Make it easy for customers to leave

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 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.


Photo Credit: <a href=””>classic_film</a&gt; Flickr via <a href=””>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

7 of my favourite Podcasts.

In 2015, I’ve really up my consumption of Podcasts. I’ve been listening to Podcasts since about 2005, however it’s only in the last 12 months that I’ve really opened up to the wide variety. There are some that I listen to once or twice then unsubscribe and there are some that I religiously consume and there are those that I save for specific activities such as running.


Listed below are the ones I’ve really enjoyed in 2015.


If I recall this was the first podcast I ever subscribed too and have been a huge fan ever since. The Beebs flagship film programme, its the benchmark for great podcasting. I save it for the long weekend runs. Oh, and hello to Jason Isaacs.


I’ve been a huge fan of Adam and Joe for a very long time and the podcast of their 6music show still gets a fair bit of airtime in our house. It was therefore only natural that I’d immediately take a liking to Adam’s self-styled ‘Chatramble’. The latest edition with Louis Theroux is one of the funniest podcasts I’ve heard this year.


One of the longer podcasts I listen too, with most posting over two hours, Tim Ferris does an excellent job of diving into the interviewee. What I like about them is that they are all very relaxed and he’s clearly got an excellent understanding of the interview technique. He just let’s it flow.


I should listen to this more often and another one that I save for long runs. The recent episode ‘Status Update’ is a fascinating insight into how we perceive our own status.


I’m a relative newcomer to Answer Me This. The public submit questions, the hosts answer it. A very simple premise, excellent entertainment.


At 20 minutes long this fills the time it takes for me to walk from London Bridge to my office. It offers a really quick insight into whats happening in marketing each week. I just wish they would change their title music.


I’ve been looking for a decent rugby podcast for ages and was recommended this one during this year’s rugby world cup. It doesn’t take itself too seriously which is where I think other rugby podcasts let themselves down.


By and large, I’ll listen to each of the above every week, the list below are the ones I dip in and out of but should probably listen to more often:



Are there any podcasts not featured here that you think I should be listening to in 2016?


Photo Credit: Rusty Sheriff via Compfight cc

Things I loved in September 2015

A couple of things I found and loved in September 2015:


A Short lesson in Perspective by Linds Redding: If you only pay attention to one thing in this post then make it this one.

Let Me Work, Please: A Case for Fewer & More Productive Meetings

Evolving the Google identity

25 ways to ask your kids so how was school today without asking them so how was school today

The selling of the Krays: how two mediocre criminals created their own legends


The Adam Buxton Podcast


Houndstooth – No News from Home



Photo Credit: <a href=””>Djaron van Beek</a> Flickr via <a href=””>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”″>cc</a&gt;

Giving a little back, social style

Following on from my previous post about the desire for followers versus a desire to help, well, here is the ultimate helping tool, Cofacio.

Calling itself a help engine it is a more ‘concious’ version of say yahoo answers. You simply join Cofacio, either post a question, or search for a topic that you feel you can provide an answer for, it could be films, wine or skateboards. Every time you post a question or an answer, you earn points. You can then donate those points to a cause, which in turn is supported by the sponsors.

I’ve had a quick play around with it. I’ve not posted any questions yet but I have answered a few. Personally, I think it is one to watch.