Churn, SaaS | 5 MIN READ

A Guide to Perfect Customer Exit Surveys and Interviews

What is a Customer Exit Survey and what is a customer exit interview? Do they help the SaaS companies in any ways? If so, then how? Delve in to know more.

Jun 10, 2021


Customer Exit Surveys and Interviews

Some amount of churn is always inevitable and that is alright. What you should strive to is keeping the churn rate at a minimum. Every new day, you may see a new customer canceling out. Rather than breaking your head about the bulging canceling rates, you must leverage it to attain valuable insights. So, how do you do that? One of the best ways that you can take to is by imbibing a stellar customer exit survey and interview. Here, in this blog, we will walk you through the several nuances that you must learn to draft a perfect customer exit survey. Let us get started. But before that, let us brush up on some of the basics.

What is a Customer Exit Survey?

A Customer exit survey is basically a questionnaire that is given to a customer who is a step away from canceling their subscription to your product. This can be done by email or over the telephone too. Most SaaS businesses commit the biggest mistake by concluding a customer exit interview with a few open-ended questions where the customer has to tick on a few boxes. This leads to inconclusive results with no more than a colorful graph in the end. What you should see it as a great opportunity to learn about what is going wrong and how can you improve it.

What should you ask in your Customer Exit Survey?

Know what to ask, and what not to in a customer exit survey. To help you through, here are some sample questions to look at:

Why do you want to cancel your subscription?

Even though this seems like a more than obvious question, you should strive to put up questions that are more open-ended in nature rather than close-ended. When you do that, you allow a bigger room to get more specific answers that will help you to reach the root of the issue. When the customer speaks in their own words, you tend to get insights that can aid in revamping your business.

What would you like to see changed?

Although this might seem similar to the previous question, this rephrased version will allow the customers to answer with more clarity. It could be possible that the customer missed out on something in the first question that she would like to add on this time. And always remember to accept their criticism and bad comments with a pinch of salt. Their remarks will only make your business better and no worse.

What Suggestions would you give to improve our product?

It is a given that a customer feels valued when they are asked what could have gone better. This simple question can prompt small yet significant adjustments to your process and can even uncover new facets that would augment the customer experience in every way. And once you receive their suggestions, make it a point to deploy them as and when required.

Assuming all your suggestions as accepted, would you reconsider us in the Future?

It could be possible that a customer wants to cancel due to the wrong time and wrong place and that is perfectly fine. It can be possible that your product is not adequate for your customer’s needs. Or, they could also find that the product is not fitting their needs. For the ones who would want to reconsider you in the future, make it a point to keep them informed about your product changes and updates. There is a big chance that they would want to consider you with the upgraded features.

Sample Customer Exit Survey Interview Questions

Sample Customer Exit Survey Interview Questions
Source: Medium

Can Customer Exit Surveys turn into golden Opportunities?

Yes, it is absolutely possible and doable for the customer to get back to you – provided you have the passion and perseverance to get them back to you. Let us see how:

  1. Get the Customer’s Feedback: Once you know why the customers wished to leave your business, you will have to address them immediately. When you have done a good number of interviews, you will begin a trace a pattern in the issues that your customers are having with your product or service. As and when you fix those issues, you can improve on those areas and have a chance to retain those customers.
  2. Try to win over the Customer, cautiously: While they are filling out the survey form, you can offer them links that will help them overcome difficulty. This may be enough to actually save the account from churning. And for the bigger clients of yours, it is always worth reaching out to them directly and analyzes what they have to say. On each of these notes, ensure that you imbue empathy at all times.
  3. Ask for an Exit Interview: Close-ended questions do not give out a lot of information on why the customer chose to leave you. What you can do then, is ask for an exit interview just after the survey. This will let you dig deeper into the issue and know the root causes of why they canceled in the first place. You can then rely on that to get more actionable information.

Parting Thoughts

Note that your customer exit survey will only work out in your favor when you capitalize on the results. Just filling out a mundane form for the sake of the company’s policies will bring you no good anyways. Use engagement and completion data to enhance your exit survey, and analyze the survey results to discover what customers want, what they don’t want, and how you can make them happier.

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Snigdha Jena is a customer success manager at SmartKarrot. She has been active in the customer success and SaaS space for a while now. She has worked with Quant LegalTech, Intuit, and RepRecom solutions in various capacities. 

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