Edited excerpt from Why a SaaS customer hasn’t churned when they cancel by Andrew Tate:
Send a succinct, targeted survey that forces the cancelled customer to pick the biggest and smallest reasons for churning. These surveys work best in three main forms: An exit survey that’s displayed upon hitting cancel, an automated (but seemingly personal) email survey in the cancellation confirmation email, or a highly personalized email with an open-ended question: What made you cancel?
Then, catalog why the customer is leaving and align the easiest solution to bring them back:
Bought away: Customer feels they aren’t getting value. If you don’t have properly aligned buyer personas, you’ll likely hear this excuse considerably more than if your pricing is aligned correctly. Solutions: discounts, downgrades, and better customer persona alignment.
Moved away: The customer decides your services are no longer needed. Especially true of customers who “graduate” to an enterprise product or downgrade to a lighter weight option. Solutions: trials and product feature/plan expansion.
Pulled away: Customer switches to a competitive product. Solutions: discounts/downgrades, re-aligned value propositions, and better feature hooks.
Pushed away: A member of your customer’s team starts briefing against your product, or customer feels that the service is poor quality or that expectations of the service have gone unmet. Solutions: Better communication and customer support.
(1) Cf. How to conduct customer cancellation interviews in the “Job To Be Done” framework.
(2) Cf. How to reduce churn — a process, also by Andrew Tate.
(3) Cf. The customer success role — a job description.