6 Cancellation Flow Examples To Help Reduce Customer Churn in SaaS [+How to Build One]

If you’re looking for the best cancellation flow examples for SaaS, you’re in the right place.

While it’s normal for some users to unsubscribe for reasons, you shouldn’t just let it happen without doing something about it.

And I’m not talking about making canceling their subscription impossible.

I’m referring to creating a process that promotes customer retention by providing them with options and incentives designed to keep their subscription.

This post discusses the following:

  • What a cancellation flow is and why it’s important.
  • Examples of the best SaaS cancellation flow for inspiration.
  • How to quickly develop and implement a cancellation flow for your business.

TL;DR

  • A cancellation flow reduces customer churn by offering users alternatives that make keeping their accounts more feasible.
  • At the very least, cancellation flow helps you gather customer data that you can use to proactively reduce churn and improve customer retention.
  • Your cancellation process should increase the possibility that previous customers will use your services again.
  • Your cancellation flow must give customers complete control over deciding whether to unsubscribe or not.
  • Find why customers want to unsubscribe using an exit survey with multiple choice questions.
  • Limit your survey to the fewest questions possible so you can collect more answers.
  • Make personalized offers to customers planning to cancel based on their current plan and usage.
  • Build a cancellation flow with Userpilot without having to code in three simple steps: build a modal with a microsurvey, build custom user segments using the data collected, and offer personalized alternatives to canceling.
  • Automate your cancellation flow! Get a Userpilot demo to see how.

What is a cancellation flow?

A cancellation flow is an automation flow type a user must take when cancellation a product or subscription service.

Often referred to as exit surveys or churn surveys, a flow is not just a simple survey. It also includes offering alternatives during the offboarding process and collecting and using the data to improve customer experience in the long run.

Why should you implement a cancellation flow?

Cancellation flow is critical to the success of your SaaS business, and below are ways how it can help:

A cancellation flow helps retain existing customers

This flow type’s objective is to keep customers from canceling and reduce customer churn. But it’s done so that customers have complete control over their decision.

By forcing them to keep their subscription, you remove their freedom to choose what’s best for them.

If that’s the case, you’ll piss off all your customers — even your most loyal ones — causing each one of them to opt out of your services.

So, the best you can do with a cancellation flow is to remind them of your product or service’s value and offer an alternative solution to get back in their good graces.

A cancellation process helps collect valuable feedback

Believe it or not, a customer canceling their subscription with your SaaS is not the worst thing that could happen.

Losing a customer because it’s simply not working out is better than forcing one that doesn’t want to use your services in the first place.

But before they unsubscribe, ask questions about their decision using churn surveys.

You can then use customer feedback data to improve your product and service and prevent more customers from opting out.

For instance, you can unearth insights regarding features or functionalities in your service that are half-baked or missing. From here, you can find ways to improve existing features or include new ones in the product.

cancellation-flow-example-churn-survey

Cancelation flows leave the door open to re-engage churned users

Just because customers canceled their subscription doesn’t mean they won’t come back in the future.

This flow type lets you give people a proper send-off and appreciate their time with you as customers.

From here, your show of class will pave the way for their eventual return months or years from now.

Also, you can take a more proactive approach by using the reasons why they left your business to re-engage and get them to re-subscribe.

This personal approach enables you to directly address former customers’ issues with your SaaS and show that you value their feedback enough to integrate them into your services.

Best cancellation flow examples from SaaS companies

An effective cancellation process can provide an excellent customer experience, if not improve user retention.

  • Userpilot — well-composed cancelation flow offering various options to keep customers without being pushy.
  • Slack — downgrade and upgrade instructions that give customers the information they need to decide.
  • Asana — conversion-focused flow with a clear call to action for each step.
  • Mailchimp — option to pause subscription followed by a comprehensive exit survey.
  • Zoom — two-step flow starting with an exit survey and an alternative offer, both steps appearing as popups.
  • Mixpanel — a simple exit survey that goes straight to the point.

Let’s discuss below why and how each of these SaaS companies has some of the best cancellation flow examples.

1. Userpilot’s cancellation flow

Userpilot offers customer success teams tools to deliver personalized in-app experiences at different stages of a customer journey for maximum growth.

Here’s what our cancellation process looks like.

