Get Valuable Customer Insights
Customer exit interviews are a powerful method to gather valuable customer feedback so you can deeply know why customers have chosen to leave.
These valuable customer insights can be used throughout the company to fix troublesome areas that are increasing churn risk.
This guide is the expert process we use with our B2B SaaS clients to conduct customer interviews on their behalf. It’s also the same method we used in the university research institute where I worked for 16 years.
Use Your Customer Insights
To build the features most tied to increasing revenue.
To create stronger messaging and attract better fitting, long-term customers.
Customer Success & Sales
To set better customer expectations in the sales process and across the customer journey to reduce post-onboarding churn risk.
3 Step Interview Process
Step 1: Pre-Interview
The 5Ps: Your Strategic Interview Plan
Select 1 purpose for conducting the interviews.
Plan for the People and the Data
- 2 team members dedicated to conducting all exit interviews.
- Choose an appreciation/thank you gift.
- 1. Who owns the data?
- 2. Who can access the data?
- 3. Who will analyze the data?
- 4. Who is responsible for executing on the data?
- Questions must align with the purpose of conducting the interviews.
- Interviews should be 30 minutes.
- Have 2-3 themes with a maximum of 5-10 questions for the entire interview.
Populate with the Right People
2 way to recruit customers into your exit interviews:
- Via your automated cancellation flow
- Directly ask them to participate
**Assume lower participation rates at first until you get better at recruiting
Practice positive and negative mock interviews with a range of emotions.
Step 2: The Interview
Each interview should have the following stages:
- Ask Questions
**Record all your exit interviews**
Step 3: Post-Interview
- Collect interviews in one place
- Broadly categorize themes
- Look for positive and negative sentiment
- Look for smaller themes
- Stores/case studies/use cases
- Share the results to drive action
Your 3 Biggest Challenges (and their solutions)
Creating a customer exit interview program
- Setting up
- Interview skills development
Struggling to gain customer participation
- Set expectations early
- Add to contract
- End on a good note
Analyzing data & finding the right stories
- Use in-house data analysts
- Use VOC software
Undertake In-House or Hire a 3rd Party?
- New skill development
- Better for early growth companies
- Takes a long time to complete
- Suboptimal data
- Quickly abandoned
Hire a 3rd Party
- Professional skill set
- Right fit
- Wait list
Confidently decide to run in-house or hire an expert 3rd party.
- The 7 questions you need to ask
- The 4 things you need to know to spot a pretend expert from a real one.
Principles to Guide You
#1. The customer is doing you a favor by participating.
The have no sake in this.
But you do.
Respect the value they’re giving and their time – which they will never get back.
#2 Dig down into the feelings.
All decisions are made on emotions first and then backed up by cognitive processes.
Sentiment will point out the gaps in expectation.
That’s where you’ll find the most actionable information to effect better churn management.
#3. High Participation rate is purposely created
Getting a high participation rate for your exit interviews and for all of your customer feedback means you need a strong customer feedback engagement strategy and system.
High participation rates don’t happen in a vacuum –
they’re purposely created and developed.
LASTLY . . .
Not every customer can be saved.
Not every customer should be saved.
But if you have a strong customer feedback strategy and system, you can gain valuable information that leads to lower churn and higher revenues.