How to Conduct Customer Exit Surveys | Intercept Survey Company

In-person customer exit surveys are a great way to understand many components of a brick and mortar location. It provides insights on consumer shopping preferences and behaviors to guide marketing, sales, or business decisions. 

Customer exit surveys are a great way to understand many components of a brick and mortar location. In this post, our intercept survey company walks through the process of a customer exit survey project completed for a fast-food restaurant chain. 

In this post, our intercept survey company takes a look at a recent customer exit survey project completed in October of 2020 for a fast food restaurant chain. 

Learn more about the objectives, approach, and results of our customer intercept survey project below.

If your organization is looking for a third-party to conduct customer exit surveys, Drive Research can help. Contact our team via our website or by emailing info@driveresearch.com

How to Conduct Customer Exit Surveys | Intercept Survey Company


Customer Exit Survey Objectives

Drive Research was hired to conduct customer intercept surveys by a popular fast food restaurant chain. The market research focused on a specific store location. 

The objectives of the customer exit survey were to measure:

  • The reason(s) that impact usage of the location
  • Expected percent of the customer base to churn to a nearby competitive location
  • Reason(s) for the churn

In addition to the above objectives, the goal of the market research was to collect more information on customer profiles

This included demographic information such as ages, where they are coming from pre-visit, and where they are going post-visit.

Read this post to learn more about conducting fast food intercept surveys.


Approach to Customer Exit Surveys

To address the objectives at-hand, Drive Research recommended using a customer intercept survey to collect feedback. Our market research company had permission to be on-site at the store location. 

The proposal was signed on September 22, 2020. Although a 3-week minimum is typically required to schedule staff, Drive Research was able to expedite fieldwork for the client by launching fieldwork less than two weeks after sign-off. 

Intercepts were completed via tablets using satellite 4G connections to the survey link. The survey was administered through a combination of self-administration methods

  1. The customer taking the tablet and completing the survey.
  2. A professional interviewer verbally asking the questions to the customer and recording the feedback. 

The on-site intercept interviewer defaulted to the preference of the customer and was available to clarify survey questions if needed.

Conducting the customer intercept surveys

Fieldwork for the customer intercept surveys began on Thursday, October 1, and lasted until Sunday, October 4, 2020. 

The market research study was over four consecutive days during peak hours identified by the fast food restaurant. 

The shifts were Thursday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. All shifts lasted 11 hours for a total of 44 hours of intercept surveying over the four days. 

Drive Research recommended intercepting customers during high-traffic times on these four days to capture the most significant percentage of a regular customer base as possible (combining both weekday and weekend days and evenings). 

Customers were provided a coupon as a thank you for participating in the short survey.

💡💡 Pro Tip: Hire a back-up interviewer.

When conducting in-person customer exit surveys, our market research company recommends recruiting a back-up interviewer.

Regardless of how reliable a person is, mishaps or emergencies happen when an interviewer has to cancel at the last minute. 

By hiring a back-up interviewer, you have the peace of mind of not scrambling at the last minute to find someone to fill their spot. Or, worse having to postpone the intercept surveys to a new date when the original interview is available again.

Adhering to COVID-19 restrictions

All surveying adhered to strict COVID-19 guidelines to ensure safety for all staff and customers.

Guidelines included steps for staff to complete before going onsite, steps to safely conduct the survey, and guidelines to adhere to throughout the day.

Wondering how much intercept surveys cost? We answer this here.


Example Customer Exit Survey Questions

While up to 10 to 15 survey questions were budgeted, our intercept survey company encouraged the client to keep the survey length as short as possible.

In our experience, shorter customer exit surveys help boost the total number of responses and data reliability.

Example customer exit survey questions included:

  • What is the main reason for visiting this location of the fast food chain restaurant?
  • How many times do you visit this location per month?
  • If a new location opened in [INSERT MARKET], what location are you more likely to visit? Why?
  • How important is a drive-thru in choosing a location?
  • Do you visit other locations of the fast food restaurant?
  • Did you drive to the fast food restaurant?
  • Where did you visit prior to coming to this location?
  • Where are you going after your visit today?

Results of the Customer Exit Survey

Overall, the results of the customer intercept survey will fuel the next steps in operations, sales, and marketing. 

The survey took an average of 5 minutes to complete and included 17 questions. The survey received 377 responses.

Drive Research provided daily progress reports to the client after completing each shift, which highlighted the current number of completed surveys. 

The number of responses exceeded our estimated goal of 300 responses for the 4-days at the location by 25%.

With a probabilistic sample, a total of 377 responses at the 95% confidence level offers a 5% margin of error.

If the survey were conducted with another random pool of 377 customers at the store location, results would yield within +5% or -5% of the stated totals in the reports.

The margin of error can be used as a guideline to understand the high reliability of these results.

The report included a topline summary of the findings.

The goal was to provide an overview of the feedback to reveal key findings derived from the separate PDF reports of question tabulations.

Learn more about the difference between a topline summary and a comprehensive market research report.


Interested in Conducting Customer Exit Surveys? Contact Drive Research.

Drive Research is a national intercept survey company located in New York. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust customer market research study based on your unique needs and goals.

Reach out through any of the four ways below to learn more about our services.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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