Some of your customers will eventually leave. No one wants to admit it, but no matter how much value you provide, a few people will drift away. You can’t entirely prevent it from happening. But if you put in the effort, you can create an offboarding process that leaves a positive impression and keeps the door open for future business.
Most companies don’t think much about what happens to customers who leave. In their eyes, anyone who abandons ship is a dead end for sales. These businesses spend all their time and energy on pampering new arrivals, leaving other customers to let the door hit them on the way out.
Today’s consumers may move in and out of relationships like the Kardashians, but they do care how you say goodbye. A well-executed offboarding strategy can have a host of benefits for smart businesses. You may not get the win today, but a dialogue of respect and a good final impression could earn your company a lifelong brand advocate.
Good Offboarding Makes Your Business Better
As in most relationships, the bonds between consumers and their favorite companies grow stronger (or weaker) in moments of conflict or need. One good customer service experience or helpful blog post can inspire someone to view a brand favorably, even when faced with difficulties down the road. Likewise, one flippant service rep or careless communication can turn a neutral relationship hostile.
When customers leave, you get one opportunity to nail the moment by which they will judge your brand in your absence. Mess up that opportunity, and you may not get a second chance.
Once a customer unsubscribes from your email list, life will return to the way it was before the two of you ever met. Think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—but instead of getting over a breakup, you make less money.
Research consistently proves that better offboarding experiences lead to positive returns on investment. Returning customers spend 67% more than new customers, and companies are 300% more likely to woo back an old customer than to acquire a new one, according to the Journal of Marketing Research. Even if your customers have decided to leave, you can still find value in that relationship by providing a good experience and treating them with respect.
How to Improve Your Customer Offboarding in 2020