Leaving customers. Lower recurring revenue, smaller audience and reach of your content. How to handle situations when customers tell you they want to stop using your service?
Important thing is to let them know, you will acquit their requests. Don’t play deaf, don’t play insulted. And PLEASE, don’t do it like customer support agent of Comcast.
Tell them what is necessary, but also ask for their feedback. Why they want to leave?
Is it because they are not satisfied with your product? Ask for any insights that could explain this dissatisfaction. Based on the answer, you can choose between „rescue action“ and „thank you, we wish you good luck“ message.
If your leaving customer is satisfied, but a „smaller“ part of your service (customer care, price, etc.) is the issue, there is a room for bargain. Do you feel you can change his or her mind? Offer a month of your product for free and make it count, so the customer can find out, if it could be better and more satisfying.
Sometimes, you don’t offer what customer wants. Company’s needs are constantly changing and your customers aren’t exceptions. They may outgrow your product. Maybe they need new, more complex features. Now it is up to you – do you want to pivot the direction of your company and product based on customer feedback, or are you sure with the current course? Jason Fried from Basecamp wrote about this situation in his bestseller ReWork. You have to take in consideration, there will be always a segment of your customers, who will leave because they won’t be satisfied with your product anymore. But that doesn’t mean you have to part in a bad mood.
Not everyone would agree (or – very few would agree). Someone might think recommending your competition is an equivalent for „burning bridges“ when it comes to pontential acquiring of returning customers. Think about it in another perspective: customer is not just a number. He feels, thinks and what is important in this digital era, he socialize. Former customers maybe left your list, but they can create buzz around your brand. If you know about product that would definitely satisfy your leaving customers, don’t keep it secret. In best case, you can lead customer to competition via referral link and cut your share – affiliate programs are decent way how to profit even when customers leave.
„Thanks to them I found service that exactly fits my needs. Great support overreaching the product!“ Can you imagine positive referrence like this? Everything you do, everything you say is a part of your online reputation and former customers have great impact on it.
Whether you convinced your leaving customer to stay or not, always try to gather feedback. It will help you to determine not just the specific feature or part that was an issue, but also to define potential segment of leaving customers. Analyzing received feedback will help you to understand drive and motivation of your customer behind their actions. It was said, it will be said, but still, it’s the truth – feedback makes you and your product better.
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