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Churn Survey: Questions, Template & Best Practices for Customer Retention

Did you know that 80% of companies believe they deliver exceptional customer experiences, but only 8% of customers actually agree?

And the only way businesses can bridge this gap between perception and reality is by listening to their customers.

Enough emphasis has been laid on the importance of customer retention in sustaining business success. While acquiring new customers is undeniably important, understanding why existing customers choose to leave can be the key to unlocking remarkable growth and profitability.

But how can you understand the underlying reasons behind customer churn and take appropriate actions to improve customer retention?

This is where churn surveys come into play. 

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By implementing a carefully crafted churn survey and collecting feedback from customers who are churning, you can uncover invaluable insights regarding their motivations, pain points, and areas where your product or service may fall short. They provide an opportunity to assess customer satisfaction and identify areas of improvement to enhance overall customer experience.

In this blog, we will delve deep into churn surveys, uncovering the transformative impact they can have on your business. We'll explore the secrets behind creating effective churn surveys through popular questions and templates and share best practices that can help you extract meaningful insights from your customers' experiences. So, let’s get started!

Table of Content

What are Churn Surveys?

Churn surveys are designed to gather feedback from customers who have recently stopped using a product or service. These surveys are a subset of microsurveys as they are short and aim to understand why the customers are leaving. When used effectively, churn surveys can offer insights that can help you improve your offerings and increase customer retention.

It is important to share churn surveys at the right moment when customers decide to discontinue using your product or service, as it is the perfect opportunity to understand their reasons for leaving. By capturing feedback at this critical juncture, you can proactively address their concerns, potentially reducing customer churn and improving overall customer satisfaction.

You can leverage a product churn survey template to effectively capture customer feedback and gain insights into their reasons for leaving and reduce customer attrition. 

Use this Template

Churn Survey Questions Based On Different Use Cases 

To effectively address customer exit and enhance conversion rates, it is crucial to strategically add churn survey questions to gain actionable insights from customers. Consider these popular churn survey questions that your business can use to address customer issues and improve retention proactively.

1. Churn Survey Questions on Pricing

Pricing can be a significant factor as to why most of your customers could be churning out. By asking customers about their pricing concerns, you can understand if they find the pricing model not aligned with the value your product delivers if they find the pricing options confusing, or whether they are looking for customizable pricing options.

For instance, many users who switched to SurveyMonkey alternatives did so because of the closed and increased pricing plans that they offer. By asking the churn survey questions of pricing, they can easily identify that their pricing model isn't sitting right with a large section of their users and work on improving the same. 

Here are some churn survey questions on pricing that can help you understand whether your customers find your pricing justified.

  • Do you feel that our pricing is fair and reasonable?
  • Are our pricing plans and options easy to understand?
  • Would you be willing to continue using our product/service if the pricing was adjusted?
  • Are there any specific pricing features or options that you would like to see added?
  • Have you experienced any difficulties or confusion in selecting the right pricing plan for your needs?
  • Are there any pricing-related concerns that you would like to share with us?

How to address pricing concerns?

  • Offer tiered pricing, discounts, or subscription plans to give customers more flexibility and affordability.
  • Provide detailed information about the features, benefits, and support included in each pricing tier to ensure transparency in pricing.

2. Churn Survey Questions on Product Dissatisfaction

Customers expect a product that performs well and meets their expectations consistently. If they encounter performance-related issues or discover that the product lacks essential or desired features, they will likely become dissatisfied. Additionally, if they perceive a lack of innovation in the product and see competitors offering more advanced solutions, they may consider exploring alternative options that better align with their requirements.

One can also ask bug report form questions along with churn survey questions to analyze if the customer abandoned the product because of some bug they've encountered. Here are some churn survey questions you can ask your customers about product dissatisfaction.

  • What specific features or functionalities of the product did not meet your expectations?
  • Were there any essential features missing from the product that you expected to have?
  • How satisfied were you with the overall user experience of the product?
  • Did you find the product intuitive and easy to use, or did you face any usability challenges?
  • Did you feel that the product lacked innovation compared to other available options in the market?
  • Were there any specific areas where you felt the product could have been improved to better meet your needs?

