Here Are the Best Practices for Customer Cancel Flows for Subscription Companies

Here Are the Best Practices for Customer Cancel Flows for Subscription Companies

For any subscription company—whether it's SaaS, e-commerce, or anything else— tasteful customer cancel flows are the most underrated and under-utilized tools when it comes to churn reduction. Customer churn is always a concern for any subscription-based company.

And churn isn’t just a one-time hit — it’s a driving factor for recurrent revenue loss. And acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one.

User-friendly, customer-centric cancel flows can improve your subscription business, help you retain more customers, and reduce your overall churn rates.

Let’s talk about best practices and opportunities for customer cancel flows and how you can start using the best cancel flow in the business.

Make your customer cancellation experience easy

This may seem counter-intuitive. After all, you don’t want subscribers to cancel. But making it difficult for someone to cancel isn’t actually going to stop them from cancelling. It’s not going to help reduce churn and it’s certainly not going to lead to satisfied customers.

At the very least, if you make your cancel flow difficult, you’ve already increased the odds that customers will never come back and re-subscribe to your product. Worst case, irritated and dissatisfied customers could turn to social media or review sections to air their grievances about your unnecessarily complicated cancel flow.

And then there's the fact that making cancellations difficult is just not cool. Or ethical.

That’s why it’s vital to create a cancel flow that, ah, flows. It should create as little friction and take the minimal amount of time possible. If your subscribers leave happy, they’re more likely to re-subscribe in the future (especially if you’ve created effective winback campaigns) or, at the very least, recommed your product to others.

From our research—after seeing tens of millions of cancel flow sessions come through the Churnkey platform—cancel flows should never exceed five steps. The best ones offer something of value immediately.

How to provide value with cancel flows

The main focus of a good customer cancel flow shouldn’t really be cancellation — it should be retention. And the best way to retain customers is by providing them with real value. If you have a cancel flow that isn’t centered around value, then it isn’t going to be truly effective at retaining customers and stopping churn before it happens.

In a cancel flow, it’s vital to provide beneficial options that create true value for your customers. After all, if they’re trying to cancel, then they’re doing it for a reason. There’s some pain point that’s not being addressed or they've been unable or unwilling to activate for some reason. If you present them with a solution to that pain point during the cancellation process, then they’re less likely to leave.

Try to see your customer cancel flow as an opportunity to get to the point and to demonstrate real, personalized value to your customers. Many times, customers choose to churn because they’re having an issue within the product or are experiencing some type of confusion, which makes it nearly impossible to see the value. If you can address these issues during the customer cancel flow and resolve them, then you’ve already taken a huge step towards retaining that customer.

Ask for customer feedback

One of the most valuable things about a good customer cancel flow is the data you can collect and then leverage to reduce future churn. Once a customer reaches your cancel flow, you may not be able to save them (although we’ll give you plenty of strategies below that could help you do just that). But even if you can’t, you can still garner important information in the process.

If you don’t gather customer feedback in your cancel flow, then you’re missing out the chance to positively leverage churn and use it in future product development. And, much like your overall customer cancel flow, asking for feedback doesn’t need to be overly complicated. All you really need to do is ask one simple question: “Why are you leaving?”