Inevitably, some customer contracts come to an end. Sometimes your project just comes to an end. Other times, you work with customers or clients are not the right fit for your brand, product, or service. Either way, an exit survey can provide valuable information for your company.
I like to use a very simple, three-question exit survey for all of my Twined customers that cancel their subscription. The questions are straightforward and provide plenty of insight without asking a lot of our former customers.
First a couple of simple tips:
Your survey results should be as anonymous as possible. Don't ask your former customers to email you their responses directly. Create a web form through Survey Monkey or Google Forms or whatever survey site you prefer to record the responses for you. You'll get a better response rate and more honest feedback if your customers feel like the information they provide doesn't necessarily have their name or email address attached to their answers.
1) Why did you cancel?
Find your own way to ask your customers why they terminated. If your contract came to a natural end, you can simply omit this question altogether. If not, ask your customers: was it us? Was it you? What changed about your situation between the time you initiated the contract and the time you canceled it. I like to offer several potential responses and an option to fill in an 'other' reason.
2) Would you use us again?
The answer to this question can be very telling. If customers cancel for financial reasons, the response to this question should be 'Yes' every time. If customers are canceling for financial reasons and the response is 'No'; consider whether your prices are too high relative to the competition. If your customers are canceling because you lack a product or service that they need, this answer should also be 'Yes' if you are willing to add their required product or service in the future. 'No' answers in this category might come unexpectedly and might even sting. The best thing to do is learn from the information and improve.
3) Would you recommend us to a friend?
Even if your customers would use you again, it takes more to recommend a company to a friend. Especially for a product or service that your customer discontinued. If a customer replies with a 'Yes' to this question, you should keep the lines of communication open with them.
Keep a separate email list just for people who have an expired contract or canceled subscription, but would do business with you again or recommend you to a friend. Maintain contact with them as you expand your offering or make improvements. You may even win some of those customers back in the future when your brand can meet their needs.
Finally, if your customers choose to provide this feedback, use it! There is nothing more valuable than customer feedback from people who have actually used your products and services. This information can help you improve your offering and even your processes for other customers in the future. Leverage the information from customers that you lose to create stronger relationships with the customers that you keep.
This topic is covered in more detail in the Brand Builder Bootcamp ecourse.