How to address product dissatisfaction issues?

  • Invest more resources in enhancing the quality of your product to meet your customer needs.
  • Get product feature requests from customers and add missing features to stay competitive.
  • Continuously innovate based on market trends and communicate product updates to customers through blogs, newsletters, and emails. 

3. Churn Survey Questions on Customer Service Experience

Sometimes, even if your product is exceptional, packed with all the latest features, and competitively priced, customers may still choose to abandon your service. In such cases, their experience with customer support could be a determining factor. The responsiveness, effectiveness, and professionalism of your customer support team can significantly influence customer satisfaction and their decision to continue using your product or service.

Include specific customer service survey questions in your churn survey to gain insights into whether customer support played a role in customer churn. Here are some key questions that can help you gauge the impact of customer support on churn:

  • How would you rate the responsiveness of our customer support team when you reached out for assistance?
  • Did our customer support team provide you with accurate and helpful information to address your concerns?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied were you with the overall quality of support received from our team?
  • Did our customer support team demonstrate a good understanding of your problems and needs?
  • Were you kept informed about the progress of your support request or issue resolution?

How to address customer support issues?

  • Train your support team to handle product-related queries effectively and provide solutions to customers on time.
  • Offer multiple communication channels such as phone, email, live chat, and social media to cater to different customer preferences.
  • Monitor customer behavior and proactively reach out to customers who may be experiencing difficulties or dissatisfaction to offer assistance.

4. Churn Survey Questions on Alternative Considered

When customers are dissatisfied with your product or service, they will likely look out for companies that will cater to their needs. Factors like better performance, more innovative features, and a user-friendly interface play a significant role in determining whether customers choose to churn from one company and seek alternatives. 

By asking about alternative solutions, you gain insights into the competitive landscape and understand which competitors or alternatives are attracting your customers' attention. This information helps you understand the reasons customers are exploring other options and gives you an opportunity to evaluate your product or service against the competition. Consider these feedback survey questions around customer churn to understand which alternatives your customers are opting for and why.

  • Which specific competitors or alternatives did you consider as an alternative to our product/service?
  • What factors influenced your decision to explore alternatives?
  • What features or functionalities do you believe the alternative products/services offer that our product/service lacks?
  • How does the pricing of the alternative products/services compare to our pricing?
  • Did you find the customer support of the alternative products/services more responsive and helpful than ours?

What to do when customers switch to alternatives?

  • Enhance your product or service based on customer feedback and market trends.
  • Use a market research template to create a survey for researching the market and understanding pricing trends. Consider offering flexible pricing options or discounts to attract and retain customers.
  • Train your support team to be knowledgeable, empathetic, and proactive in resolving issues.
  • Conduct webinars or workshops to actively engage and educate customers on getting the most out of your product or service.
  • Incorporate customer feedback in driving product roadmap and send relevant updates, product announcements, and newsletters to keep them updated. 

5. Churn Survey Questions on Onboarding Issues

Onboarding plays a critical role in shaping the initial customer experience. If their onboarding experience is not smooth, intuitive, and tailored to their needs, they may become frustrated or overwhelmed, negatively perceiving your product or service. This can result in higher churn rates as dissatisfied customers are likelier to opt out of your service or stop using your product. While asking customer onboarding survey questions, consider asking churn survey questions to understand if onboarding could be the possible reason for customer churn.

  • How would you rate your overall onboarding experience with our product/service?
  • Were there any specific challenges or difficulties you faced during the onboarding process?
  • Were the onboarding resources (tutorials, documentation, videos, etc.) helpful in getting started?
  • Did you feel that the onboarding process adequately introduced all the key features and functionalities
  • Did you have any unanswered questions or concerns during the onboarding process?
  • If you encountered any issues or roadblocks during onboarding, were they resolved promptly and effectively?

How to address the onboarding issues of customers?

