17 customer retention survey questions to unlock relationship drivers

March 7, 2023

Keeping customers and building a loyal customer base are key to a growing and profitable business. But what drives retention and loyalty in your industry in general? What matters to customers of your company, products, and services in particular?

Selecting customer retention survey questions for market research into these dynamics will help you pinpoint why customers stay and why they increase engagement with your company. 

Patiwat Panurach, NewtonX’s VP of Strategic Insights and Analytics, suggests: “Be extremely clear on your objectives, as they will drive the questions you ultimately select.” You can use the insights from your customer survey questions in improving your marketing messages and sales processes. 

Here are the keys to gaining a deeper understanding of your customers’ perceptions, behaviors, and motivations toward your brands.



Customer retention vs customer loyalty


People often mention customer retention and loyalty in the same breath. While related, the ideas are subtly different. 


Customer retention refers to a customer continuing to buy and use your products and services. It is binary. You either keep the customer, or you don’t. Your customer retention rate is the percentage of customers who return to buy again within a specified time frame. 

Customer loyalty is about the relationship customers have with your company or brands. It is based on trust, understanding, and a positive relationship. It goes beyond customer retention. Loyal customers recommend your company and advocate for you. It is measured in degrees. A client can be slightly loyal, coming back to buy again, more loyal, expressing a degree of customer satisfaction or even delight, or passionately loyal, telling everyone how great you are.



What is a customer retention survey?


A customer retention survey is a tool used by businesses to gather feedback from their existing customers with the aim of assessing their satisfaction, loyalty, and likelihood to continue using the products or services. The primary purpose of a customer retention survey is to understand the factors that influence customer retention and identify areas for improvement. Because measuring customer loyalty is a deeper, more complex process, customer loyalty survey questions are more extensive. Add these to the retention and customer retention survey questions above for a complete picture.



Why do customers leave?


There are several common reasons why customers may leave your company and churn. While the specific reasons can vary depending on the industry and the nature of the business, some of the most frequently observed factors include:

  1. Poor Customer Service: Customers value quality customer service, and if they consistently experience unresponsive or ineffective support, it can lead to dissatisfaction and churn.
  2. High Prices or Lack of Value: Customers may decide to leave a service if they feel the price is too high compared to the perceived value they receive. This could be due to better alternatives in the market or a mismatch between the cost and the benefits provided.
  3. Inadequate Product or Service Quality: Customers expect products or services to meet their needs and fulfill their expectations. If they encounter consistent quality issues, defects, or subpar performance, they may seek alternatives.
  4. Lack of Personalization: Customers appreciate personalized experiences that cater to their individual preferences and needs. When businesses fail to provide personalized offerings or communication, customers may feel undervalued and seek alternatives.
  5. Competitive Offerings: The presence of strong competitors offering better features, pricing, or overall value can entice customers to switch to their products or services.
  6. Changes in Needs or Circumstances: Customers’ needs and circumstances can change over time. If a service no longer aligns with their evolving requirements, they may decide to churn and explore other options.
  7. Negative Word of Mouth: Negative reviews or recommendations from friends, family, or online sources can significantly impact customer decisions. If a service consistently receives poor feedback, it can lead to churn.
  8. Unresolved Issues or Complaints: When customers face unresolved issues or complaints, and their concerns are not adequately addressed or resolved in a timely manner, it can erode trust and loyalty, leading to churn.
  9. Lack of Engagement or Relevance: If customers do not feel engaged or connected to a service, they may lose interest and seek alternatives that offer more relevant and engaging experiences.


It’s important for businesses to identify these churn drivers and proactively address them to reduce customer attrition. By understanding the specific reasons for churn within their industry and target market, businesses can develop tailored strategies to enhance customer satisfaction, improve retention rates, and foster long-term loyalty.



What are the key objectives of customer retention survey questions?


At NewtonX, we understand the importance of effective customer retention strategies and the need to achieve specific objectives. A comprehensive approach focuses on measuring and optimizing key retention factors to drive sustainable business growth.

