3. Retention  >  Conduct Exit Interviews/Surveys

Conduct exit interviews/surveys to reduce SaaS churn

Don’t let customers walk away just like that. Get feedback via surveys and interviews, and use it for improvement. Understanding more about users who leave will help you improve the retention rate of the existing customers.



Groove switched from exit surveys to exit interviews which increased the response rate by 785%.


Papercut has 4-items in its exit survey that lets them understand why a particular user is leaving them.


SketchUp has a 3-item exist questionnaire that it sends to users who uninstall the app. Short and accurate.

How to use the technique

  • Create structured surveys. While questions should be general but it’s a great idea to add personalized questions based on user’s interaction with your app. Twist the survey for personalization. Read our free churn optimization framework to get better and conducting research. 
  • Send survey emails at the right time. Send immediately as soon as a user cancel the subscription. Delaying survey email won't yield appropriate feedback. Reach out when they're more likely to remember everything about their interaction with your app.
  • Keep it concise and relevant. The survey needs to be to the point without any fluff. Remember, the users have already churned and any time they spend with your business is of no importance. So make every second count. Make sure the exit survey has no more than 5 questions.
  • Seek permission for an interview call. Though you have their number, don’t call without permission. Schedule a call through email. Don’t label it as an interview call.
  • Let the user speak in an interview. Ask questions. Don’t argue. They have already left. Use call for feedback and leave the retention part on your retention team.
  • Ask relevant questions. What did they like? Did they use the core feature? What feature your software is missing? These questions will help you reduce churn rate.
  • Make improvements based on feedback. Can you add the most demanded feature in your app? Can you tweak a feature as per user’s demand? Improve your app and measure its impact. This is the free guide that you should read for more information.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Mixing exit feedback with retention. An exit interview or survey isn’t for the purpose to retain rather it’s for data collection. Its purpose is to get feedback from users who are no more part of your business.
  • Not taking the necessary actions. Exit feedback is only good when you value the feedback and take appropriate actions to improve your services and software. Not taking improvement measures is one mistake you need to avoid.

Research evidence

Spain and Groysberg in their article published in Harvard Business Review emphasized the importance of conducting exit interviews. They shared best practices to follow when conducting exist interviews including method, timing, frequency, approach, and conversation styles to get better results from interviews.


Make opinions of your leaving clients count. Try to hear real reason and don't get upset if it's not related to your product.

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Implement with our proven SaaS Churn Optimization Framework

Download a PDF with an exact process we use with our SaaS clients to research, define optimization opportunities and test.