  • Use tooltips, walkthroughs, and tutorials to help customers understand how to use your product or service effectively.
  • Gather relevant information during the signup process and use it to provide personalized recommendations and guidance.
  • Provide comprehensive resources such as video tutorials, documentation, and knowledge base articles to support customers during onboarding.
  • Offer responsive customer support channels like live chat or email to address any questions or concerns they may have.
  • Regularly conduct user testing and gather feedback from customers who have recently gone through the onboarding process.

6. Churn Survey Questions on Product/Service Fit  

Churn survey questions on product/service fit can help you pinpoint specific areas where your offering may fall short in meeting customer expectations. This can include missing features, inadequate functionality, or a lack of customization options. Feedback collected through churn surveys on product/service fit helps you identify areas where enhancements, updates, or modifications are needed to meet customer expectations better. Consider these questions to understand if product/service fit could be a probable reason for customer churn.

  • How well did our product/service meet your specific needs and requirements?
  • Were there any features or functionalities you felt were missing from our product/service?
  • Did our product/service align with your expectations in terms of quality and performance?
  • How satisfied were you with the overall fit between our product/service and your specific use case?
  • Did our product/service integrate smoothly with your existing systems or workflows?
  • Did our product/service offer enough customization options to meet your unique preferences?

How to address the product/service fit concerns of customers?

  • Conduct thorough market research to understand customer needs and align your product/service offerings accordingly.
  • Incorporate customer suggestions and product feature requests and address any gaps in functionality or features to enhance the overall fit.
  • Offer customization options such as flexible pricing plans, customizable features, or personalized onboarding processes to personalize the customer experience.
  • Offer trial periods or demos to customers so that they can explore your product/service before making a long-term commitment and determine if it meets their specific requirements.

7. Churn Survey Questions on User Experience

User experience issues can significantly impact customer satisfaction and their decision to churn. By including specific questions about the user experience, you can gain insights into your product or service's ease of use, navigation, and overall usability. Customer feedback can help you prioritize improvements and drive future product/service enhancements and updates. Here are churn questions on user experience that you can include in your churn survey.

  • How would you rate the overall user experience with our product/service?
  • Were you able to easily navigate through our website/app?
  • Did you find the user interface intuitive and user-friendly?
  • Did you encounter any difficulties while using our product?
  • How would you rate the speed and performance of our product?
  • Did you find the design and layout visually appealing?
  • Were you satisfied with the level of personalization/customization options available?
  • Did our product/service provide you with the needed features and functionality?
  • Did you experience any technical issues or errors while using our product/service?
  • How likely are you to recommend our product/service based on your user experience?

How to address user experience issues?

  • Simplify navigation, ensure consistency in design elements, and optimize the layout for easy comprehension to enhance user interface design.
  • Based on the responses received on your product user or website visitor experience survey questions, identify and address any performance issues, optimize loading times, and ensure smooth functionality across different devices and platforms.
  • Offer detailed documentation, FAQs, tutorials, and self-help resources to empower users to troubleshoot common issues on their own.

Why you should Implement Churn Surveys?

Understanding why customers churn is crucial for any business aiming to improve customer retention and overall success. Collecting their insights and identifying the reasons behind their churn can enhance your offerings and address customer concerns. Here’s why churn surveys should be integral to your customer retention strategy.

  • Identify Churn Reasons: By asking targeted questions, you can gain insights into factors causing customer churns, such as pricing, product dissatisfaction, customer support, onboarding experience, and more.
  • Customer-centric Improvements: Churn surveys provide a direct line of communication with your customers, allowing you to make customer-centric improvements to your product or service, addressing issues and enhancing the overall customer experience.
  • Retention Strategies: By analyzing the feedback received, you can identify patterns and trends to develop targeted approaches to reduce churn and increase customer loyalty. This includes addressing specific concerns, improving key touchpoints, and implementing proactive measures to prevent churn.
  • Product Development & Innovation: Understanding the features and functionalities that customers desire but may be lacking in your offering allows you to prioritize enhancements, stay ahead of the competition, and meet evolving customer expectations.
  • Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty: By seeking feedback through churn surveys, you show your dedication to customer satisfaction and improvement. Satisfied customers become loyal advocates, boosting retention and generating positive word-of-mouth.