Customer retention solutions need to revolve around the following core objectives:

  1. Maximize Customer Satisfaction: We prioritize maximizing customer satisfaction among your existing customer base. Through targeted surveys and in-depth analysis, we identify areas where satisfaction can be enhanced, ensuring that your customers receive the best possible experience.
  2. Proactive Identification of Dissatisfied Customers: Our customer retention program includes proactive measures to identify dissatisfied customers before they consider leaving. By implementing a robust feedback mechanism, we detect warning signs and address concerns promptly, enabling you to retain valuable customers.
  3. Understanding the Reasons for Customer Churn: We help you uncover the underlying reasons why current customers choose to leave your business. Our surveys delve into the factors that contribute to customer churn, providing valuable insights that inform strategic improvements and retention efforts.
  4. Attention to Customer Details: We recognize that building personal relationships with customers can be challenging, especially as businesses grow. However, maintaining a personalized approach is crucial. Our customer retention solutions ensure that you retain the “friendly face” of your business, fostering meaningful connections with customers even as you scale.


8 key customer retention survey questions to ask


  1. What prompted you to buy our product/service?
  2. How would you rate the quality of the product/service purchases?
  3. How satisfied are you with it?
  4. With what aspects are you most satisfied?
  5. With what aspects are you least satisfied?
  6. Do you plan on buying such a product/service again?
  7. How likely are you to buy from us?
  8. How likely are you to recommend us?


9 key customer loyalty survey questions to ask


  1. How long have you been a customer, and how much do you buy? Ideally, your CRM has these answers, but if not, be sure to ask!
  2. How likely are you to switch to a competitor? Why is that?
  3. How likely are you to buy from us again? Why is that?
  4. Would you buy other products/services from us?
  5. Do you plan to buy more in the future? Why?
  6. What do we do well?
  7. What could we improve?
  8. How likely are you to recommend our product/service?
  9. When talking about us to others, what do you say?



How to effectively measure customer retention?

To effectively measure and enhance customer retention, it’s crucial to employ comprehensive survey strategies that capture key insights. Here are multiple options for measuring customer retention using surveys:


  1. Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Conduct surveys to gauge the satisfaction levels of your current customers. Include questions that assess their overall experience, product/service quality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend your business to others. Utilize rating scales, open-ended questions, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) to obtain a holistic view of customer satisfaction.
  2. Exit Surveys: Implement exit surveys to identify the reasons why customers choose to leave your business. Ask about their primary concerns, factors that influenced their decision, and any areas where you fell short of their expectations. This feedback can help you address issues and make improvements to retain future customers.
  3. Customer Retention Program Evaluation: Evaluate the effectiveness of your customer retention program by conducting surveys specifically tailored to measure its impact. Include questions about program awareness, perceived value, and whether customers feel it has influenced their decision to continue doing business with you.
  4. Employee Feedback Surveys: Involve your employees in the customer retention process by gathering their insights. They often have valuable perspectives on customer interactions and can provide suggestions for improving customer retention efforts. Employee feedback surveys can help identify areas where training, support, or process improvements are needed.
  5. Benchmarking and Comparison Surveys: Compare your customer satisfaction and retention levels against industry benchmarks or your competitors. Conduct surveys that capture customer perceptions of your business in relation to others, allowing you to identify areas where you excel or need improvement.
  6. Continuous Improvement Surveys: Implement regular surveys to monitor customer satisfaction and identify opportunities for ongoing improvement. These surveys can focus on specific touchpoints or aspects of your business, helping you identify areas where you can exceed customer expectations and drive higher retention rates.



Uncover the drivers of long profitable relationships with NewtonX


Measuring customer loyalty and retention and uncovering the secrets behind them can drive profitability. It is easier to sell to an existing customer base and the margins are often much better. 

Worried about what kind of questions to ask in your study? Whether it’s for customer retention survey questions, persona survey questions, or even win loss survey questions, NewtonX B2B market research services can help you identify what to ask and understand customer loyalty in your industry. Contact us today if you want to learn more about your potential or existing customer base and how to nurture a lasting relationship with them.

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