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Glossary of Marketing Terms

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What is a customer loss survey?  

A customer loss survey, also known as a churn survey, is a tool used to gather feedback from customers who have stopped using your product or service.  Its purpose is to understand why they left and what you can do to win them back or prevent similar customer churn in the future.

What is a customer loss survey template?  

Customer loss survey template

This template provides a starting point to gather valuable feedback from customers who are churning or have recently churned. By understanding their reasons for leaving, you can identify areas for improvement and potentially win back lost customers.


  • Thank the customer for their time and feedback.
  • Briefly explain the purpose of the survey (understand why they stopped using your product/service).
  • Assure them that their responses are anonymous.

Understanding the customer (Optional)

  • How long were you a customer of our company? (Multiple choice: Less than a month, 1-3 months, 3-6 months, 6 months to 1 year, More than 1 year)
  • How did you first hear about our company? (Multiple choice: Website ad, Social media ad, Online search, Referral from a friend/colleague, Other)

Reasons for leaving

  • What was the primary reason for canceling your service/ending your subscription? (Multiple choice with option to select all that apply)
  • Price was too high
  • Didn't find the product/service valuable enough
  • Didn't meet my needs
  • Found a better alternative
  • Difficult to use
  • Poor customer support experience
  • Other (Open ended)
  • If you selected "Other," please elaborate: (Open ended)

Additional feedback

  • What could we have done to retain your business? (Open ended)
  • Is there anything we can do to improve your experience in the future? (Open ended)
  • Would you consider using our product/service again in the future? (Yes/No/Maybe)
  • If you answered "Yes" to the previous question, what would need to change for you to consider coming back? (Open ended)


  • Thank the customer for their feedback once again.
  • Briefly mention how their input will be used to improve (demonstrate that you value their feedback).

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How to measure a customer loss survey?  

Measuring a customer loss survey goes beyond simply collecting responses. It's about analyzing the data to gain actionable insights and implementing changes to reduce churn. Here's how to effectively measure a customer loss survey:

Analyze response rates:

  • Overall completion rate: Track the percentage of customers who open the survey and complete it. A low completion rate might indicate the survey is too long or the delivery channel is ineffective.
  • Time to completion: Monitor the average time it takes customers to finish the survey. An unusually long time could suggest complexity or a lack of focus.

Analyze key metrics from questions:

  • Churn reasons: Identify the most common reasons customers cite for leaving, using multiple choice answer selections and categorizing open-ended responses with similar themes.
  • Net promoter score (NPS): Include an NPS question to gauge customer loyalty. Calculate the NPS score (promoters minus detractors) to understand overall customer sentiment.
  • Customer effort score (CES): Consider incorporating a CES question to measure how easy it was for customers to cancel or address their issues. A high CES score indicates a smooth exit process.

Advanced analysis:

  • Sentiment analysis: Use sentiment analysis tools (if applicable) to analyze the tone of open-ended responses and categorize them as positive, negative, or neutral. This can reveal deeper emotions behind customer feedback.
  • Verbatim analysis: Pay close attention to verbatim quotes from open-ended questions. These can provide rich insights into specific customer experiences and pain points.
  • Segmenting responses: Segment your customer loss survey data by demographics, subscription plans, or other relevant factors to identify patterns within specific customer groups.

Taking action:

  • Develop action plans: Based on your analysis, prioritize areas for improvement to address the most common customer pain points and reasons for churn.
  • Track improvement: Once you've implemented changes based on the feedback, track relevant metrics (e.g., churn rate, NPS) over time to measure the effectiveness of your actions.
  • Closing the loop: Consider reaching out to customers who provided specific negative feedback to acknowledge their concerns and explain the steps you're taking to improve.

What are the customer lost survey best practices?  

Here are some customer loss survey best practices to maximize the value you get from gathering feedback from churned customers:

Crafting the survey:

  • Target the right audience: Focus on customers who have recently churned or are in the churn process. Avoid surveying inactive customers who might not remember their experience clearly.
  • Keep it concise (ideally under 10 minutes): A lengthy survey risks low completion rates. Prioritize the most critical questions and avoid overwhelming respondents.
  • Multiple question formats: Use a mix of multiple-choice questions for easy data analysis, Likert scale questions to gauge satisfaction levels, and open-ended questions to gather in-depth feedback.
  • Actionable questions: Frame questions to yield insights that can be acted upon. Instead of "Satisfied with customer support?", ask "How can we improve the way our support team handles your requests?"

Distribution and promotion:

  • Multiple channels: Consider email, website pop-ups, or in-app surveys (depending on the churn stage) to reach customers on their preferred platform.
  • Timing is key: Send the survey soon after a customer churns while their experience is still fresh in their mind.
  • Clear introduction and incentive (optional): Briefly explain the survey's purpose and the value of their feedback. Consider offering a small incentive (discount code, loyalty points) to encourage participation.

Data analysis and action:

  • Go beyond numbers: Analyze quantitative data (multiple choice responses) alongside qualitative data (open-ended responses) to gain a holistic understanding of customer sentiment.
  • Identify trends and themes: Look for patterns and recurring issues within the feedback to pinpoint areas with the most significant impact on churn.
  • Prioritize improvements: Focus on addressing the most common and impactful reasons for churn based on your analysis. Develop action plans with clear timelines and ownership.
  • Communicate action: Inform customers about the actions you're taking based on their feedback. This shows you value their input and are committed to improvement.
  • Close the loop: For specific negative feedback, consider personalized outreach to acknowledge concerns and explain how you're addressing them.

Additional best practices:

  • Maintain anonymity: Assure customers that their responses are anonymous to encourage honest feedback.
  • Test different versions: A/B test variations of the survey (e.g., question order, introduction) to see which one yields better results.
  • Regular review and update: Periodically review your churn metrics and survey data to identify any new trends or areas for improvement.

Why is it important to conduct a customer lost survey?  

Customer lost surveys are vital tools for businesses because they offer a wealth of information that can directly translate to improvements and increased revenue. Here's why they're important:

  • Identify Areas for Improvement: Lost customer surveys pinpoint the exact reasons why customers decided to leave. This allows you to identify weaknesses in your product, service, pricing, or customer experience that you might not have been aware of.
  • Gain Competitive Insights: These surveys can reveal how your competitors are stacking up. You might learn what features or services are attracting customers away to competitors, allowing you to adjust your offerings to be more competitive.
  • Win Back Customers: Sometimes, a customer might be unhappy with a specific issue that can be resolved. The survey gives you a chance to reach out and apologize, potentially regaining their business.
  • Improve Customer Retention: By understanding why customers leave, you can develop strategies to address those issues and prevent future churn. A happy customer is more likely to stay with your company.
  • Boost Brand Image: Reaching out to lost customers shows that you care about their feedback and are committed to improvement. This can help to rebuild trust and potentially improve your brand image.

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