It is always hard to have to lose a customer, especially if you put a lot of effort into getting them to sign up for your products/services in the first place. This is understandable; however the methods some companies use to prevent this from happening are not.
In an effort to reduce the number of cancellations for subscriptions, many companies come up with dubious methods to reduce the chances of this occurring. Some companies make it a requirement for the customer to call them up in order to cancel their subscription. The rationale behind this is most customers will never get round to actually calling, while the ones who do will be “sweet-talked” by the person on the other end not to.
Other companies require that the customer send an email in order to unsubscribe, and most of such companies purposefully take forever to reply. Others carefully hide the unsubscribe/cancel option in their website so that it is near impossible for their customers find it while many others still simply do not disclose any information on how a customer can unsubscribe.
While all these might appear like smart moves to you, they are not. The adverse effects of adopting such measures in your business will largely outweigh any benefits you could have gotten. The following are the main reasons why you should not make cancellation difficult for your customers.
1. Subscription phobia
If you adopt such methods you will be among the companies that are actively propagating subscription phobia without your knowledge. Many people avoid any products or services that require recurrent payments like the plague, and you will not be making it much easier for them to trust you if you use such methods. In your efforts to retain the few customers that you already have, you might be shutting out a whole lot more!
2. Bad business reputation
Many companies that provide products or services that require subscription do not really think about how negatively unsatisfied customers could impact their business. You might get the immediate satisfaction of keeping those customers and having their payments coming in every other time, but bear in mind that your customers will talk!
Unsatisfied customers are usually the most vocal in their reviews and in other online forums, and if you get enough negative reviews your company’s reputation will be trashed. Since most people do their research online nowadays before they purchase anything, you could as well kiss your business good bye if you have been painted as the devil online!
3. Eventual loss of those customers
You might make it next to impossible for your customers to cancel their subscription, but you need to remember that there is no subscription that lasts forever. You can be rest assured that all the customers you frustrate in this manner will definitely not renew their subscription when the time comes! This makes all your effort to keep them pointless.
Bear in mind also that if the methods you use are such that it is apparent that there is some mischief involved, you might even find yourself facing a lawsuit, and that is the last thing you need!
Do not make your customers feel trapped because they subscribed for your products/services. Make it easy for them to cancel their subscriptions if they feel the need to, and even if you might feel the pinch in the beginning, you will definitely reap the rewards in time!