DNR- Do Not Renew

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar Member Posts: 12 Contributor
edited August 2020 in Strategy & Planning
Hi guys,

I was hoping to see what all strategies we can use for clients who are still in the contract but asked to cancel at renewal. What are the different ways we can reach out to them and get them back.

Any suggestions will be helpful.


  • Devin Swindall
    Devin Swindall Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited August 2020
    Hey Amit,

    The key to knowing how to get them back is understanding why they are not renewing. This knowledge will empower you to provide value to the customer by identifying the solution to their barrier in renewing.  For example, we had an account that the primary user left for a new job but we were not aware of that. 90 days out the account said they weren't renewing. We were able to identify the issue (lost their primary user), work with the account to identify a new user, and supplemented with services and training to save the renewal and adopt the new user. If you are having trouble getting in contact with the customer, there is a good thread that discussed strategy when a customer goes dark: https://www.gaingrowretain.com/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=1&MessageKey=b5373fb9-bc45-4764-8449-4731035f8b96&CommunityKey=1261a423-6343-48a3-a722-6c04f19eacc8&tab=digestviewer&ReturnUrl=%2fcommunities%2fcommunity-home%2fdigestviewer%3fcommunitykey%3d1261a423-6343-48a3-a722-6c04f19eacc8%26tab%3ddigestviewer

    Hope this helps!
  • Ja'Rod Morris
    Ja'Rod Morris Member Posts: 16 Thought Leader
    First Anniversary
    edited August 2020
    Hi Amit, 
    1. Has any feedback been gathered as to why the clients are ready to terminate their contract? 
    2. Were there any conversations before receiving notice that would provide any insight? 
    If you don't know why they are leaving, you can reach out to critical stakeholders and position it as an 'exit interview.' "We are looking to continue to improve, and your honest feedback will help us understand where we have opportunities to continue to grow." You will rarely get a hard 'no' here. Even if they have already taken steps to change solutions and gone out to bid, while excluding your organization, the feedback is invaluable. 

    You have to get an idea of why they want to cancel first and foremost. Otherwise, your remedies are blind approaches.

    Ja'Rod Morris
    Tribe Strategy
    Original Message:
    Sent: 08-06-2020 10:17
    From: Amit
    Subject: DNR- Do Not Renew

    Hi guys,

    I was hoping to see what all strategies we can use for clients who are still in the contract but asked to cancel at renewal. What are the different ways we can reach out to them and get them back.

    Any suggestions will be helpful.

    Team leader, Client Success
  • BenB
    BenB Member Posts: 76 Expert
    5 Insightfuls Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited August 2020

    Hi @Amit - Great (yet extremely challenging) topic!    

    1.Remember what you're up against: Once a client decides NOT to renew it is extremely difficult to change their mind.  Rarely will a client cancel on a whim.  this means they've gone through a long process of review such as, survey all users, update  leadership  on their plans to cancel and why its such a good idea etc... They have mentally moved on, and in my experience they rarely look back.  Not impossible to save but very challenging.   

    side note - I'd  consider a program that implements "termination request tactics" for customers who are high risk of churn.  Meaning - if you're willing to knock 30% off the price for a customer who decides not to renew, maybe make this offer up front while a customer is potentially reviewing whether or not they want to cancel.  The risk here is you're leaving money on the table if the client was willing to renew at full price. but maybe saved 70% of revenue if they were going to cancel a month later.  This is challenging but i think has greater potential for success.  

    2.  Get them on the phone - sometimes this is a challenge in itself . I offer call the next day, and follow up until i can secure a call.   Don't just say "what day works for you" i will often tell them " i sent calendar invite on this day ... "  they're more likely to accept.  

    3.  Leverage Professional Services/Consulting - are there other typically expensive resources you can throw their way. 

    4.  Offer an executive review with all the bells and whistles prior to cancelling in hopes to catch their attention 

    5.  Ask to be part of the sales process if they're potentially switching to a competitor.  Tell them you can help find any errors from the sales team, AND if nothing else you can help them get a better deal if  they're competing head to head with your existing contract. 

    6.  Last and first 2 months free - give them cash now to secure the next contract (i always add the extra months to end of the new contract if possible). 

    7.  Can you offer stripped down version of your solution at a lesser cost (if budget is the issue). 

    8.  Review why they purchased initially - "when you signed up your #1 goal was to increase effeciency in 10 departments. we've made our way through 5, i know you wanted faster progress but you're so close. is efficency still the same priority as it was 6 months ago? What changed?" etc.... 

    I'm sure there are plenty more. but these are the first few that come to mind.

  • gurd3v
    gurd3v Member Posts: 70 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited August 2020
    Hi Amit, 

    Common problem many businesses face. We found a way to save 50% of our customers looking to exit the contract - either at the end of their term or in the middle - and here's how. 

    To do this well, you have to commit to understanding the "why" behind their intent to cancel. To do this effectively, dedicate a resource to facilitating these conversations separate from your CSM team (if you're a smaller team, maybe leverage a CSM to start before building the demand for a FTE). At the mention of a customer wanting to cancel, let them know in order to commence the process, they would need to speak with a member of your team. 

    Now that you have the "why," organize that data in a meaningful way. Start with a spreadsheet to organize all of your qualitative data. Once you compile a healthy list, organize by topical buckets. 

    Now take these topics and drive organizational change. 

    For the 50% you lose, you can start a win-back campaign. Start with an email hoping the customer is doing well, checking in to see if the problem your product solves for is being solved as well or better than your solution. If not, offer a call to discuss how your product could help (hopefully a few months after the customer leaves you have some product feature you can highlight the customer didn't have prior). 

    You can't just focus on the customers you lose and solve for that. Minimize winback's and maximize organizational change that drives a customer centric culture.