How to leverage cancellations | Who Gives A Crap's Jenna Tanenbaum

Neel Desai Jan 26 2022

A customer cancelling isn't the end of the world. What feels like a breakup should really be treated as a temporary break. If customers leave your brand with a bad taste in their mouth, they likely won't consider you as an option again. Which is why a smooth cancellation process is crucial.

On today's episode of Retention Talk, I speak with Jenna Tanenbaum, Head of Growth Marketing at Who Gives A Crap. We talk about using social proof to see what customers are saying about your brand, implementing exit surveys to figure out reasons for churn, and communicating early and often.


Listen now 🎧







Show takeaways

Key points discussed in the episode


We really try to treat a cancellation like a break and not a break up.”                                                                                                     

- Jenna Tanenbaum

Using social proof to see what customers are saying about your brand

Search your company name, a hashtag, or other key phrases on Twitter to see what folks are saying about you. Automation and outsourcing is your friend here, if the operation becomes too time intensive. Otherwise set up a time periodically to review any social proof that is out there.


Implementing exit surveys to figure out reasons for churn

There are all sorts of reasons folks will stop using your product. Adding a little bit of friction to the cancellation process can have a big impact on unlocking retention solutions. In the case of Jenna and Who Gives a Crap, some folks may just be re-engaging in a non-subscription manner.


Communicate early and often

The team at Who Gives a Crap makes sure to stay on top of their delinquent churn with dunning emails. When they noticed a high churn rate in Australia, they did some digging and found out that the hyperlink to update payment systems wasn’t working. Fortunately they caught it early due to consistent tracking and checking in with their metrics.


Take Action:

When customers cancel, it doesn't necessarily mean they're lost forever. In fact, cancellations make for great opportunities to win those customers back. Think about the pros of dealing with cancelled customers:

  • They signed up in the first place
  • They have experience with your product and a ton of knowledge about it
  • The product may still be an habitual part of their workflow.
Of course there's a reason they're looking to leave, so the clock's ticking on your opportunity to convert them back to MRR. Once you identify why a customer stopped using your product or service, you can begin mapping out a strategic plan to woo them back. But first, you want to make sure you're winning back the right customers.


The following three factors are proven tactics to help you win back the right customers.


1. Segment customers by reason for churning

Churn analysis helps you uncover clues and reasons why customers stop using your product or service and spot the trend to improve your retention rate. Unfortunately, it's easy for trends from some customers to get masked in the overall analysis as your user base grows.

To avoid this, segment customers with similar characteristics and analyze why those groups churn to prevent similar customers from leaving. Additionally, once you know why customers stop using your products, it's easy to take steps to address the issues before re-engaging and winning them back.


2. Implement customer feedback in product development

Customer feedback is a valuable and vast resource that ensures product innovation aligns with customers' present and future needs. In addition, customer data offers you a complete analysis of your product or service and helps you learn about its strength and weaknesses.

Listening to your customers helps you understand their expectations, and the reasons they stopped using your product or service, so you can improve. It also saves you time and resources otherwise spent on unsatisfactory features or products.


3. Use customer behavior data to design your win-back strategy

Customer behavior data refers to information you produce from commercial behavior using different devices and collection methods such as online tracking, surveys, interviews, focus groups, monitoring social media, and subscription data. It provides insight into how your customers are interacting with your product or service.

Analyzing your customer behavior data helps you understand how and what variables are influencing your audience,  so you can identify behavior patterns to design a solid retention and/or win-back strategy.

You could also use an RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) analysis to highlight customer behavior segments and help you determine appropriate win-back strategies to implement by identifying your best customers and those who contribute to your churn rate.


If you’d like more insight into your own retention—or even a free retention audit where we can benchmark you with actual relevant data—reach out to me at


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This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.


By Neel Desai

Product Lead, ProfitWell

Subscription market insights you won't find anywhere else.