Eventually, some of your clients will leave. Nobody wants to acknowledge it, but a few people will leave no matter how much value you offer. You can’t stop it from happening completely. However, if you work hard, you can design an offboarding procedure that makes a good first impression and leaves room for future business. Especially, with a big account churn.
The majority of businesses rarely give their departing consumers much consideration. Anyone who jumps ship is a dead-end for customer success in their eyes. These establishments devote all of their time and resources to pampering newcomers, allowing other customers to suffer the door slamming on their exit.
Most offboarding advice concentrates on employee offboarding, or the procedure you go through when a coworker quits. The purpose of employee offboarding is to assist you in comprehending what went wrong. It is to know the reasons why they left and how you can enhance your operational procedures to retain future employees.
It’s a potent chance to get knowledge from experience and insightful criticism. Why therefore restrict offboarding to simply your staff members?
How you handle, communicate with, and learn from account churn—user offboarding—is as crucial especially when the churned customer is a major account.
What is offboarding?
Customer offboarding, to put it briefly, is the procedure that begins when a user decides to stop using your product. This trip begins for the majority of SaaS products when a user clicks a “cancel subscription” button of some sort. The route includes account churn. Unfortunately, competing in such a competitive sector entails losing consumers.
There will inevitably be some customers who depart as you improve your offering, iterate on improvements, or modify your company strategy.
However, there are worthwhile lessons to be learned from each lost client. In order to ensure the product is moving in the right direction, you should take advantage of the opportunity presented by active users leaving (referred to as “churn”). This will allow you to gather insightful feedback, identify areas for improvement, and fill your backlog with important and relevant user stories.
That indicates that you are making an effort to comprehend the demands of previous users rather than dismissing them as a lost cause.
If you nail the offboarding process, you might even succeed in converting former clients into ardent supporters!
Additional Resource: Save Customers on the verge of canceling
Why should you give a churned customer a good experience?
There are many different causes of account churn. And not all of them result from something you did wrong. They may have left as a result of your prioritizing things they didn’t want or your failure to address faults that were harming their company.
They could, however, have left due to a business-related issue just as probable. Perhaps they changed course, entered a new industry, or simply encountered problems with generating enough revenue and had to reduce expenses.
These instances represent two distinct account churn patterns:
- Customers who leave you for reasons unrelated to your product. Such as the conclusion of a project, a poor match, or a firm changing course are considered non-regrettable churn.
- Customers who regrettably churn are those who leave you for reasons within your control. Such as your product failing to meet their particular needs, discrepancies between what’s on your marketing site, etc. Also, what your product actually does, a lack of knowledge of features, experiencing too many bugs, believing a competitor is a better option or experiencing support issues.
You may deal with each of these situations by developing a customer offboarding procedure.
It helps you comprehend how customers who experience non-regrettable churn used your product and where they found value (that you can work into your marketing plan).
While those that have regrettable churn might benefit from emphasizing features or procedures that customers may have missed in order to better grasp what they want from you or even persuade them to reconsider their choices.
Some benefits are:
- Enhance your product using the insightful input you receive from the churned customer; without an offboarding procedure, it is impossible to gather feedback.
- By addressing their issues, offer them enticing alternatives to cancellation.
- Maintain positive interactions with your clients. A successful offboarding flow at least leaves the door open if a customer decides the product is not for them. An offboarding procedure means you stay connected to the demands of your consumers.
Now let us consider a scenario where a big account has churned and you need to create a solid offboarding plan now that you understand how important it is. Here is how you do it.
5 Steps Offboarding plan to deal with a big account churn
Step 1: Recognize the Causes of Account Churn
Send a confirmation email
It’s crucial to respect your customer’s request to stop doing business with you by acknowledging it. They may have a negative opinion of you if they have to wait days or weeks for a response. Whether or not they hear from you, they’ve already decided to unsubscribe. However, if you thank them and begin the offboarding process right away, you might leave them with a positive image and increase the likelihood that they’ll promote your product or come back.
Inquire as to their reasons for departing
It will be easier to understand why you are experiencing churn and to make improvements in the future if you get input from consumers who are leaving your service. Among the approaches to get opinions are:
- Email: Send a brief and straightforward email to inquire about their reasons for severing ties with your business.
