These are just lovely.
A lot has been written about how we should make it easy for people to sign up for a service whether that’s optimising the UX or shortening a cumbersome registration process. What we don’t hear much about is the ease with which customers should be able to leave a service.
For obvious reasons, we make our services as sticky as possible. We work hard to ensure that without our service, our user will find it hard to save time, money or effort. And for all the associated effort we marketers put into ensuring our customers are satisfied, the journey shouldn’t end with a smooth sign up or onboarding or license renewal. It must also end with the our customers being able to leave easily.
Now, the circumstances by which they leave can vary. Nevertheless, whether they leave on happy terms or sad, we should strive to make it easy for customers.
Take my recent experiences with cancelling my subscriptions to the wall street journal and the New York Times.
I’ve had an NYT subscription for 2 years now but find I’m reading it less and less. My Wall Street Journal sub, I’ve had for 3 months, which was essentially a lapsed free trial. So, I looked on both sites for how to cancel. Both offered phone numbers but only one provided an alternative.
I called the Wall Street Journal on the European number provided on the site. I was then told my subscription was with the US so I needed to be transferred to a different department. Fine. Call transferred. I was then asked some security details and told that I’d been passed to the wrong department. I was then forwarded to the ‘correct’ department. I then endured a fractious 10minute call with a disinterested rep, to whom I had to repeat my details three times and spell out my name phonetically. We talked briefly about my wish to cancel my subscription and at this point, I think he gave up. He told me he’ll cancel my account. “Thank you,” I said “when will my cancellation be eff…” brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. He hung up. Splendid. I’m still awaiting the confirmation.
Compare this with my experience with the New York Times. On the cancellation section of their Help page, I was given the option to phone or live chat. I took the live chat as I honestly thought it was too good to be true. Turns out it is true. Fantastically so. A chat window popped open. I submitted my email address and I was introduced to Brianna who, after stating that I wanted to cancel my subscription, set about doing just that. Other than asking why I was leaving, there was no upsell, no counteroffer. Just a simple thank you for your readership. I was then presented with a net promoter survey. All good. Seamless. No hassle. Positive.
As a result, I have two very different experiences. I honestly don’t think it’s a difficult thing to be able to deliver.
There is no reason that customers shouldn’t be delighted to leave.
A mix of old(ish) and new in here but all songs I’ve been enjoying in one way or another in August.
- Dive/Beach House
- Bow Shock/Ben Chatwin
- Money Folder (Four Tet Remix – Instrumental)/Madvillain
- I Have Been To The Mountain/Kevin Morby
- Sentient Oona/Oh Sees
- Sunrise/New Order
- Staring at the Sun/Wooden Shjips
- Here with the Hawk/Dead Meadow
- Fists of Fury/Kamasi Washington
- Solid Silk/Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
- Out the Window (Greg Wilson & Che Wilson Mix)/Confidence Man
I’m a big fan of Spotify. I’m a big fan of their Discover Weekly playlist. I’m a big fan of Searching for the young soul rebels by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
This track popped up on my discover weekly playlist. It’s an absolute gem. I’m leaving it here.
For those of you using the Discover Weekly playlist. Here’s a link to a very handy IFTTT recipe for archiving your playlists.
Location: I live in Scottsdale, Arizona
Current computers: Company issue Lenovo and a Macbook Pro
Current mobile devices: iPhone 6 and Google Pixel 2
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Evernote, Todoist, Sonos, Spotify, headspace, V60 for coffee, Moleskine notebook and pen
What’s your workspace like? Tidy (ish). Laptop, two monitors. My desk is kept clear for the most part. I have some decent art on the wall to inspire me and I have my own v60. I’m about to add a standing desk.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? I could say ‘Not opening my emails until 10am’ but the best shortcut is to invest time in building your own process for getting things done. Being able to capture, collect and process all incoming stuff efficiently is key. I can’t recommend enough David Allen’s two books ‘Getting Things Done’ and ‘Making It Happen’ to build a framework for how to, well, get things done. ‘How to be a productivity Ninja’ by Graham Allcott is also a great read.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? errrr. Remembering useless stuff like actors names, bus timetables. Handy in a pub quiz though.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Todoist. Hands down.
What are you currently reading? Inside New order by Peter Hook; Get Some Headspace by Andi Puddicome, I also have a Rebus novel on the go.
What’s your sleep routine like? Must try harder. Bed by 10pm, alarm is set for 6am. always awake at 5am. I’m an early bird but it also means I become next to useless by 9pm at night.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Don’t rise to it.” When I was younger I would easily get wound up by little things, my Mum and Dad taught me to ignore it. I still struggle from time to time.
“You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you”Marcus Aurelius
I’ve just finished re-reading Les McKeown’s Lead. It is an area I’ve been reading into lately for a number of reasons. Primarily, it was to get a clearer understanding of what leadership really is. It’s a term that gets thrown around, seemingly at will.
Les defines leadership as
” helping any group of two or more people achieve their common goals”
So it’s really about people adding value rather than knowing more than anyone else. It’s certainly not defined by rank or seniority.
This means that there will be leaders scattered throughout any organisation. They won’t have a fancy title or perhaps even see themselves as leaders. These are people who will do something differently, take on a new challenge, experiment and test. They will quietly deliver projects and actions that help their colleagues, their departments, and their companies achieve their common goals.
In whatever shape or form these actions are, they will undoubtedly take several other members of the organisation with them. And when these individuals act and behave as leaders it will become a natural step rather than a conscious decision to follow.
Pleased to have been a judge for this year’s B2B Marketing Awards. Once again I’m astounded by the quality of all the entries. The creativity and the results continue to demonstrate, to me at least, the B2B marketing is in rude health.
Best of luck to all the companies and individuals nominated.