Hi! I’m Anna Talerico with Married2Growth and it’s time to talk about how to bring a SaaS customer back from the brink of cancellation.
Too often I see companies throw in the towel early, thinking a cancellation is beyond their control. That’s a mistake, because customer churn can kill your SaaS business if you aren’t careful. That’s why, when it comes to customer cancellations my mantra has always been: Do whatever it takes to keep their business (assuming they are a “good fit” customer).
Here’s where to start. First, start with what you know. Did the customer explain why they are canceling? Is this a surprise, or was it a known issue? Can it be overcome? Get your arms around what you know.
Second, and this is more important, consider what you don’t know. To bring a customer back from cancellation you really, really, really need to understand the root of the issue(s). Sometimes the real root isn’t what the customer is saying. The customer says they are canceling because of X, but then you dig deep, it’s really Y. If you want to win a customer back, you must go deeper than what they are presenting to you. Often, customers don’t even know how to articulate what the real issue is, or how to do the internal sleuthing to get to the bottom of it. So that becomes your job.
Third, when you understand the real root issue, do whatever it takes to save them from cancellation, by any means necessary. A root problem might be that they never gained business value from your product. Why is that? Did they implement it poorly? If so, implement it for them correctly, teach them good strategy, coach and guide them until they can succeed on their own. The best tool is useless in the hands of a bad craftsman. Did one team buy your product to solve a problem, but then hand it off to be used by people who never bought in and weren’t part of the evaluation team? Fly to their office and camp out until you can create an “ah-ha” moment for everyone. Understand what people want, and what their objectives and goals are. Help them see your product through that light. Maybe the issue is that an executive is slashing budgets. Get yourself in front of that executive and understand their KPIs and their business goals. The bottom line is that if you want to bring a customer back from the brink of cancellation you are going to have to solve a problem they aren’t able to solve for themselves.
Fourth, and finally, move on if you know you can’t solve it, or if the customer isn’t worth saving. Are all customers worth the all-out effort it may take to save them? Absolutely not. Can you solve every cancellation reason? No. Before you throw all your resources, time, energy and love at trying to bring them back from the brink of cancellation, determine if you actually should. But also, don’t throw in the towel if they are a good fit customer—save them from cancelling, but any means necessary.
So, that’s it. Thanks for watching, and I hope you will join me on the Married2Growth blog where we write, and talk, about lots of stuff just like this.