How hard is it for a customer to leave?
Do you make them go through a big argument? Do you refuse to let them cancel online? Do you give them a hard-sell sales pitch? Do you charge an abusive cancellation fee?
The exit experience is fundamental to how your brand is perceived. If you make it awful, you will send that former customer out with a horrible last memory and a fresh, nasty story to tell all their friends. That exit story will be the one best remembered and most shared.
Example: You cancel a membership at your favorite gym. You love the place, but you’re moving. They give you a hassle about the contact. Yelling, screaming, etc. For the next 10 years, when you talk to friends in your old neighborhood, you don’t tell them how much you loved that gym. You tell them how rude the gym was on the last day.
Example: You switch cable or phone providers because someone offers a better deal. Your old provider gives you a hard time. Instead of leaving you with a, “I might come back someday if you improved service or price” — they burn the bridge. You swear never to return, ever. And you tell everyone.
There is only one way to deal with a customer who wants to leave:
- Ask why they are going. If it was a problem, offer to fix it.
- Wish them the best, tell them you are sorry to see them go
- Tell them that you would be honored to welcome them back someday.
- DO NOT SELL and DO NOT TRY TO FORCE THEM TO STAY.