Customer retention

How You Can Win Back Customers with a Self-Service Cancellation Experience

July 18, 2022

The first SaaS products started coming on the market around the year 2000. It was common then to require that customers call you if they wanted to cancel or end their trial. The idea was if you had a chance to talk with them, you had a chance to save the sale. 

Customers are expensive to find, so you want to save them if you can.

But consumer expectations have changed a lot in the last two decades. Now, consumers are used to managing their lives online and prefer to handle things when convenient for them. Waiting for service center hours? Not in 2022. Customers want to take care of digital errands from their phone, tablet, or laptop whenever they find a moment. 

Enter self-service cancellation flows. While it may sound counterintuitive, offering customers the ability to cancel their accounts can actually help you win them back and improve your business - it’s all in the cancellation experience. 

What is a self-service cancellation experience?

A self-cancellation experience lets customers direct the entire cancellation process themselves. It’s usually an automated flow (in our case, one integrated with your payment processor) that lets you control the process. 

Because you architect the flow, you can leverage steps within the process to educate the consumer about your product benefits or learn more about why they want to leave. Here’s how.

Point of cancellation

When a customer cancels their subscription, you can attempt to save them at the last minute with a persuasive automated flow. We’ve found that the most effective customer retention flows include these components:  

  • Reinforce your value – take this last chance to highlight your product benefits and remind the customer of the value they’ve received. You’re in complete control and can customize the benefits however you want.

  • Survey to learn more – gain valuable insights from your customers about why they’re leaving. You can ask multiple-choice questions to narrow topics and add an open-ended question for additional feedback. Customizing the questions is easy, and you can change them as often as you’d like.

  • Make a compelling offer – present targeted offers based on how customers answered survey questions. For example, if they indicate they’re leaving due to price, you can provide a temporary discount, a plan upgrade, or a way to pause their account. You can also create targeted offers by combining survey responses with custom data from your CRM or CDP. And you can pit offers against each other with A/B testing.   


Even if your point-of-cancellation measures fail, you may have future opportunities to win that customer back. For example, say a customer indicates on their cancellation flow that they’re leaving because you don’t have a specific product feature. If you implement that feature in the future, you can reach out and offer them a special incentive to re-subscribe.

What are the business benefits of self-service cancellation experience?

Different companies zero in on different benefits based on their goals, but nearly everyone wants to reduce churn, maximize their ROI and gain business insights. 

  • Reduce churn – with a self-service or automated cancellation flow, you can reduce churn from 10-30%. That’s real money when you consider it takes up to 7x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. 

  • Maximize ROI – if you increase customer retention by only 5%, you can increase profits anywhere from 25-95%. The ProsperStack tool tracks your active saved MRR for you.

  • Gain business insights – you can use your customer feedback to make smarter, data-informed product, pricing and marketing decisions. And you can correlate lost monthly recurring revenue to the exact reasons customers leave.  

  • Data in one place – when you have all your customer exit data in one place, it gives your internal teams tremendous problem-solving insight. Rather than competing for limited development resources, they can work together to tackle your most significant customer retention issues.

Want to win customers back?

We started ProsperStack to help SaaS companies improve the customer offboarding experience. But it’s become more than that. Ultimately, we want you to understand why your customers are leaving so you can win them back and continue to grow.

You can implement our automated cancellation flow with ease because it integrates with your payment processing platform’s API feed. You can have it up and running quickly with just a few lines of code.

 Interested in learning more about automated self-service cancellation experiences? Book a demo.

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