Winning Back Lost Customers: Strategies to Rebuild Loyalty and Trust

Why customers leave:

Before we can understand how to win back lost customers, it’s important to know some of the common reasons customers leave initially.

Some of the biggest reasons customers leave are:

  1. Unhappy with the treatment they received
  2. Dissatisfied with products and services
  3. Start working with the competition
  4. Look for alternatives
  5. Move away

In some situations, a competitor can offer better pricing or better customer experience. Customers may also leave for personal reasons such as a relative leaving the company, job loss (less money to spend), etc.

If a company has poor customer service, a customer is more likely to take his or her business elsewhere. Common customer service complaints include waiting too long to speak with a real person, representatives repeating themselves, or representatives not being able to answer a customer’s questions.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How easy is it to have a complaint/question addressed and solved? If the process is complicated, customers might become unhappy and choose a competitor instead.

Consider making updates to the customer service strategy and make the process one that you wouldn’t mind dealing with when working with a business.

How to win back lost customers:

“Why should I care about lost customers?” We’ve mentioned retaining customers makes more sense than getting new ones. Also, a loyal customer is considered the most profitable customer, and a referred customer offers the best return on marketing.

how to win back old customers
Find ways to improve customer retention.

Four win-back offers were tested on 40,000 customers by a telecom company, and some worked better than others:

  • Discount: $20 off for 6 months (45% success rate and 668% ROI)
  • Upgrade: $35 movie channel free for 3 months (41% success rate and 793% ROI)
  • Bundled: $20 off for 6 months, plus a $35 movie channel free for 3 months (47% success rate and 302% ROI)
  • Tailored: Customers who left because of price get discount, and those who left because fo service get an upgrade (45% success rate and 596% ROI)

Trying to win back every single lost customer could consume time, money, and resources depending on the strategy. Instead, consider trying to win back those customers whose behavior indicated an inclination to return. These may include those who didn’t complain, who referred others, or who had complaints that were then resolved.

Also, those who left due to price are more likely to return than those who left because of poor customer service.

Ways to win customers back include:

  1. Determine why they left and figure out what you can do to help: Even if one specific customer isn’t worth trying to get back, the information can likely be helpful with others. Ask questions to learn about that customer’s frustrations.
  2. Adjust the offer: You may be able to use information from lost customer research to create favorable offers for other consumers.
  3. Take responsibility: If your company didn’t provide adequate service or sold faulty products, it’s important to own up to the mistake and work to make up for it. Customers need to see that effort if you want them to return.

Consider a New Marketing Campaign:

Proper marketing tools can help convert lost customers into repeat business:

  1. “We Fixed It” Campaign: Do you know why customers are leaving? Consider conducting a survey to find out. If they were unhappy with products or service, consider making improvements, then creating a campaign to acknowledge the changes that have been made.
  2. Provide an Incentive: Make sure the promotion is worth it to your customers. Consider an email campaign that says something like “We Miss You. Come in this week for 25% off your entire order.” Customers may appreciate the effort and the opportunity to purchase items at a lower price.
  3. Use Social Media: If you notice many customers are dissatisfied with a price increase, for example, your company might consider a customer appreciation day where customers receive a special coupon for a reduced price.

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