Off-Boarding Process?

Brian O'Keeffe
Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 202 Expert
First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment

On-boarding is the focus of so many of us but how do we handle off-boarding? A topic that has a lot less discussion and thought. Here are my thoughts:

  1. Make it easy and simple. I have seen so many off-boarding experiences that are the modeled on a Soviet era system: painful, punitive, unclear and as challenging as possible. After all they are leaving us, right? The heck with them! When I experience this (think any cable provider) my goal is NEVER patronize them again and spread my negative experience every chance I get.
  2. No tricks or traps. Yes, it's your data and we will give you a full export, unformatted. Or without any directions, knowing full well that few will have any idea what to do with it. Ha! Nothing ticks me off more as a consumer than the bait and switch, or outright lies that are told to get in the door. That half-price offer? That expired last week, sorry we forgot to tell you when you sat down! Never do this to customers. Always be upfront and honest during off-boarding.
  3. With grace, style and integrity. It is never fun to lose a customer. Often it has nothing to do with usage or getting value out of it. Mergers, or a change of leadership are out of our control. When you burn a customer and make them jump through hoops, or try to trick or trap them, they will NEVER BE BACK and spread the word of the lousy experience everywhere they go, for life. You want advocates who remember you if not fondly, without anger or hatred. Ones who might say, yes, that was good software and we should consider it.


  • ashley_martin
    ashley_martin Member Posts: 30 Navigator
    5 Insightfuls First Anniversary 5 Likes First Comment

    I completely agree with these, but especially number three. Many times them leaving is out of the users control. The better you are in the off boarding process the more likely they will come back when they can afford it, or they can convince the new leadership of the value they were once getting from the product.

    Also, these spaces are small just because you are not supporting that customer anymore doesn't mean that you won't see them again at another company. It's your reputation as well.

  • miguelm
    miguelm Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    Photogenic First Comment

    Agreed but to a certain extent. Let me clarify.

    Companies should never make customers jump through unnecessary hoops - that's just silly. They'll cancel anyway. I saw a ridiculous example somewhere else (

    However, there are customers that can be saved at the moment of cancellation. Either because they were not able to set up properly, because they were not sure of some functionality or the ROI just is not there. It's a bit of a balancing act between making sure you do what you can to serve customers and the risk of annoying them.

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 202 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment

    The assumption is that they have canceled and are beyond saving. The key is to use data and human skills to identify those at risk early. So many leave because of easily resolvable items or critical, but simple festering issues that snowballed. Those that choose to leave often are told "lotsa luck with that" and get the screws tightened to make it incredibly painful and cumbersome are the ones referred to.

    American business loves to install tricks and traps which gain or might retain revenue, briefly, but almost always turn every single person it touches into an avowed detractor for life.

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