You can’t retain 100% of your customers, but you can always reduce churn.
When a customer leaves your product, they leave with valuable insight. They know why they left and their reasons likely aren’t unique. If you can figure out why customers leave your product, you can address their issues by improving your product and/or communicating its value more effectively.
One way to capture this feedback is with an exit survey. The implementation can be quite simple. When someone cancels an account, follow up with a quick form asking them why they’ve chosen to leave. Or keep it low-tech, and simply send them a plain-text email asking why they left.
If you send visitors to a form, don’t mess it up by giving them a fixed set of options. Remember, you don’t know why they’re leaving, so don’t feed them a list of your assumptions. Give them a simple text field where they can tell you why they’re leaving and share any other thoughts. Your goal isn’t to sign them back up as a customer but to get the info you need to improve the product, so future customers don’t churn.
The responses might be hard to read, but that’s where the value is. Time to lift up the rock and stare at all the ugliness squirming underneath. The reward will be happier customers who stick around longer.