I am sure many of us have lost customers before due to various reasons. But what do you do with the customers you lost? Do you just let them walk away? Why not try win them back? Scary fact: 89% of lost customers will leave a company because of poor customer experience and start doing business with a competitor!
It is worth the time and efforts to try win these customers back. Did you know it’s 6-7 times more cost effective to win back lost customers than to replace them with new ones? According to a study by Marketing Metrics on average, you have:
- A 60 to 70 percent chance of successfully selling again to a current customer;
- A 20 to 40 percent chance of winning back a lost customer; and
- Only a 5 to 20 percent chance of turning a prospect into a customer.
The first step to winning back customers is identifying the customers who have left. This is where your CRM system comes in handy. Your CRM should have a record of all the people who are your customers as well as those that are inactive customer (inactive customers are those who have stopped using your service or stopped buying from you). Go through all those inactive customers and see why they became inactive – Did you do something to push them away (Bad customer experience)? Did a competitor do something to pull them away from you (Offer a better deal)? Have their needs changed? If the customer you lost was difficult to work with, then they may not be a good customer to have. Compile a list of inactive customers that you want back – aim for the customers who were either pushed or pulled away.
The next step is to email those inactive customers reminding them of the relationship and asking them to come back. If you offer an incentive such as a discount it might entice them to come back. Make these emails personal tell them you miss them, ask them how their kids are doing at school, ask them how they did in the 5 km fun run etc. Don’t forget to emphasise the incentive if you have one.
The next step is to follow up with an email at regular intervals offering the incentive. Make sure you space these emails out so it doesn’t become too spammy. You can even follow up with a phone call – be sincere and genuine on the phone. Just keep following up until they come back on board or until you can see that they are definitely not coming back – make sure not to go overboard and become a nuisance to that lost customer as this will chase them away.
If an inactive customer doesn’t want to come back see if you can get more information on why they left in the first place and why they won’t come back. These responses could be the key you need to improve customer retention - remember it costs businesses six times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.