A Guide to Perfect Customer Exit Surveys and Interviews - SmartKarrot

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.

A Guide to Perfect Customer Exit Surveys and Interviews
A Guide to Perfect Customer Exit Surveys and Interviews

Finding out that a customer is about to leave is never simple. You have a rare chance to learn why, though, as they are ready to go.  

A customer exit survey presents a special opportunity to delve deeply and unearth vital information that can result in significant churn-prevention insights when planned and performed appropriately. 

A high customer churn rate is a proven method for destroying your SaaS company. Fortunately, there are things you can do to cut down on churn. High customer satisfaction with your product is one of the essential parts you can do.  

Analyzing the causes of early churn is one method of achieving that. Customer exit and cancellation surveys are excellent tools for discovering the reasons behind client churn. 

The customer exit interview is one method of getting consumer feedback. You are looking to find out why your client left. Did you do something wrong, or did they find a better, less expensive product elsewhere? 

You are interested in learning more about your customers leaving for whatever reason. Utilize the customer exit interview to improve and keep clients from departing in the future. 

Instead of using a digital survey, you can learn more about your customers if you do a customer exit interview in person or over the phone. 

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.

How to get responses from customers during exit surveys?

The most important aspect while starting a customer exit survey is knowing that all customers are not the same. Not every survey is the same. You need to craft an exit survey that will help you analyze the product-market fit. You also need to receive actionable insights with the questions.

Always ask direct and to the point questions

Any customer who has canceled your service is not going to spend a lot of time with you. They have no incentive in trying to figure out what you are asking them. This is why it is important to keep your questions short, precise, and to the point. Keeping your questions short and to the point will get a higher response rate. Additionally, shorter questions will be open-ended and allow the customer to speak freely. This leads to more specific information from the customer. This can help you get the right answers to exit survey questions. If you ask long questions, the essence of the question can get diluted. You do know which part of the question they are responding to and why. This can lead to losing the point with the exit survey.

Use empathy while communicating with the customers

Sometimes customers cancel because they have no choice. Dealing with empathy is important in any situation in life. You should treat a canceled customer with respect and empathy. You need to know the right way to treat people. This is the only way you will get the right response. This will help keep a positive image of the company in the customers’ minds. They will spread positive word of mouth, which helps in brand building. Even otherwise, if the other company decides to become a customer- they know the kind of empathy and behavior they can expect. Ask them what made them cancel politely. Listen to them actively. Be responsive and humbly accept their suggestions. Empathy will help you find out what your customers think and then align expectations around that to offer a positive experience. Empathy is a critical customer success skill that leads to loyalty later.

Have the objective of delivering value even during the customer exit survey

Delivering value should be the goal of customer success managers at every phase. Each interaction needs to be about the value you offer. Show them what you have in hand. This will make them retain with the company. Showing a customer who has planned to churn their opinion matters to you will ensure that they have a positive opinion of you. You can be sure that their feedback is counted and taken into consideration. You can also offer them help with the product, display value, reduce their difficulties, and even get the customer back. All this is possible when you ask for feedback. You can start by understanding the relationship with the company constructively. You can also understand calmly why they seek to leave. Tell them how the product works and how they can leverage the benefits. Discuss which aspects of the product did not work for them and why they need to understand better. Gauge whether the issue is with customer education or product-market fit, or customer-fit. This will assist you in enhancing your performance.

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.

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.

Free customer exit survey tools that you should be using for your B2B SaaS business

In case you are looking at how to build a customer exit survey, you are at the right spot. Here are some free customer exit survey tools that can be helpful for your B2B SaaS business. Here are three popular free tools-


SurveyMonkey is a global leader in survey software. More than 20 million questions are answered daily on the platform. The free basic plan of SurveyMonkey allows you to create as many surveys ad you can. You can ask up to 10 questions per survey and store up to 40 responses on them. You can also select from a range of formats- dropdowns, multi-select, paragraph, long answer, short answer, and more. There are 180+ survey templates to choose from and an extensive help section with tutorials on how to use the product.


Typeform is another free survey software. You can create an interesting form that allows you to get the answer and keeps everyone happy. You can create surveys, forms, and quizzes that people will love answering. Typeform looks at increasing audience engagement and meeting higher completion rates. They are great for exit surveys. With slideshow-type surveys, you can personalize the experience with logic. The free plan offers unlimited surveys with ten questions per Typeform and 10 responses a month. Surveys feel more like conversations and less like interrogations. This is how the platform works.

Google Forms

Google Forms is another simple tool to capture customer feedback in the exit survey process. Made to simplify surveys, the tool can be used by anyone with the link. You can view and manage form responses. You can change the theme and color palette. Once the survey is done, you can get a quick analysis in the form of a pie chart regarding responses. Participants need to have a Gmail account to access the survey, but there is no limitation on the number of responses. You can choose from single answer questions, short answers, or dropdowns.


Hearing that your company did not work for someone can be hard. However, you must not let this bother you. By collecting feedback through exit surveys and interviews, you are improving all processes- products, systems, and services. You need to measure feedback and act on it. This will help drive future business and eliminate customer problems.

The pointers you get in customer exit surveys will help you make positive changes to the customer retention rate.  You can improve customer satisfaction and customer retention through this process. You may even gain back lost customers through this process.

If one exit survey does not work, you can revise the questions and try again. Exit surveys can be powerful since your customer has nothing to lose except being honest with you.

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