It’s never easy to learn that a customer is about to leave. However, as they prepare to depart, you have a unique opportunity to know why. When properly organized and implemented, a customer exit survey offers a unique opportunity to dive deep and uncover valuable information that can lead to meaningful churn-prevention insights.
What is the purpose of a customer exit survey?
A customer exit survey is a questionnaire sent to clients who have canceled (or are about to quit) their SaaS membership. This can be done over the phone, via email, or online.
A customer exit interview is a tick-box activity for many firms, with the outcomes limited to a colorful graph at the quarterly team meeting.
However, for businesses looking to expand, the customer exit survey is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about your company from someone who counts.
You can benefit from customer exit survey data from customers who:
- They didn’t need you when you thought they did.
- Doesn’t want you, yet needs you (yet).
- They were willing to give you a chance but were disappointed.
All of these have a lot of potential to be implemented by your growth, sales, and support teams.
Addition Resource: Learn about the different types of surveys important for Customer Success
How to make your customer exit survey works for you?
Taking exit surveys is pointless if you don’t do anything with the results. So, the next step is to leverage your cancellation surveys to transform a negative circumstance like losing a customer into a favorable one. There are several options for accomplishing this.
Make an effort to reclaim the consumer (tactfully)
The best-case scenario is that you can reclaim the customer. You can include links to help the consumer overcome a problem as part of your exit survey. This might be sufficient to save the account. It isn’t always the case.
If you believe you can handle the customer’s difficulties, it’s worth the time to reach out to them individually as a consequence of their comments on larger accounts. Just remember to maintain your empathy and avoid putting the customer under strain.
Exit surveys can be used to obtain consumer exit interviews.
Exit surveys are fantastic, especially when you ask open-ended questions that allow the user to provide useful feedback. However, they are rather one-sided, with no possibility for follow-up questions. Requesting an exit interview after the cancellation survey will allow you to delve deeper into the reasons people cancel, providing you with even more actionable data.
Get input from customers to help you improve your product.
Once you’ve figured out why folks are leaving, you need to address the problems. You’ll find patterns in the troubles consumers are having with your product after doing enough satisfaction surveys and interviews. You can improve your offering and eliminate a source of churn by resolving those issues.
Customer Exit Survey Best Practices
Customer Exit Survey Best Practices Every survey is different. You must create an exit survey to aid in the analysis of product-market fit. With the inquiries, you must also acquire actionable information.
Always ask pointed and direct inquiries.
Customers that have terminated their service are unlikely to spend much time with you. They have no vested interest in figuring out what you’re asking. This is why it’s critical to ask questions that are short, concise, and to the point. A higher response rate can be achieved by keeping your inquiries concise and to the point. Shorter inquiries will also be open-ended, allowing the customer to express themselves freely. As a result, the customer provides more particular information. This can assist you in receiving accurate responses to exit survey questions. The essence of the question can be blurred if you ask extensive inquiries. You are aware of which part of the question they are answering and why. This could result in you losing a point on the exit survey.
When communicating with customers, show empathy.
Customers sometimes cancel because they have no other option. In any scenario in life, dealing with empathy is critical. A canceled consumer should be treated with respect and understanding. You must understand how to treat people properly. This is the only method to get an appropriate response. This will assist in maintaining a positive organizational culture in the minds of customers. They’ll share the favorable word of mouth, which will assist promote your brand. Even if the other company decides to become a customer, they will be aware of the level of empathy and behavior to expect. Inquire respectfully as to what caused them to cancel. Actively listen to them. Respond to their ideas and accept them with humility. Empathy will assist you in determining what your customers think and then aligning expectations to meet their needs. It will help you in determining what your consumers think and aligning expectations to provide a great experience. Empathy is a crucial customer success ability that eventually leads to loyalty.
Even during the customer departure survey, keep the goal of providing value in mind.
Customer success managers should strive to provide value at all times. Each encounter should be focused on the value you provide. Show them what you’ve got in your hands. This will encourage them to stay with the firm. Showing a churning customer that their opinion counts to you help ensure that they have a favorable impression of you. You can rest assured that their opinions will be heard and considered. You can also offer them product assistance, demonstrate value, alleviate their troubles, and perhaps reclaim the customer. When you ask for input, you can achieve all of this. You might begin by constructively understanding your relationship with the company. You can also appreciate why they want to go gently. Explain how the product works and how people can profit from it. Discuss whether components of the product did not meet their expectations and why they need to learn more. Determine if the problem is one of consumer education, product-market fit, or ICP fit. This will help you improve your performance.
How to Conduct Customer Exit Surveys
Customer departure survey participation is notoriously difficult to come by.
Many churners won’t want to contact your team again because they’ve previously expressed discontent with your product (they left!). You’ll almost certainly get either early adopters or irate people as participants. It’s worth remembering while studying survey results.
When churners cancel, ask them to take your survey as part of your downgrade flow or by email while they’re still thinking about your product.
During the declining flow, ask the following question to acquire the best response rate:
“What is the single most important reason for you to cancel?”
- I’m not sure how to use your service.
- It’s too costly
- I discovered a product that I prefer
- I don’t make enough use of it
- Some of the features I require are missing.
If email is your best choice, contact churners as soon as possible after cancellation with a low-friction exit survey.
Some companies reward their churners with gift cards (such as Amazon gift cards) in order to increase the number of responses they receive, however, this is sometimes unneeded and can lead to data gathering biases.
How to Interpret Customer Exit Survey Results?
It’s easy to see how some cancellations could have been avoided once you understand why your clients are departing.
However, you must categorize responses using critical criteria to really comprehend what the data implies for your product:
- Product engagement;
- Subscription length (first month vs. the second year);
- The feature set used, and so on.
Patterns can typically be found, but they won’t be visible without segmentation. These patterns will aid in the refinement of your customer success, onboarding, pricing, and product, among other things.
It’s difficult to learn that your service did not work for someone. However, you must not be bothered by this. You can improve all processes—products, systems, and services—by gathering input through exit questionnaires and interviews. You must measure and act on feedback. This will assist in driving future revenue and resolving client issues.
Client exit surveys provide useful information that can help you improve customer retention rates. This technique can help you boost customer satisfaction and retention. This method may even help you reclaim lost consumers.
You can rewrite the questions and try again if one exit survey does not work. Exit surveys are effective because your customer has nothing to lose except their time. Learn more about growing your customer success on our blog.