I am looking for a set of the most appropriate questions to ask when users are terminating their subscription for a product or service. What would be a good number of questions and which questions are the most important to ask?

Edit: At the moment we are already asking a set of questions about - how often did you use the service - in which way did you use it - how successful you were based on the expectations you had when you joined - we are also asking the NPS question and - an open end question about what users missed from our service

I have also found quite many templates of these surveys while googling but what I am looking for is some advice or best practices about this kind of survey and how the answers are used later in product development.

We are using the feedback to see which features we are missing in comparison with our competitors but we are still missing information about why are people failing completing their goal with the service. Would it be useful to ask them to rate usability for example? Or some other very important question we have missed.

closed as too broad by Andrew Martin, Mayo, Devin, JohnGB Jun 20 '16 at 19:48

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    At the moment, this feels a lot like a 'do my work for me' question. Do you have some survey questions already? What are they? what do you want to learn from your ex-subscribers? What information would be most useful to you? – Andrew Martin Jun 20 '16 at 8:08
  • A little competitive audit would be useful here. Go sign up for and cancel a bunch of newsletters and see what they ask. (Seeing their entire subscribe/cancel processes can inform yours as well.) – Ken Mohnkern Jun 20 '16 at 12:41

It really boils down to this: what's the goal of asking them the questions? What are you going to do with the resulting data? If you're still at the stage of asking which questions you should be asking, you haven't thought that part through yet; once you've figured out why you're doing an exit survey, the what should fall into place naturally.

Is it for internal "why are our customers leaving?" metrics only? Is it a customer-retention strategy? If so, what incentives can you offer the user to stay? (Maybe you can offer a discount, if they indicate that the price was a reason for leaving; or perhaps there are less-noticed features of your site/product you might be able to guide them to?)

Bear in mind that you're dealing with users who are already halfway out the door; if it feels at all to the user that you're wasting their time, most of them will just ignore the survey completely, unless you require them to complete the survey as part of the exit process. (Which you should absolutely not do, of course; you'll just get whatever random garbage answers are quickest to complete, and will burn through any shred of goodwill you may still have with those ex-customers.)

Users will fill out an exit survey for (some combination of) three reasons:

  1. It looks relatively effortless and they don't have anything better to do at the moment
  2. They are angry, and want to vent
  3. They are being rewarded in some way for doing so (via coupons, discounts, or etc.; or the comparatively mild social reward of their answers being made public as "reviews")

Users in category #2 will be more motivated to push through a longer form. The rest will bail on you at the slightest provocation. So don't think in terms of "how many questions should we ask" -- it entirely depends on what the questions are, how they're presented, and how long it takes the user to answer them. Think in terms of "What is the most concise and simple-for-the-end-user way we can can get the user to give us the data we are interested in". Which first means answering the question "what data are we interested in?"


1 - Apply the golden rule of 'surveys' - Don't ask too many questions - In this context of someone walking away from a service I wouldn't try to ask more than say 3 questions with check boxes.

You can test this as well. Start with 3. Then try 6 options and see if your completion rate goes up or down.

2 - Think of your questions and then test them on some users ( or if your budget doesn't run to proper market research at least try them on your family, friends and colleagues ). Just because your questions seem clear to you doesn't mean that they will be clear to other people.


If I recall other cancellation surveys, they tend to ask just one question: "Why did you unsubscribe?" With a small handful of possible answers.

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