There are many reasons why customers will leave a company: prices being too high, bad customer service, a drop in product quality, etc. While companies spend a lot of money trying to get new customers to replace the ones they lost, research shows that you are better off trying to get your customers back. According to Marketing Metrics, you have up to a 40 percent chance of winning back a customer, compared to only a 20 percent chance of turning a prospect into a buying customer.
It’s not always easy to win customers back. However, if you have a solid strategy that will soothe their disgruntlement with your product or service, and assure them that you have made improvements, you are in a good position to regain their trust. Below are four steps you can take to really wow your customers and get them back.
Find out Why They Left
If you want your customers back, you have to fix what drove them away. Thoroughly assess your policies, products and services for any issues, then find out why your business is no longer deemed the best choice. Perform a strength, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis to help you honestly evaluate the problems.
Zendesk’s research found that 82 percent of customers stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. Look into your employees’ relationship with the customers. Do they talk to them in a polite and professional manner? Do they understand the company’s business and explain the services well? How long does it take them to solve a customer’s problem?
Take a look at your method of communication as well. New Voice Media found that 75 percent of people surveyed consider phone calls the most effective way of getting a quick response. But some customers reach voicemail or have to go through a long process when contacting a company. Their research also showed that 53 percent of consumers find it irritating when they do not reach a live person quickly and give up after trying a few times.
Once you know why you lost your customers, try contacting them to explain and fix the situation. Avoid sending mass emails because it does not present an image of genuine concern.Fifty-three percent of people switch companies when they feel unappreciated, so it’s important to make them feel valued.
Sending a letter in the mail is a good way to get a positive reaction. This feels more personal and gives a sense of importance. In the letter, introduce yourself and let them know that you miss them. If there was a specific case that was not solved satisfactorily for them, explain how you will rectify it. Remember this: 70 percent of customers will do business with you again if you resolve a dispute in their favor.
You might also want to remind them of the benefits your company offers, including any new perks that were introduced to your customer base in their absence. Such tactics can get their attention and make them think twice about boycotting your company.
Offer Something Valuable
Gifts are one of the most common ways to seal the deal when closing a rift in any relationship. That being said, offer your customers something tangible to show appreciation and goodwill.
Try extending a gift voucher or a large discount on their next purchase with you. On average, 72 percent of customers will spend at least 20 percent more than what’s on the gift card. What’s more, the majority of people who receive a gift card with a significant value will likely return to the brand.
Send your gift card along with your letter in the mail, then follow up with an email telling them you look forward to them on board again. Also, inform them of any sales you’re having where they can use their gift card so they will be enticed to buy something from you.
Make a Change
You will lose customers again if you keep making the same mistakes. Fix the issues that they had experienced and put preventive measures in place to stop similar problems from reoccurring. If your customers were leaving because of poor customer service, train your staff on how to properly deal with customers. According to Bain and Company, customers are four times more likely to go to your competitor if your service is poor, so deliver a top-notch customer experience.
Use the SWOT analysis mentioned earlier to capitalize on your company’s strengths, and find a way to improve your weaknesses. Use your opportunities for your clients’ benefit, and strategically plan and be ready for all the possible threats to your business.
Furthermore, improve your company’s customer service and provide an avenue for them to express their opinions about your products or services. Then, study these opinions and use them to streamline your processes and offerings.
Customer churn is an unavoidable part of the business and there’s no greater way to keep them than to carry out the best service. Should you lose customers, prioritize efforts to regain those customers over gunning for new ones—the former already knows your company. You just have to woo and convince them that your company is better than the poor experience they had.
The customer retention process is tricky, but definitely effective. Once you fix the problem, contact the customers to let them know it is fixed. Also, make sure the fix is permanent and avoid it happening again.
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