Making renewals easier


If there’s any offer that should have a conversion rate of 75% or more, it’s the renewal. In other words, the customer has been doing business with you and likes the product, but their existing subscription period or term is almost over. To extend this relationship, all you need to do is get the customer’s consent and verify their payment info.

Despite how easy this sounds, companies screw it up all the time by asking for tons of extra data. As a buyer, these hiccups and annoyances make me think the company doesn’t value my business, and I start to look elsewhere. After all, if renewing with the existing vendor doesn’t save any time compared to finding a new vendor, what’s the incentive to stay put? In many cases, there simply isn’t one.

How can you prevent this? Start by paring down the list of things that you’re asking renewal customers to provide. Do you really need the password they chose when they first created an account two or three years ago? Is it critical for the customer to recall the exact way they typed their mailing address before they moved to a new home or office? Probably not. Yet companies insist on this meaningless data all the time. And when customers can’t provide it, the companies just send them packing with the ever-familiar “Sorry, you’ll have to create a new account.” Next stop: a competitor who sucks less.

Ok, now for the solution: If someone has an existing relationship they want to renew, but they don’t have the other account credentials like the old password or mailing address, then just take their payment info and be done with it. Sure, they shouldn’t be able to change any of the terms of the deal without verifying some other info (e.g. resetting their password), but it’s foolish not to take money from those who just want the existing service to continue unfettered. Since the real loser in the overly-complex renewal is the buyer whose time gets wasted, your customers will thank you for acting sensibly, too.