Hello and welcome back from hiatus! No, not you, you didn’t go anywhere. Just talking to ourselves about our blogging habits. We’re back with a BTS look of the ups and downs of running a subscription business, with some included bonus features on what we’ve learned since we last saw you.
Elise: Dear thee who will (hopefully) never abandon me,
I was doing my daily scan of our subscriptions and saw that two customers had cancelled. My breath caught, my heart sunk, my brain screamed, “why?????”
I know that running a subscription business is about seeing cancellations. In fact, we budgeted for a cancellation rate of 35% or lower, which we are still safely maintaining. However, this logical awareness doesn’t take the personal out of Chica, and I still have a to calm a creeping feeling of personal rejection and failure.
After my internal moaning subsided, I clicked on the specific subscriptions that were canceled. When a Chica cancels, they’re asked to provide feedback. Each person who has canceled so far has taken a moment to submit a comment, and reading their feedback today made me feel relaxed and reasonable. I learned something from each comment and I’m excited that we can use their experience to create a better Chica. I don’t judge any person for cancelling, they all have extremely valid and understandable reasons. Here are some things I’ve learned:
- Canceled because of moving stress and is planning on restarting the subscription when settled in at a new address. This shows that we need to show our Chicas that subscriptions can be paused, rather than canceled. We also need to stay on top of our email newsletter so that these maybe-renewing cancellations don’t forget about Chica.
- Unsure whether or not to renew and cancelled before next payment. This shows that we need to include more education on holistic medicine and “feeling” Chica, so that Chicas are more convinced on why they renew and continue to eat Chica for their menstrual health. This decision may also be from our old model, which charged $75/every 3 months. We’ve learned that this is to big of a financial contemplation for many, so we’ve switched to $25/month even though it is a greater financial risk for us.
- Chica canceled because she did not feel a difference in the specific physical symptom that she wanted to go away. This is also shows that we need to include more education on the expected timeline of the differences felt from Chica, so that a customer can see the difference of eating Chica for six months, versus three months. Chica is holistic medicine, which means more changes can be gained over time – our customers can’t see the future, so we need to show that.
- Chicas cancel due to financial reasons. There is no easy fix for the finances of our customers since we have to run a business and cannot continue to lower the price of Chica. However, this does show that it may be easier for our customers now that we charge in smaller monthly payments, instead of surprising with a larger payment every few months.
I still never want to see another cancellation ever again, but I’m excited to keep learning and growing Chica into something better.
How do you feel about seeing Chicas cancel? Do you see any other learning experiences for us?
Cassidy: Dear I’m not going anywhere,
I felt those cancellations in the same place I used to feel menstrual cramps. Like a little punch to the uterus, with a side of melancholy.
For a moment, before I read the motivation behind each cancellation, it also reinforced my insecurity that we are just doing this wrong. Lately, I’ve been feeling particularly self-conscious about the Chica feeling. Let me explain.
When I research the brands that inspire me, I am both excited by and jealous of the balance they strike between maintaining a polished image and staying real as hell with their customers. When we started Chica, I wanted to find that balance right away. Skip all the steps of being messy and go straight into having an established voice, a vibrant email newsletter, and a satisfyingly sleek subscription box.
It frustrates me that everything I create isn’t perfect. But I can lose myself in that frustration, and it distracts me from the only really important part of this whole equation: our living, breathing, bleeding customers. At this stage in our growth, we have the means and the bandwidth to connect with each and every one of them personally. In fact, we have probably stalked them on Facebook.
Here’s my point: these cancellations are a reminder to take advantage of these connections. I think we need to do everything in our power to establish a strong relationship with each and every member of our Chica family. I’m talking call-me–on–the–phone–and–tell–me–about–your–period–this–month kinda relationship. Even if they don’t take us up on that, they need to know that we are here. Actively listening.
Because they are the reason we are doing this. We are here to help our Chicas feel more capable, powerful, comfortable; even on the days that they are used to dreading.