Best Practices for Creating Churn Surveys

To maximize customer responses, merely creating a churn survey isn't enough. You must design the survey effectively so that your customers become willing to take up the survey. Let’s look at some of the best practices that can elevate the process of creating churn surveys.

1. Use a blend of MCQ & Open-Ended Questions

Strike a balance between multiple-choice questions (MCQs), closed-ended questions, and open-ended questions in your churn survey. MCQs provide structured response options, making it easier for customers to provide feedback quickly. Open-ended questions allow customers to share their thoughts and insights in their own words, providing deeper and more qualitative feedback.

2. Offer Multiple Selections in Choosing Reason

When asking customers about the reasons behind their churn, provide them with the option to select multiple reasons that apply. This allows customers to express a combination of factors influencing their decision to churn, providing a more comprehensive understanding of their motivations.

3. Display to Relevant Customers

Target your churn survey to the appropriate customer segment by displaying it only to those who have recently churned or are at risk of churning. This ensures that the survey reaches the right audience, maximizing the relevance and accuracy of the feedback received.

4. Keep the Churn Survey Short & Focussed

Respect your customers' time by keeping the churn survey concise and focused. Avoid overwhelming them with an excessively long survey that may lead to dropouts or incomplete responses. Prioritize the most important questions that provide insights into the key factors influencing churn, ensuring a higher survey completion rate. 

Best Channels for Sharing Churn Surveys

Once your churn survey is ready, you should choose the most accessible medium to share it with your customers. Consider the channels your target audience frequently engages with to maximize the chances of receiving valuable responses and gaining insights that can guide your efforts to reduce churn and improve customer satisfaction. Let us look at the most popular survey distribution channels that can drive maximum response.

1. In-App/Product

Churn surveys can be strategically placed in-app or within your product to capture feedback at the right moment from customers who have already engaged with your app or product, ensuring you get feedback from relevant customers. Here’s when you should choose in-app feedback tools to share churn surveys.

  • Immediate Response: If you want to capture product feedback from customers at the moment they are considering churning or right after they have churned, sharing the survey within the app or product allows for a timely and immediate response.
  • Enhanced User Experience: By integrating the survey seamlessly within the app or product interface, you can provide a convenient and frictionless experience for customers to provide feedback. This eliminates the need for them to switch to external platforms like email or websites, increasing the likelihood of their participation.
  • Higher Response Rates: In-app or in-product churn surveys tend to have higher response rates compared to others. Since the survey is presented within the context of the user's interaction with the product, they are more likely to feel compelled to share their feedback.

Website

Sharing the churn survey on the website can be a great choice if most of your customers engage with your brand through the website as their primary touchpoint. This could be the case if you offer web-based services, have a strong online presence, or if your customers frequently visit your website for information, updates, or support. By making the survey easily accessible on your website, you can leverage the existing traffic and engagement to gather website feedback directly from your target audience.

Consider these reasons for choosing a website as the medium to share churn surveys.

  • Most Expansive Reach: If you want to gather feedback from a broader audience, including current and potential customers, sharing the survey on your website allows maximum visibility.
  • Conversion Optimization: If your primary goal is to optimize your website conversion rate and understand why visitors may not convert into customers, placing the churn survey strategically on your website can provide insights into any usability or user experience issues hindering conversions.
  • Customer Acquisition Insights: By including the churn survey on your website, you can gather feedback from potential customers who may have decided not to sign up or make a purchase. This feedback can offer valuable insights into the factors influencing their decision, allowing you to refine your offerings and marketing strategies.

Email

Emails are the most non-intrusive way to collect churn responses, as customers can take the survey at their convenience, allowing them to take their time to provide thoughtful responses. There might be a segment of customers who are actively engaged with their email inboxes but may not frequently browse your website or use your app. By asking your churn questions via email surveys, you have a better chance of reaching and engaging these customers who might otherwise miss the opportunity to provide feedback.

