Subscription businesses have never been more successful. Craving a movie? Log onto Netflix. Bored on your commute to work? Subscribe to Spotify. One can even book a Porsche on a monthly subscription! But as we have seen a surge in the subscription companies coming up, we have also seen a hike in the dubious ways they try to keep you on board.
This has led to an unhealthy trend, especially in the younger startups, trying to keep the cancellation rates down. It’s always hard to see a customer leave, especially when acquiring that customer was hard in the first place. But this doesn’t justify the fishy ways the companies try to keep the customers from cancelling.
Also, companies need to realise that loyal customers are the ones they really make money off at the end, so it’s important to keep them satisfied rather than trying to hold on to them in dubious ways.
Be it car insurance, credit card or a cable service, it has become quite tedious to find that ‘cancel button’, hiding somewhere in the smallest font possible! Some companies even require customers to give them a call for all cancellation related queries. And it is not uncommon that these calls often go unattended.
As a result, customers have to be very motivated to cancel the service in order to go through such a hassle in the first place.
Well established companies like Audible also try and hold on to every last customer they possibly can! Notice the more prominent colour and font on the ‘Put on Hold’ button?
Companies which try to pull such tricks don’t consider what effect it has on new customers that are looking to opt for the service. Such companies are actively propagating subscription phobia especially amongst customers trying out subscriptions for the first time. 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!
Such companies don’t understand the negative effect unsatisfied customers could have on the business. Such unsatisfied customers are often the most vocal about their views on the internet and otherwise and can cause a considerable blow to the reputation of the organization and in some cases even the sales.
In the end, the question organisations need to ask themselves is what is more important and impactful in the long term, is holding onto a handful of customers using dubious techniques worth the negative impact it can have on the business as a whole?
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