Customer Retention Surveys: Definition, Process and Sample Questions

magnet pulling people icons to represent customer retention

Whether you are the biggest brand in the world, a small local firm, or somewhere in between – we all want to welcome new customers and keep them coming back for years to come.

However, there is one thing to keep in mind. It’s more important to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one.

Why? The probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70% while, the probability of selling to a new customer is only between 5% to 20%.

Even so, 44% of businesses focus on customer acquisition, and only 18% focus on client retention.

If you’re looking for more unique customer retention strategies, there is perhaps a no better solution than surveys.

Customer retention surveys are a cost-effective and data-driven solution for businesses of all sizes to improve churn rates and set themselves up for a successful future.

What are Customer Retention Surveys?

Customers often have a set of expectations before working with an organization and buying their products or services. It is very important you meet or even exceed those set of expectations.

How exactly do you know what their expectations are? Ask them!

Okay, well maybe not directly asking – but with the help of a customer attrition survey company.

Client retention surveys are sent to customers at various points along their purchasing journey.

By surveying customers at multiple touchpoints, your organization can exactly pinpoint what they are satisfied with and what areas you can improve upon.

💡 The Key Takeaway: The best way to create successful retention strategies is by relying on customer feedback. Doing so allows organizations to make informed decisions based on data rather than guesswork and assumptions.

Approach to Customer Retention Surveys

The most cost-effective market research methodology for measuring customer retention rates is online surveys. However, you also have the option of conducting a survey by email, phone, or in-person.

An organization can also choose when they would like their customer retention questionnaire to be sent.

Here are three different approaches used by our customer satisfaction survey company + the benefits associated with each.


Depending on what type of industry you are working in or who your audience is – say B2B or B2C – a survey can be automatically sent after a purchase is made, after a consumer received and used your product, and after a project or service is complete.

Why post-purchase?

This stage captures in-the-moment feedback so that customer feedback is more closely aligned with their true experiences, rather than using a product 2-months ago and not remembering exactly what they were and were not satisfied with.

Periodic Satisfaction Surveys

Rather than sending a survey to one customer after they have completed a purchase or service with your company, periodic satisfaction surveys are sent to groups of customers at different times.

For example, customers in group 1 receive a survey in Q1 while the second set of customers receives a survey in Q2.

Why periodic customer retention surveys?

Periodic customer retention surveys provide a more general overview of what your customers are satisfied with, what they are dissatisfied with, and what would cause them to leave for a different organization.

This approach helps provide market research benchmarks for your team to improve upon each month, quarter, or year.

Regular Satisfaction Tracking Surveys

Regular satisfaction tracking surveys is the approach recommended by Drive Research. Depending on your type of business, all customers would receive a feedback survey on a continual basis (once a month, once a quarter, or once a year).

Why regular satisfaction tracking surveys?

Continuous performance and measurement tracking is key to improving customer retention rates.

As soon as a customer falls within a certain satisfaction score, your team is notified immediately. This allows you to react quickly and improve any wrongdoings before a customer decides to leave.

Acting fast on customer feedback is a great way to show your customers that their opinion and business matter to you.

Recommended Reading: Ultimate Guide to Brand Tracking

💡 The Key Takeaway: There are several approaches to customer retention management. Depending on your customer type you can survey this audience after every purchase, periodically over time, or on an ongoing basis. Our customer survey company recommends the latter. 

Example Customer Retention Survey Questions

Collecting feedback with regular customer retention surveys provides your organization with the insight you need to improve loyalty and retain valuable customers.

Here are a few examples of the customer retention survey questions our market research company uses for our clients:

  • Which of the following products or services have you purchased from [COMPANY NAME]?
  • How is the quality of the product/service?
  • Overall, how satisfied are you with [COMPANY NAME]?
  • What are you most satisfied with?
  • What are you least satisfied with?
  • What first prompted you to contact or purchase from [COMPANY NAME]?
  • Would you consider yourself a local customer of [CUSTOMER NAME]? Why or why not?
  • Do you plan on purchasing from or working with [COMPANY NAME] in the future?
  • How likely are you to recommend [COMPANY NAME] to a friend or colleague?

Please note, these are general questions that could be asked for the purpose of customer retention management.

Before executing a survey, Drive Research will meet with your team to understand your objectives and goals which will form our recommended survey questions.

More on our process below!

💡 The Key Takeaway: When designing customer retention survey questions, it's important that they are created with your unique business objectives in mind. Failing to create a custom survey will result in poor data collection.

Process of Working with a Customer Survey Company

Interested in working with a customer research company, like Drive Research? Here is a breakdown of our step-by-step process.

Or for a more detailed overview, read Ultimate Guide to Customer Satisfaction Surveys.


After contacting our firm, Drive Research will send a detailed, yet comprehensive market research proposal outlining our approach to your customer retention study and the project cost.

Kickoff meeting.

Upon a signed proposal, Drive Research will form a dedicated project team including a project manager and research analyst. We will then schedule a quick kick-off meeting (by phone, webchat, or in-person) with your team of stakeholders to discuss your project objectives, specifications, and goals.


No later than 24 hours will our customer retention survey firm send your team a final workplan. A workplan will outline each project phase and the timeline for completion.

Survey draft.

Our experts will draft a customer retention survey based on your objectives, audience, and product or service.

Survey review.

After the survey is drafted, our team will be able to review each question for your approval before programming takes place.

Survey testing.

Once the survey is programmed in our online platform, you will receive a link to take the survey as if you were a customer. This allows your team to make any final changes before the customer survey is live.


The customer retention survey will be sent to a small group of customers to assure it is working as intended.


After reviewing the data and feedback from the soft-launch Drive Research will fully launch the survey to your customers.

Live data portal.

Drive Research will provide a client viewing link so you can review and act on the data as soon as someone completes a question. We will flag any cases that need your immediate attention.

Next steps.

The next phases in a customer retention survey project depend on whether your team would like to conduct one survey or leverage continuous performance tracking.

  • If you are conducting an ad-hoc customer retention survey, Drive Research will close fieldwork, analyze and clean the data, and begin building your custom report.
  • If you are conducting regular customer surveys, for example, Drive Research will create and send weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports dependent on how often you choose to survey your audience.

Our reports can include an executive summary, a breakdown of question-by-question results, recommendations for how to act on the data, an infographic, and more.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Partnering with an experienced market research agency can assure your data is of the highest quality. When it comes to customer retention, it is important this audience knows they can voice their opinion to an impartial third party.

Conduct Customer Retention Surveys with Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. Our team of experts can help execute a custom and impactful customer retention study to help improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Interested in working with our customer research company? Contact us through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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