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Don't be scared of churn

NB: This post has been republished from my defunkt newsletter. Enjoy 🙏

Hey there,

Unsurprisingly, Revolut have been making headlines again. Not only for turning a blind eye to money laundering and theft, but also for how poorly they treat their staff and users.

I, unfortunately, was a customer of theirs for a little while, but have since deleted my account. That experience alone was terrible, forcing me to speak to a real person and confirm all of my details. All this, despite requesting deletion from within the application, which is also locked behind Face ID. I get it. Make it as difficult as possible for users to delete their account and you’re more likely to keep them around. It’s a classic trick employed by phone companies, cable TV companies and anyone stuck in the dark age of vanity metrics. Happily, there’s been a trend towards monthly subscriptions with no lock in. But even that trend is hampered by difficult cancellation processes, dark patterns or offers to keep you around.

I believe customers should have every right to cancel their account with you at any moment. In fact, at a time when it can take you 10 seconds to open a bank account (my house mate’s Business account took this long), surely we should aim to make leaving just as easy.

So this is my new rule of thumb: make cancelling your account as easy, if not easier, than opening it.

Sure, you might lose more customers, but they’ll leave with a much better opinion of you. And that opinion counts. These are people who’ll still spread the word if they enjoyed your product. They’re the people who’ll be complaining to their friends if it’s a complete shit show too. Give them a good experience, even when leaving, and they’ll be more likely to return another time.

Kai Forsyth, a Product Designer at Intercom, recently wrote about this very topic, and goes much deeper than this email. Though I’d caveat this with the fact I disagree when it comes to desperately trying to keep the user onboard by showing them what they’ll be missing out on.

Have a strong opinion of revolut? Or maybe you’ve got similar rules you follow? I’d been keen to hear them—just hit reply.

Until next time,

Richard