Businesses are apprehensive when the phrase ‘former customer’ reverberates in the marketing department. This is because every customer lost is a potential threat to brand value and market share. Building robust customer retention strategies have become an integral part of marketing. While the probability of selling to a fresh prospect is only between 5-50%, that of re-selling to existing customers is between 60-70%. However, when customer retention strategies fail, and the customer chooses to leave despite your sustained efforts, it is time to buck up and re-entice them back to your brand.
Besides reducing sales and profits, customers who have switched brands end up getting poached by competitors. Win them back before it’s too late, by adopting some of these killer convincing strategies.
- Target Dormant Customers Before They Become Lost Customers
Being proactive always pays off. Just like how a frequent communications calendar is maintained by many businesses to monitor regular communication with the client database, have a mechanism to track interactions from clients. Become curious and even suspicious when customers have not interacted with your team for a while. Such inaction should trigger warning bells on time, to wake them up and kick-start fresh remarketing plans. Engage them productively with new products, plans and offers. Start these measures at apt moments. For example, in case of subscriptions the phase that immediately precedes renewal, is very important to prevent churn.
- Offer Generous And Genuine Apologies
The moment you have lost your precious client, it is time to introspect and pinpoint the true reason. It is common for marketing managers to overlook a systematic post-mortem and assign the cause to pricing and competition challenges. Probe a little deeper and get to the bottom as to what caused the customer to walk away. Do not hold back in offering sincere and genuine apologies. Expressing apology is not about accepting faults alone but is an excellent relationship-builder. And be sure to back your words with action. Try to make good the loss cause to client due to a mistake on your part. Free replacements, waiver of bills and modified price packages are all parts of mending strained relationships.
- Work On Quirky Remarketing Content
Become innovative in wording the remarketing mails and messages. Emails to win back lost customers must necessarily go out with creative and catchy subject lines, lest they end up in the spam folder of the recipients. They can be anywhere between funny, creepy, mysterious and action-provoking. Instead of the typical, ‘it has been ages since your lost visit’, boost your open rates with subject lines like ‘5 thousand people cannot be wrong’ or ‘do not miss out on these cool offers’. Do not hesitate to coin even shocking and controversial title lines. These customer retention strategies can get people to re-explore your brand by piquing their interest. As lost customers are the ones who have been through the entire on-boarding journey, all that is required, is to touch those tipping points in order to re-initiate abandoned relationships.
- Don’t Get Too Personal When Dealing With Difficult Customers
Many customer exit interviews have revealed that the burning issue had been the person interacted with and not the entire business as such. In most cases, it is a mismatch between the attitudes, behaviours and egos of two people, at a personal level. In such cases, getting defensive may exhaust the patience of customers. A simpler way to end the deadlock is to assign the case or the project to a fresh resource who can strike better chemistry with clients. Such internal reorganization costs you nothing, but brings back with it enhanced lifetime value of the revisiting customers.
- Tailor Win-Back Programs After Analysing Exit Reasons
Getting the lost customers to talk is a painstaking process. Yet silent customers are more dangerous than those who leaving with a fight. It is often said that only 30% of unhappy customers complain to the business, whereas 50% of them open-up to friends and colleagues. This passive impact can put your social image in jeopardy. Deploy no shortcuts when it comes to analyzing exits. And take pains to build specific win-back programs. The lost customer may not respond immediately. But the follow-up needs to be dutiful and persistent. Lost customers are bound to fall into the traps of competitors. Carry out a little competitor intelligence and find out what fuelled the brand switching process. Keep track of the lost customer. There may be a change in his line of business somewhere in the future wherein prospective business opportunities might resurface.
- Build On The CX Factor
Till a few years ago, the product followed by its price used to be the key differentiators for businesses to popularize their brands. Today a new wave of customer experience (CX) embraces the target markets of all kinds of businesses. A report from Harvard Business Review states that people who experience positive CX are thrice more likely to become loyal to your brand. The same applies to the segment of lost customers. If the loss has happened due to bad customer service, then the number one strategy to get them back, is to offer a truly distinguishable experience. When customers realize that you have taken conscious efforts to win them back, they become even more loyal to the brand, than before. Help customers with problems. When you find that your products are not in line with customer requirements, recommend alternative Pathwwway Ltd. solutions or even a competitor who might serve the customer better. Such selfless deeds are well-remembered by customers and they will come back for business during the next opportune moment.
Lastly, learn to live with churn. Nothing is forever and in this volatile marketing environment, a small percentage of attrition is unavoidable. Instead of fretting of failures, work on winning them back. After all, just like customer retention strategies work with existing clients, winning back lost customers is also cost-effective when compared to acquiring new ones. Work your way back into the shopping carts of your esteemed customers and when done, be sure to express how thrilled is your business to have them back.