Here’s when you should go with an email to share the churn survey:

  • Long Usage Cycle: If your product or service has a longer lifecycle or requires frequent interactions, sending the churn survey via email can be a way to gather feedback at specific intervals or milestones.
  • Established Email Communication: If you have a well-developed email marketing strategy and have built a strong relationship with your customers through regular email communications, leveraging this survey channel for the churn survey can lead to higher response rates.
  • Targeted Re-engagement Campaigns: If you have identified a segment of customers who have not engaged with your product or service for a while, reaching out to them via email with a churn survey can help understand their disengagement and potential reasons for churn. This can inform targeted re-engagement strategies and personalized offers to win them back.
  • Higher Engagement: Email campaigns can be designed with compelling subject lines and personalized messaging to encourage customers to participate in the churn survey, increasing engagement and response rates.

Gaining Actionable Insights from Churn Surveys

The primary goal of conducting a churn survey is to gather valuable insights from customers regarding why they leave your product or service. However, the process continues beyond creating and distributing the survey. The true challenge lies in consolidating and analyzing the survey responses to identify areas where you may fall short of meeting customer expectations. Once you have collected the churn survey responses, you can follow these steps to gain actionable insights:

1. Identify the Cause of Churn

Identifying the cause of churn is crucial in understanding why customers are leaving your product or service. By uncovering the underlying reasons, you can take targeted actions to mitigate churn and improve customer retention. Let us look at how it can be done.

Categorizing the Reasons

After collecting churn survey responses, you need to categorize the reasons for churn to understand the underlying causes. Categorizing the responses based on common themes or issues can help identify patterns and trends. For example, you might tag responses with categories such as poor customer service, high prices, product dissatisfaction, or competitive offerings.

Analyzing the Responses

Once you have categorized the responses, you should analyze them to gain deeper insights. This can involve generating reports and conducting analytics to identify the most frequently mentioned reasons for churn, determine the magnitude of each issue, and detect any emerging trends. 

For example, you can use reports & analytics to determine the most common reasons for churn, the percentage of customers mentioning each reason, and any emerging trends over time. You can also use sentiment analysis to understand the overall sentiment expressed in the responses (positive, negative, or neutral).

2. Notify the Relevant Team

Once you have identified the causes of churn, it is essential to notify the relevant teams within your organization. This can be done through CX automation tools that can automatically trigger notifications or alerts to the appropriate teams or individuals responsible for addressing specific issues.

You may set a trigger to send notifications when a certain number of survey responses are received or when specific keywords or tags associated with churn reasons are detected. For example, if customer service is a common reason for churn, the automation system can identify the keyword ‘customer service’ and notify the customer service department about the feedback received.

3. Take Action

Taking action involves implementing strategies and initiatives based on the insights gained from the survey to address the identified issues and improve customer retention. This could include refining product features, enhancing customer support processes, optimizing pricing strategies, or revamping communication strategies. Let's look at how the process can be made more efficient.

Set up Automated Responses for Selected Reasons

For some specific reasons for churn, you can set up automated responses to address them promptly. These responses can include personalized emails or messages to customers, providing them with solutions, incentives, or offers to encourage them to stay. For example, suppose a customer mentions in the survey that they are leaving due to high prices. In that case, an automated response can be triggered, offering them a discounted pricing plan or a loyalty program.

Conduct Targeted Outreach with Tailored Solutions

Develop tailored solutions for each category of customers to address their specific concerns. If your enterprise customers are churning out due to a product missing the feature, you can reach out to them once you have incorporated that feature. If your free trial users are churning due to a lack of onboarding support or limited access to key features, you can enhance the onboarding process and extend the trial period.

Conclusion

Implementing churn surveys is a powerful strategy to improve customer retention and drive business growth. By asking the right questions, gathering valuable feedback, and taking appropriate action, you can gain insights into the reasons behind customer churn and address their concerns effectively.

Keep in mind that leveraging churn surveys for maximum customer retention and satisfaction is an ongoing process. Regularly monitoring customer feedback, tracking retention rates, and iterating your strategies are essential for continuous improvement and long-term success.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial with Zonka Feedback to easily design customized surveys, choose from various survey question types, and customize the survey experience to align with your brand.

It has intelligent features like segmentation, workflow automation, and tagging that can make implementing churn surveys seamless and efficient. 



Kanika

Written by Kanika

Jun 21, 2023

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