Okay, so lowering your churn rate is a huge talking point in SaaS. Simply because it’s pretty painful every time you lose a client.

It’s also inevitable. But! It’s not irreversible.

Why should you sit back and accept defeat when there are a bunch of processes and tactics you can use to win back your former user!? Exactly. You should put up a digital fight! ✊

Which is why we’re here to flag up 10 steps you can implement to try and win a customer back. Starting with… 👇

Why it’s important to win back your canceled customers

There’s much more to this than simply getting a customer back to boost your annual revenue.

Users can unsubscribe from you for a number of reasons. They may not be happy with your product, are frustrated with customer service, or don’t like your price packages.

Or you have rolled out new features that confuse some of your subscribers. Confusion isn’t a fun thing. 🤔

When they leave, it can sometimes be for a negative reason.

So, by going out of your way to win users back, you can actively prevent negative word of mouth spreading about your product.

Or, at least, offer an apology to your former customer to end on a relatively positive note. You never know, they may want to return in the future.

How to win back your canceled customers

Then there are the steps that’ll try to get them back onboard. Oh lucky you, we have 10 of them here. No more stalling, let’s begin! 👍

1. Create a canceled customer segmentation policy

As we mentioned above, your users can leave you for a wide variety of reasons.

This means it makes sense to have a database of reasons for why. As churns can happen for different reasons.

You can start this off by grouping together customers into reasons for leaving. This may be for the likes of:

  • Your product costs too much.
  • They’re unhappy with the features.
  • Your customer support team isn’t good enough.
  • Your product is too confusing.
  • Due to technical difficulties.

Keeping track of the reasons why people are calling quits is a great way to identify the most common reasons.

And then what? Well, you can act on a way to fix that.

For example, experimenting around with new price packages, fixing technical issues, or providing a walkthrough guide for your product.

2. Come on and reach out!

Right. Sometimes it pays to just pick up the phone and get in touch. đź“ž

Or drop the person a win-back email. Multiple times, if necessary.

This isn’t to start screaming abuse at the individual. You need to be polite here and ask them why they’ve left and what you can do to change their mind.

You may need to be flexible at this point and introduce some ways to soothe their frustrations.

And then you might find they change their mind and open up the doors to signing up again. Although a simple apology probably won’t be enough. You might want to add in a few perks.

3. Win them over with benefits

You may need to be flexible at this point and introduce some ways to soothe their frustrations. Consider:

  • Offering discounts on your services.
  • Offer to bump them up to a better product package for more features.
  • Providing extra support from your customer service team.
  • Offer free training opportunities to their teams.
  • Use a loyalty reward option as extra impetus.

You can experiment around with these as you see fit, of course!

But the point is to offer something to the former customer. Show them you care… but not just about getting their money.

Provide them with value and show them you’re eager to keep them on as a valued user.

4. Show them what they’re missing out on

Flaunt your stuff! 🕺 Whether you’ve got upcoming new features that are a gamer changer, or you think the customer just doesn’t quite get the excellence of your product.

Either way, let them know. Let everyone know, too! But target your AWOL churner with emails or a call showing them what your product can do for them.

This is about providing value. And in this case, flagging up exactly what that is. Things like:

  • How your product saves the user time.
  • And how it saves them money.
  • How it helps them to complete their goals.
  • And how it does the above better than anyone else!

5. Offer to pause their account for a while

Another option is to allow a bit of time off. And why not? We all like to chill out from time to time.

The benefit of this is you showing you’re flexible. You’re not demanding anything, rather than offering a bit of time away from their account until they need it again.

This may suit many users as, frankly, not everyone needs to use certain software all the time. Probably one of the reasons why some accounts fall into disuse.

By showing your flexibility, you open up the door for the user’s return in the future.

6. Offer a product downgrade

After speaking to a customer, it may also become clear they don’t need the full features in the package they’re on.

So, you could recommend a downgrade.

They’ll get the features they need at a cheaper price, heightening the value they’re getting from your product.

And you get to miss out on a dreaded churn.

7. Offer a free trial of your best package

Sometimes it’s best to offer your best. And for free.

If you have a customer who was rather unhappy with you, then why not offer them a free run with your ultimate offering?

By showcasing the very best of your software, this may prove the turning point. When they get their hands on your very finest features, and all for free over a set period, then you may well have a customer for life.

Well worth a shot, should the opportunity crop up.

8. Provide a smörgåsbord of reasons to keep subscribing

For some customers, there’s no one fix here and you may need to get creative. How so? By combining a mixture of everything above. And with anything else you can think up.

In other words, a mishmash of features, services, and offers to complement your wish to get a customer back on board.

They may even make a few requests.

If this business/team/person has a lot of value for you then, yes, it’s a good idea to bend to some of their whims.

But this level of commitment isn’t worth it for everyone who leaves your subscription list. Perhaps best save it for your loyal customers who suddenly depart.

One of the worst possible churns is when a long-term user calls it a day. So, it makes sense to try and win them over again.  

9. Try to get in before product abandonment

One of the big signals a customer is set to churn is when they stop using your product.

Pretty unsurprising, of course, but you can check your engagement data to flag this up before they leave.

SaaS industry legend Neil Patel summed this up with the below chart he found on Bluenose.

A chart displaying the drivers of churn in SaaS.

So, one of the steps you need to take is to avoid customer disuse. And keeping track of product engagement data is a good start.

A login regularity metric is a good starting point here. But for others with more frequent logins, check how long they use your features for.

If alarm bells are sounding, then you can pre-empt a user from calling it a day. Or, when they do, you’ll be ready and waiting for them with an awesome win-back package.

Or just get in touch with them—an email would do it. A reminder you’re there and if you can help them with anything.

10. Use an exit survey

Last of all, if the user really is calling it a day and wants to leave then you should look to get proper feedback from them.

You can try out an exit survey for this. It can be in simple email form, but use it as a chance to ask for honest feedback.

The more candid the former user is with their response, the more details you have to go off and make some solid improvements.

Like we flagged up at the start of this guide, they come back with honest explanations. But any reason is better than none at all.

Build on your feedback to develop a product where using an exit survey will be as rare as a SaaS festival.

As in, not that rare (as churn always happens), but rare enough for you to get worried about it. And instead use it as a chance to gather actionable data.

Customer cancellations—your step-by-step solution

Summing things up, then, below you can follow our gathering of the top tips to follow.

As soon as a customer cancels on you, you can steel yourself, put on your professionalism cap, and try to win them back.

  • Learn as much as possible about why they’re leaving.
  • Take the steps outlined in this guide to win them back—communicate with them, upsell, offer discounts, and be helpful.
  • Consider ways to measure your success in the future.
  • Review your customer data often for more insights.
  • Look to reward loyal customers.
  • Continuously add value to your product.

With the above in mind, you can create an action-packed customer success strategy to keep your users happily subscribing.

As that’s the goal here. To stop as many of your subscribers from wanting to leave in the first place.

But, well… you’ll always have some churn.

Better to have some plan of action ready to fall back on then, eh? Our 10 steps will help you along nicely.

And there’s also our guide to building customer relationships with some further helpful steps.

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