Offering users to contact support

Before customers can cancel their accounts, we offer the chance to contact customer support for questions. Oftentimes, users just have a hard time figuring out how to use tools so prompting them to reach for help is a good alternative.

Userpilot offering to contact support as part of the cancellation flow

There’s also an option to downgrade their subscription plan if they are unhappy with their current one or their needs have changed and they are trying to reduce costs.

The beauty of both options is they don’t appear desperate for attention.

We present these options as viable choices to customers while being impartial to their decision process.

Multi-choice exit survey

Once customers decide on canceling the account, we use a simple survey to understand the reason why they’re canceling in the form of a multiple choice question.

userpilot multi-choice exit survey in its cancellation flow

Making them choose the reason instead of getting them to type makes the cancellation flow as frictionless as possible. It increases the likelihood that we’ll receive an answer from them.

But if the reason isn’t listed, customers can enter their own on the blank text field below the form just above the “Continue” button.

Alternatives meant to reduce customer churn

Aside from letting customers choose a different plan, we offer options and incentives to try and keep them from leaving as a last-ditch effort.

They can choose from pausing their subscription for six months or getting three months’ worth of Userpilot for free. Note that these offers are personalized based on the reasons users pick in the exit survey before.

userpilot offering alternatives to keep customers from cancelling their accounts

By pausing the account, users can resubscribe after six months with their data still intact.

The latter option is risky since certain customers may abuse the free 3-month subscription. Make sure to calculate the risk and reward of a free subscription before presenting it as a viable option.

2. Slack’s cancellation flow

Slack is among the market’s most popular online team communications and collaboration tools.

While the free version is more than enough for most businesses, their paid solutions offer better storage, integrations, and voice calls for those who need them.

Here’s how this SaaS company approaches its cancellation flow:

Downgrade options and promotions

Slack will be changing its Pro plan price starting in September of 2022. For various reasons, changes like these sometimes don’t go well with SaaS users.

What Slack did was to first communicate these changes to paying customers.

The Overview page provided information about their current plan and how customers can keep the current price and not pay for the increased cost, with a Price lock-in offer before cancelling.

slack upgrade and downgrade options in the billing page

To encourage users to take action on their accounts, Slack indicated the date when the lock-in price offer would expire. This gives them enough time to decide and secure their account before the deadline.

On the next page, Slack shows you a preview of the plan changes, depending on which action you take.

slack shows you a preview of the plan changes before users confirm

It covers everything you must know about your plan moving forward, although they could have made it shorter for brevity.

Another downside to making the preview account page long is that users must scroll down the page to see the downgrade button.

slack confirms you one last time before you proceed with the plan change

Exit survey with no alternatives

Like our approach, Slack launches an exit survey asking users to explain why they’re upgrading or downgrading plans in a multiple choice question.

slack exit survey has no alternatives

But Slack decided not to offer alternatives based on their actions. Doing so puts users on a one-track mind to push through with their decision.

3. Asana’s cancellation flow example

One of the best project management tools around, Asana, is a wise choice for agile businesses due to its reasonable pricing for plans chock full of useful features and integrations.

At the same time, it has a clean and simple cancellation flow that you can replicate in your SaaS business.

Cancellation reason form

Asana takes the Slack route by presenting multiple choices for customers to choose from, explaining to the company why they’re leaving.

Starting to notice a pattern here?

It’s as simple as a user feedback survey would come. Customers can click on the reason that best applies to them and press “Continue.”

asana cancellation flow starting with multiple choice exit survey

Personalized alternative

The next step of the cancellation flow is where Asana presents its counter-offer.

Based on your plan and usage, it will suggest you upgrade or downgrade your account.

In the example above, Asana took the number of seats you’re using in your current plan into consideration for this personalized offer.

asana offers personalized offers before users can cancel

By directly addressing areas in a customer’s account that remain underused, they can present an alternative offer to reduce the customer churn rate.

More importantly, the page isn’t busy with other irrelevant information, making the personalized alternative shine through. It allows customers to see the advantage of staying with Asana instead of unsubscribing.

4. Mailchimp’s cancellation flow example

One of the most popular email marketing platforms for years, Mailchimp continues to provide everything businesses need to promote and make sales from their brand via email automation and customer segmentation.

As good as its features and solutions are, its cancellation flow qualifies as a good example of proper offboarding.