- Survey: You may also send out a survey to gather feedback from your customers and have a deeper understanding of why they left. Surveys may also be integrated directly into the cancellation page.
- Exit Interview or phone call: Calling clients could add a more personal touch. You can schedule a call and ask for rapid feedback. Going above and beyond could have an impact on whether they decide to return.
This might help: Guide for implementing a proper exit interview.
Step 2: Learn from the Churn
- Churn Indicators to Watch: It’s likely that other customers will follow suit if one starts to churn. Consider putting up churn triggers to alert you when a customer exhibits potential churn symptoms. This will offer you the chance to get in touch with them before it’s too late, discover the problem, and fix it before it’s too late.
- Utilize technology to get input and automatically track churn so you can constantly be ahead of possible problems.
- The Customer Service Team Must Be Trained: Make sure the employees that deal with consumers directly are well-versed in both the product and interpersonal skills. Ask them to kindly gather any and all comments.
Step 3: Create a Feedback Loop
You must figure out how to record, categorize, and prioritize the recurrent feedback you receive from your churned customers since this is customer intelligence gold.
Sort and classify every issue to begin seeing trends in your feedback. Ask inquiries like:
- What kind of subscription package did the consumer have?
- What features did they most frequently use?
- For how long were they users?
- You can start to understand why a consumer left your business by segmenting your market, and you can then adjust your operations to better serve them.
Last but not least, be sure to revisit these problems frequently. Then, either fix them or rewrite them as user stories—short, straightforward feature descriptions presented from the viewpoint of your users and clients.
However, communicating the voice of the customer (VoC) and your feedback loop with the entire business is more crucial. It makes sure that everyone has the same knowledge of churn in the future. You can better grasp the VoC and align each team by reviewing call transcripts, meeting notes, and any significant customer conversations.
Here is a guide to creating a solid feedback loop.
Step 4: Note the Signs of Churn and Update your Customer Health Metric
It should be a habit to note any churn signals that stuck out in the data you gathered from the churned account, even when you don’t notice widespread churn behavior with other comparable accounts.
Inquire with your customer success team if the consumer’s actions before canceling their subscription raised any red flags. At-risk consumers frequently display one or more of the behaviors listed below, which are classic signs of impending churn:
- Declining product usage: See if overtime the product usage went down
- Delayed payments: It’s a major red flag when they frequently miss payments or postpone renewals.
- They will exhibit subtle changes in behavior, such as canceling check-in meetings, failing to return your calls or emails, altering their communication style, etc.
- Pricing tier downgrades: Customers that alter their subscription plans frequently change their minds about your offering or are having internal financial issues.
- More complaints: They start nagging about your prices, goods, or level of customer service.
- Low ratings: They will give you low CSAT and NPS scores or offer justifications for not taking the surveys.
- Change of Point of Contact or Leadership: Churn frequently occurs when the customer company’s leadership changes.
If you can spot this type of activity in ex-customers, make note of it. So you can keep an eye out for it in other accounts that are in danger. In order for the customer success team to prevent churn, create playbooks and well-defined processes around quarterly business reviews (QBRs).
Step 5: Offer a Last-Ditch Alternative
Always strive to provide your user’s choices; by recommending alternatives to cancellation, you could stop people from making the decision.
Offering bespoke, personalized offers via a user churn micro survey is one method to achieve this.
You greatly improve your chances of retaining users by comprehending the issue and providing a focused solution. Maybe a downgraded version of your service might suit their needs better.
There will always be people who aren’t the ideal fit for a company because no business is perfect. But why not make the most of your churning users rather than just throwing up your hands and letting them leave? You may achieve this by providing a good first impression. Ensure a seamless and effective offboarding process for customers. Plan strategically for how to present other possibilities.
You can develop, adjust, and grow by understanding where your products, business strategy, marketing, and customer service are failing your customers with the aid of a strong user offboarding plan like this one. Or you can use CustomerSuccessBox artificial intelligent platform to proactively detect at-risk accounts and take measures to change them.