Why Complicating User Account Cancellation Process Is A Losing Strategy?
As you probably know if you follow my blog, from time to time I share tips about customer experience management for startup and expansion stage businesses. I also occasionally share horror stories to help demonstrate what not to do. This week, I am going to share advice on why making your user account cancellation process is a losing strategy.
Many companies in today’s market place are making it difficult to cancel accounts online and are making users jump through many hoops to do so. You do not need to look far to find household businesses taking this approach like Facebook and Equifax. Facebook makes it incredibly difficult to figure out how to cancel an account online, and Equifax takes this one step further and makes a customer call customer service in order to cancel an account.
Not only is this approach wrong, it is also a bad business idea. Unhappy customers have voices that can easily go viral online and do some serious brand damage. So why do so many companies take this approach when most of the time all they risk losing is a customer who perhaps isn’t a good fit?
The truth is these companies see those customers as potential revenue streams and don’t see those customers for what they really are…potential liabilities. Why would a company want to prevent customers from unsubscribing or cancelling its services when they are trying to do so? These customers will likely yield negative revenue streams — if they are going to be unhappy with your services they may cause all kinds of headaches in the customer service department and/or become major brand detractors who can cause good customers to second guess their customer status. Companies must remember that not all customers are created equal. Forgetting this can be very costly.
Consequently, a company is better off losing customers who are actively trying to leave, and it should make it easy for them to do so. But a company should also make sure that its cancellation process confirms that customers have put thought into their decision before they cancel. Making the cancellation process mindless can also lead to indifferent customer cancellations. Thus, it is a good policy to at least offer a cancellation confirmation that outlines the advantages of maintaining their customer status and disadvantages of an on-and-off customer relationship.
If you are interested in learning more about common customer mismanagement mistakes, I recommend reading my previous post on learning from United’s mismanagement of customer complaints. Similarly, if you are interested in learning how to develop a first class customer service model, I also recommend reading my previous blog posts on how to design an effective customer communication strategy and how to implement Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a company key performance indicator (KPI).