Jiu-Jitsu Letter

Onboarding and Off-Boarding

I don’t have contracts at my school. Prospects have options for monthly memberships and I also have a quarterly available. The memberships have a 60-day cancellation policy, but I don’t enforce it. If someone wants to leave, they can go. I’ve heard from school owners that the policy’s helpful for retention. And I’m probably going to leave some money on the table by letting people go without a fight.

There’s an argument that by having it, you have a chance to win back the student’s business, but there is also the chance of feeling a little icky.

Sure, “it’s a business.” Still, I think there’s some good to having an off-boarding process that leaves both parties feeling good. Leaving should be as easy as joining. I suspect those that stay the 60 days and still leave are less likely to ever come back.

Someone else told me that contracts are good for the students. It forces them to commit, and that the contract forcing them to stay may work out for them, as they can change their mind eventually and actually be thankful to have been “stuck.” I’m skeptical of that. I’m trying to think of times when I wasn’t able to cancel immediately and was happy about it in the end. I can’t think of anything.

But what do I remember? I remember times when I canceled a few days too late, and the policy was that there were no refunds. It was my fault, so too bad. But the businesses that refunded me anyway? I remember them. And there were times when I later wanted to join up again, and chose them because they treated me like a human, not a user/seat/subscriber.

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