Pause option

Before allowing customers to cancel their accounts, Mailchimp loads a page giving them an option to pause their billing cycle, or permanently delete their accounts.

mailchimp lets you pause your subscription instead of deleting it completely

What’s interesting in this approach is the warning, “Only paid monthly accounts can pause.” That means annual subscribers will lose their data once they cancel their accounts.

Even if you’re a monthly subscription, this warning shows you the gravity of the situation should you decide to cancel your account.

Mailchimp designed this page to make subscribers think twice about whether to go through with the cancellation and bear with the consequences.

Long-form exit survey

The next step customers must take before canceling their accounts is to participate in a comprehensive exit survey.

mailchimp lets you complete a comprehensive exit survey before canceling your account

The survey consists of four questions, two of which are multiple choice questions while the other half are open questions.

But having more than a question in your survey that isn’t a multiple choice may cause customers to skip the survey altogether.

If you plan on designing your exit survey similar to Mailchimp, monitor its performance for a few months. If the engagement rate is lower than expected, consider decreasing the questions to improve it.

5. Zoom’s cancellation flow

Zoom is now synonymous with online video communications, especially since companies transitioned to a remote setup these past few years.

Below is the steps Zoom take in its cancellation flow:

Feedback survey popup

A popup appears whenever you click on canceling your account. It asks for user feedback regarding why you wish to unsubscribe.

zoom shows a modal popup of the exit survey

The advantage of using a popup to feature microsurvey like this is that loading the survey is much faster than loading it on a brand new page.

Also, you can set the popups to blur or darken the surrounding area, so all eyes are on the survey, thus increasing engagement.

Offer an alternative

After answering the short survey, Zoom will present a counter-offer to keep customers from unsubscribing.

zoom then offers a simple alternative before you decide on canceling

It’s not a personalized offer compared to Asana’s. But it’s a much lower offer than the customer’s current subscription, which is still a valiant attempt at keeping them.

6. Mixpanel’s cancellation flow

Mixpanel should be familiar with cancellation flows since this SaaS tool helps businesses increase conversions and retention.

Below is their take on the cancellation process:

Exit survey

The cancellation flow begins with a survey asking people why they’re unsubscribing, what they plan on doing with their analytics, and other details they want to share with the company.

mixpanel has a simple exit survey

After submitting the survey, Mixpanel cancels the account and deletes customer data. There’s no attempt to offer an option or incentive to keep customers from leaving.

It’s not the ideal flow but Mixpanel can use this data to improve the experience of future users.

How to build a cancellation flow without having to code

You’re not wrong to think that creating in-app surveys can be difficult. But Userpilot makes designing them quickly by following this three-step process:

Build an exit survey

Choose between a modal (popup) or microsurvey for your questionnaire.

From here, just simply indicate the common reasons why your customers leave based on research.

build-an-exit-survey-without-coding

Ideally, you want to include “Other” as one of the choices. Upon clicking on it, a text field should appear where customers can type in the reason not mentioned in the list.

Create custom segments for each response

The beauty of Userpilot’s in-app surveys is the ability to organize customers into segments based on their behavior.

The goal is to group users that share the same user attributes.

you can also segment customers based on user attributes using userpilot

These attributes include clicking the cancellation button, engaging with your survey modal, and typing a response in your cancellation form.

These attributes also express the desire of customers to unsubscribe from your SaaS tool. In this case, you need to group them in the same segment together.

From here, only people in this segment can receive a specific alternative offer.

Set up personalized alternatives for each segment

It’s possible to have multiple segments of customers looking to cancel their accounts.

To keep them from leaving, you must propose downgrading their accounts or a custom solution to accommodate their needs better.

set up your alternatives and offers to customers planning on leaving

Offering the correct plan for each segment helps you increase conversions and get more people to stay.

Conclusion

Knowing how to create your cancellation flow from the examples above encourages them to stay as customers.

You also make customers experience respect and appreciation even after leaving, paving the way for them to try your business again soon.

Have these cancelation flow examples inspired you? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can design the steps in your cancellation process to be optimized for increasing engagement and reducing churn.

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Userpilot Team

Userpilot Team

Userpilot is a Product Growth Platform designed to help product teams improve product metrics through in-app experiences without code. Check out userpilot.com