous content had a save rate of 41.4% vs. 24.9% for the regular variant.

After interviewing customers saved by humorous cancel treatments, we heard that they liked the humor because it "was fun," "made the process enjoyable," and "wasn't bland business talk."

(Reminder, applying humor isn't universal. There are certainly some services/products/brands where humor wouldn't go over so well).

As with most UX, providing a little fun and play can have positive results, and the cancel experience is no different.

(If you'd like to see more examples of how your brand could apply humor to your cancel flow with RetentionEngine, just email us at humor@retentionengine.com).

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