Why is it that companies make the sign-up process as easy as possible but always seem to forget that sometimes people want to leave?
Once upon a time I had an American Express credit card. I got it for the Delta SkyMiles and when my first year was up, I didn’t want to keep it and pay the annual fee. When I called American Express, they told me that I couldn’t “cancel” my account but that they could convert me to a regular card. What? I want to “cancel,” as in close my account. I wasn’t sure how that translated to “downgrade my account” to a regular card.
In contrast, I recently called Sporting News magazine to cancel my subscription. The agent on the phone asked if I wanted that to happen immediately or when my subscription ran out. I choose the latter and he cheerfully obliged and said that was recorded in my account. That was it.
When the call ended, I was quite shocked. He didn’t ask why I wanted to leave and never tried to persuade me to change my mind. Painless. Excellent.
Ease the Transition
Failure to provide an easy escape route for customers is like kicking them on the way out. Will they ever return? Probably not.
What if you were nice to canceling customers? What if you even helped them cancel and move on? The customer is then left with a good experience that makes it that much easier to return to your business.
Take a look at a few other cancellation process examples in action:
- Excellent: Feedburner’s step-by-step guide to canceling (including how they help along the way)
- Good and Bad: Netflix (good) vs. Audible (bad)
- Bad: 1&1 Hosting Cancellation
Don’t burn your bridges with customers because they may need your services again. When that time comes, they will think of you. How they think of you will determine if they come back or head down the street to the competition.
Choose wisely how you want to be remembered.