While the thought of losing a SaaS user is a hard pill to swallow, it’s not necessarily the end of the road.
This user offboarding checklist can prevent customers from going through with their cancellations. You’re not going to save every single user - some churn can't be solved. But some users will stay if you follow the right approach.
Let’s dive straight in and define what user offboarding is in the context of SaaS.
What Is User Offboarding?
User offboarding is the process users go through when they leave a SaaS product or service.
This includes handling the cancellation of the user's subscription and removing their access to the account.
Even though user offboarding is not a particularly pleasant experience for any SaaS business, it is an essential part of the customer lifecycle. Churn is inevitable.
You should treat offboarding as an opportunity to gather valuable feedback. It's the best opportunity to figure out how you could update your product to prevent similar users to churn in the future.
Treating users well during their offboarding process can help preserve your reputation and increase the likelihood of future referrals or re-engagement.
8 Item Checklist to User Offboarding
1. Set Up An Offboarding Process
Establishing a clear and documented offboarding process is crucial for ensuring consistency and reducing the risk of mistakes along the way.
This process should outline the necessary steps to take when a user decides to cancel their subscription. It should also include any relevant policies, such as refund policies or data protection policies, to have top of mind.
2. Provide An Easy Cancellation Process
While you hope to save some users along the way, you should still make it relatively easy for users to cancel their subscriptions.
This means offering clear instructions on how to cancel, providing self-service cancellation options, and ensuring that there are no hidden fees or strings attached to cancelling. These can only lead to frustration from the customer.
3. Collect Feedback
Offboarding surveys are invaluable.
They get you feedback on the churned user experience with your product. You can also use them as an opportunity to request an ‘interview’ with the user.
Their feedback could help shape the direction of the SaaS solution going forward.
4. Provide A Reason For Cancellation
This is an absolute must and it’s shocking that many SaaS companies still don’t insist on this.
You should request that users provide a reason for their cancellation. The best way to do this is through a multiple-choice form. It usually makes sense to add an ‘Other’ text box to the end of the multiple-choice form to ensure all bases are covered.
5. Process Refunds Without Delay
Do not mess around with refunds.
If the user is eligible for a refund, ensure that the refund is processed promptly. This should include any prorated refunds for the remaining time on their subscription.
Stay true to your policies and ensure refunds are honored in a timely manner. There's little to be gained from putting refunds on the back burner.
After some time, you should follow up with the user after the offboarding process is complete to ensure that everything was handled to their satisfaction.
This is an opportunity to address any outstanding concerns they may have and leave a lasting positive impression.
A follow-up should be sent regardless of the reason why they cancelled.
7. Analyze Feedback & Take Action
Once you have enough data, you should sit down and analyze the feedback collected from departing users.
When people do this, some actions that could address trends or patterns identified.
SaaS founders can often learn more from their most unhappy customers than their happiest customers. Using the feedback, you can take meaningful steps to improve the user experience and push it further.
8. Thank The User
You should go out of your way to personally thank the user for their business and for providing their feedback.
If you can show gratitude, this will leave a positive impression and help preserve the relationship with the user for the future.
It can also increase the likelihood of future referrals or re-engagement at a later date. In other words, don’t slam the door behind them!
SaaS User Offboarding Checklist (Closing Thoughts)
To summarize, here are the 8 actions you can take to design the perfect SaaS user offboarding experiences for existing customers:
- Establish an Offboarding process
- Avoid creating unnecessary obstacles when users attempt to cancel
- Create surveys to collect user feedback during the offboarding process
- Offer reassurance on how long the cancellation process will take
- Process refunds without any delay
- Follow up with the customer after time has passed
- Analyse user feedback and share it with the team
- Thank the user for using your product
When a customer enters the user offboarding process, all is not lost.
You are presented with one last opportunity to collect invaluable user feedback and potentially prevent the user from churning. A carefully-crafted user offboarding process can plug some holes in a leaking bucket of SaaS users and prevent unnecessary churn.
If you're building an offboarding experience, check out our Offboarding Cheatsheet as a first step to improve your retention.
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