Making up is hard to do

But don’t worry, it’s not just your company facing these challenges. On average, most companies will lose 10–40 per cent of their customers. These are people who have walked away and may never return and many companies don’t even bother to find out why. The problem is, when you lose customers, you have to go out and find new ones to replace them and that can be costly and time-consuming.
But let’s not get too negative about it. Remember that it’s far easier to sell to someone who has dealt with your business before than it is to a new prospect. While a bunch of flowers or a night out at a favourite restaurant may work you back into the affections of your partner, in business that’s just not going to cut it.  It’s time to look at successful strategies and campaigns that will allow you to win back even the most disillusioned of customers. It can be done.
If you’re still not quite convinced that it’s worth the hassle of contacting people who may not necessarily make it easy for you, then consider this: the cost of winning back an old customer is far, far less than acquiring a new one. Economically it just makes sense.
So start off with the basics and make a list of all the customers who’ve dealt with you in the past but haven’t come back within the past six months. Identify the ones that you think will be most likely to come back and purchase again.
If you have the resources then it’s wise to follow up with a telephone campaign. People are very likely to respond to a personal call where they can air their views to a real person. But here’s the deal clincher: actually listen to what they have to say. If you’re asking why they haven’t purchased from you in a while, then the information they give you is vital to your customer relationship development strategies. If you present yourself as a solution creator then they will be happen to listen to what you have to say too.
Always resist making promises you can’t keep. If the reason the person deserted your company in the first place was because they thought the customer service was poor, then improve it. There’s no point in telling them that things are far better now when in actual fact they’re exactly the same. Asking people what they want and giving your personal assurance that you could make it happen may seem obvious, but you cannot afford to underestimate its impact.
And remember that in their absence as a shopper with your business, these consumers may well have become loyal to another company. So you will also need to give them a tangible incentive to come back to you. Discounts, vouchers and loyalty cards are all great ways to get people back on side and will give you a second chance to secure their business and prove your worth.

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