How to Leverage a Customer Offboarding Experience to Improve Your Product

If you were having a face-to-face conversation with a customer who wanted to cancel your product, you’d try to save the sale, right? Or at least try to find out more about why they wanted to cancel.

 Most SaaS companies miss this opportunity because they don’t have behind-the-scenes visibility into their cancellation process. They know their churn rate but don’t have any insight into why customers leave. This can quickly become an expensive problem when you consider it costs 7x more to acquire a new customer than keep one you already have.

 Customers who cancel can help you gain deep insight into your product. And to be clear, we’re not talking about involuntary churn or dunning. We’re talking about when customers consciously choose to cancel their subscription and stop paying for your service. That kind of churn stings, but it carries valuable insight for your internal teams, especially product.

Customers unsubscribe and leave - that happens, but how you manage that behavior is what counts. Keep reading below for insights on leveraging the customer offboarding experience to improve your product efficiently.

What’s a customer offboarding experience?

One way to address churn directly is to implement a customer offboarding experience (also called an automated customer retention flow). 

In the simplest terms, a customer offboarding experience is every step between when a customer clicks ‘cancel’ and when they receive your confirmation email or app notification. At first glance, it may seem odd to focus on the cancellation experience. But it’s best practice to offer customers a simple and elegant self-cancellation option.

Solutions like ProsperStack automate the offboarding experience by integrating with your billing platform. This makes it easy for you to design a cancellation flow that:

  • Asks customers why they’re leaving

  • Reminds them of your product’s features and benefits

  • Reinforces your customer value proposition

  • Delivers a persuasive cancellation alternative like coupons, discounts, and plan upgrades 

Completing just these steps can help you reduce churn by 10-30 percent, and you’re gaining insights into why customers wanted to leave in the first place.

A smoother customer offboarding experience: What questions should I ask in a customer exit survey?

We recommend designing your customer exit surveys to collect highly actionable product feedback. You can start with just two simple questions:

 A multiple-choice survey question that captures the customer’s primary reason for leaving. This makes it easy for customers to answer and easy for you to analyze in aggregate. Include the most common grounds for cancellation, such as price, service, leaving for a competitor, lack of specific product features, and so on.

An open-ended survey question that asks for additional feedback. Use a multi-line text box to make it clear you want as much input as customers are willing to provide. If you get regular feedback in this field, consider adding it to your multiple-choice list. 

With ProsperStack, you can update your survey questions anytime without a developer. You can also use conditional questions to capture even more detail.

How can I leverage a customer offboarding experience to improve our SaaS product?

One of the most significant benefits of an automated offboarding experience is seeing and analyzing all the detail in one place. Here are some ways to collect and leverage product feedback.

Product features

You can learn a lot from customers that cancel. Make the most of it by discovering when bugs, missing features, or performance issues cause customers to leave. These quantitative and qualitative insights show you exactly what to prioritize on your product roadmap. And once you have your cancellation flow set up, you can customize it without a developer to keep gaining new product feature feedback.

Product pricing

This category is straightforward. If customers are leaving because your service is too expensive, you might consider lowering your price. That said, if you never lose customers on pricing, it might be time to up your subscription levels.

Product marketing  

Now that you understand why customers are leaving, you can use this information to remarket to lost customers. For example, if you lost several customers because your product was missing a feature, remarket to them when you add that feature. You can also integrate your exit survey data with your CRM data (e.g., in HubSpot) to create more targeted campaigns. 

Product support

Your customer success teams help customers get the most out of your product. You can help them by sharing ongoing feedback about why customers leave and extracting sentiment from your open-ended exit survey question. Take it further by identifying at-risk customers or have your customer success team reach out to customers who viewed your cancellation experience.

Product roadmap

You have a limited number of developers and can’t afford to have them working on the wrong features. When customer exit surveys draw a direct correlation between cancellations and monthly recurring revenues (MRR), you’ll know what your developers should focus on without question.

Want to recover revenue and improve your SaaS product?

Within hours, you can have a customer offboarding flow up and running that helps you prevent churn and gather actionable product feedback. Even better, if this solution enables you to improve customer retention by just 5%, that could increase your profits anywhere from 25-95%.

Book a demo if you’re ready to start recovering revenue and improving your product with a customer offboarding experience.


Like this article?

Get more amazing customer retention content in your inbox.