Discover These 5 Critical Things With A Customer Exit Survey

By November 5, 2021 November 8th, 2021 No Comments
Customer exit surveys help you with retention

You may have heard about exit surveys for departing employees but have you heard about customer exit surveys? These are surveys you give a departing customer (or even prospect).

One of the core features in Snowfly is our survey tool that allows you to create all kinds of surveys which is, of course, tied into our incentives platform. This means you can create a customer exit survey with a reward for filling it out. Imagine these two scenarios:

Scenario 1:

You email your customer why they are terminating the contract and leaving to another vendor.

Scenario 2:

You send your customer a link to a short questionnaire (aka survey), with a note that they’ll get a $50 Amazon gift card after they fill it out.

Which scenario do you think is more likely to get the response you are after?

Snowfly gives you the tools to not only create whatever customer exit survey you want, with questions unique to your organization or your customer, but also easily deliver the reward for filling it out. Of course, an Amazon gift card is only one reward option you can choose from.

Customer Exit Survey Questions

While you might want to really ask “why in the world are you leaving us??? What could we do to keep you???,” once you get to this stage in the relationship you kind of have to swallow your pride and make sure you know what you are really after. There might be a chance to win your customer back but from what I’ve experienced it’s very, very difficult once they have announced they are moving on.

Instead of thinking “how do we win this customer back” you might shift your objective to “what can I learn from this customer that will help me avoid losing customers in the future?”

With that in mind, your customer exit survey questions should be strategically designed to get after the information that will be most helpful for your obejectives. You want to get healthier as an organization and any information you can get from departing customers could be just what you need to get healthier. Departing customers are more likely to tell you exactly what your issues are because they usually don’t have anything to lose.

Keep your customer exit survey short. You usually can’t ask a departing customer to spend hours giving you this feedback…. and you don’t need hours from them. Think about the Net Promoter Score (NPI) objective: to get the most important information with only two questions.


If you could only ask two questions to your departing customer, what would they be? I’m not saying you are, or should be, limited to two questions, but going through the exercise of asking just two questions should help you really refine your objective of the survey.

Try to remove the emotional aspect of your customer exit survey. This isn’t the time for emotional responses, or jabs like “Well, you never really used the right features anyway” remarks. You are simply collecting information to help win new, and keep existing, customers.

Seriously, your two most important questions could move your customer retention rate to be the envy of your industry.

If customer churn is on the agenda in your strategy meetings, and becomes an uncomfortable talking point, you need to learn how to increase customer retention. Who better to learn from than those who have found better products or services? Ask these people who you’ve had a relationship with, who have trusted you with part of their flow and systems. And treat any information they give to you as a valuable gift because that is what it is.

Customer exit survey should be strategicYour customer exit survey should be created by multiple people in your organization. Get feedback and test it out internally. Different departments might have different questions. Figure out their objectives and then narrow the questions down to what feels right for your departing customer. This might be two questions. It might be twenty questions. But at least you will have strategically created the right questions for each customer.

5 Things to Learn With Your Customer Exit Survey

Here are five things you might want to learn. These aren’t the top five for every organization or situation… use these as an idea to start an internal conversation to get to your right objective and questions:

  1. Why are you leaving us? You might ask this question boldly, or you might soften it a little. But really, that’s what everyone will want to know.
  2. What does the competitor you chose do better than us? This is a key question that will help you rethink your existing strategy.
  3. What are other competitors doing better, or different, than we are? Doesn’t it make sense to get this type of competitive intelligence from the customer… the ultimate decision maker?
  4. What could we do to keep you as a customer? This might be a bold question, and you might not have a chance to keep them, but if they share information like “if you would have just…” you can take this back to your teams for improvement.
  5. What’s the main thing we can improve on? This is a direct question that can help you know where to prioritize your improvements.

If those questions start to feel the same then narrow them down. If they feel too general, or too specific, talk to your team to work on refining them. Make it ways for your customer to answer your questions with good, and only a handful of, questions.

Chat with Snowfly About Customer Exit Surveys

If you want to talk about creating and optimizing this uncomfortable part of the customer experience, reach out. We can help you optimize your questions and make sure you have an appropriate reward to incentize them to take time to give you this information.

These customer exit surveys might be the most valuable thing you do to increase retention and decrease churn.

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Jason Alba

Jason Alba

I'm passionate about building great cultures. I love respect in the workforce, especially respect that is earned. I love strategic management, leadership, and vision. I love healthy companies through profitability. I love employee engagement, employee performance, and employee satisfaction. I love how Snowfly can help YOUR organization work towards all of these things.

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