Use a client exit survey to get past the polite “excuses” and get real feedback.
When a client stops working with you, it may be for a number of reasons. As a business owner, you may think you know, but unless you take the time to ask, you don’t have all the information. When clients end their service, they most likely give you an “excuse” for moving on. Often those excuses are just a way to be polite. To get to the root of the problem, you need to ask questions through a client exit survey.
The first question you should ask is why they are leaving. It might not be the reason, or “excuse” they gave you. Knowing this information alone can help you make changes in your business to increase customer retention.
Find out what they liked and what they didn’t like about working with you. This information can open your eyes to things that may be very simple to change, but will create a better customer experience. Ask them how satisfied they are and how likely they are to recommend you to others.
Keep the survey short and sweet. People don’t want to spend a lot of time, but they usually do want to give you their opinion. Some of the questions should be multiple choice for quicker answers, but leaving some questions open ended will allow for clients to tell you things you might not be aware of. This is also a great opportunity to ask for testimonials and referrals.
How to Administer a Client Exit Survey
The easiest way to administer a survey is to put it online. There are services like survey monkey or google forms or you can house it on your own website.
If your clientele is not tech-savvy, consider a paper form that you ask them to fill out on the last day of service or mail to them later. Make it easy for them by providing a self-addressed, stamped envelope so they can return it to you.
You can also interview your clients at your last meeting. Talking with them may generate good conversation and insights, but they may hold back and not want to be completely honest to your face. You can hire someone outside of your company to call and ask the client exit survey questions on your behalf in order to get more accurate information.
Having a client exit survey helps you gather information so you can do more of what your clients like and improve the things that aren’t going well. The better you make the customer experience, the more your client retention will increase. And, according to socialannex.com, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits by 25% – 125%.
Do you get feedback from your clients? What has worked best for you? Have you been surprised at any feedback you receive? Share in the comments below. If you would like a sample exit survey that you can adapt to your needs, go here.