Is there a way to gain back customers after you've lost them?
My startup has been losing business lately and it has me thinking about where those lost customers went. We have a good foundation of loyal customers, but I do believe some of the lost customers are worth winning back.
Zoe, everyone who has mentioned that you need to reach out to your customers is absolutely right. But here's the catch - people feel much more comfortable giving a stranger their honest opinion than the person they do/did business with.
What it sounds like you need is a brand audit to get a pulse on what is working and not working with the business. And I highly recommend engaging someone outside of the business to do this.
Blind surveys are good. But there are nuances in having a "live" conversation with people that can be missed with an online survey.
Happy to speak with you more about this if you have questions.
I agree with Ellen. Contact people and find out why they left and be prepared for some feedback you may not want to hear. I'd also look at your customer service processes and ask yourself what are we missing in this process?
Not some, all the customers are worth winning back, because due to them the business was running. Your team can contact them and take a feedback as to why they left or what are their requirements.
Something similar happened with 1 of my organisations. To get back the customers, they started a promotion by selecting the customers who had not shopped for 1 month & so on till last 1 year. They created a list of those customers & i called each one of them to inform them that they are selected valuable customer & thus the company has put a discount voucher in their respective online accounts
Many of them were surprised hearing from me, but i tried for all those customers, nearly 200 customers.
After few days we came to know most of those customers shopped using the vouchers & that day the website has maximum visitors & customers shopped using those vouchers, due to which i was awarded the best performer award by the respective client.
So you can also try something similar if you find this suitable.
All the best to you & your team
Go to Surveymechanics.com, sign up for a free trial for a month, which will give you time to deploy our ready made ex-cutomer survey (which you can easily fine tune).
Find out where you can improve and fix it!
I did this for a company of which I was marketing director some years ago and in three months improved the bottom line by a third, at no cost, after finding out why we were losing customers.
Contact me if you need any help with this.
All the best,
Besides the answer to the obvious question everyone tells you, consider the various answers you'll get in respect to what you are willing to do and need to do to retain them.
If you are bleeding customers, you might want to start by thinking of them more as clients. Look up the definitions of those two words and you'll understand which one you might want to consider adopting and adapting to using more often. Maybe you'll shift some responsibilities or focus in the way you currently do business.
Most businesses do little or nothing to "groom" their clients to be what the business needs/wants them to be. There's usually just an exchange of money for products or services, maybe follow -up and sales pitches/offers later, but nothing along the way that sets, presets or resets any buying criteria for the existing or future client.
In most cases this lets (forces actually) the exchange between you and your clients to become more random than you'd like. Anything you don't intentionally control ends up controlling itself or letting something/someone other than you control it.
You can certainly chase after lost clients, but you also need to change some of your approach to avoid attrition in the future.
And if you really want to go after lost clients you need to make up any 'damage' they may have perceived you've done to their relationship with you - even as minor as you might think it is. Then create the new relationship and embrace it at the core of what you do.
Often it takes nothing more than doing something you didn't realize they heard or saw, your tone of voice, a casual comment, forgetfulness of a special event, a look or glance with the wrong expression on your face, or just not being somewhere in the gallery when needed that turns people away. There are solutions to all of those and more when you think of ways to do some things differently than what might be comfortable or effortless.
What do you do or not do after a sale that lets them get away? Are your clients responsible for staying clients because you want them to or you 'deserve' it?
In a gallery event environment who you talk to, how often, and obvious favoritism and all the potential head games that could be taking place. Any potential there for turning client sour?
Also consider the type of people you consider clients - are you targeting high-brow, low-brow or somewhere in between? Be wary of trying to be everything to everyone. You might not want to be that type of actor - especially when it comes across as pandering or being two-faced.
Maybe instead of asking the blatant question, you should reach out at a personal level with an invitation of some sort for something special having to do with your gallery. Then at the event, pull them aside and have a personal moment where you find out things on their views, interests and goals for art in their lives.
You probably already know some of this for some people, but when you take the 'client' approach, it starts falling into place more clearly.
After all - you're part of their lives through the art you help them own. They may not want it to be so much of a business to them as they'd rather it be a personal service by a friend - maybe a close friend.
One more thing - some galleries have a stand-offish attitude of eliteism that turns many people away. It's often presented as a 'professional' approach.
Reminds me of my art history teacher in college who gave me Cs and Ds on my essays until I regurgitated his lecture in my own words. Then came the As and Bs and my disdain of 'higher learning' over real world experience, observation and application. He wanted us to robotically repeat him whether he was right or wrong.
Having authority and respect for what you know is one thing. But if you're blinded by your own light and not knowing why there aren't more moths flying around, you might want to use a different bulb.
You'll always lose customers that's a fact of business life. So depends to the extent you are losing them. Loss could be due to a variety of issues. You could telephone and ask them (have a list - max 5 questions) or do a Monkey survey along the lines of
"Studies show that customers stop buying from a particular business for the following reasons:
3% move away
5% form other interests
9% for competitive reasons
14% due to product dissatisfaction
68% because someone was rude, indifferent, or discourteous to them
which are you?"
Very few customers are "bad" customers. Chances are, many of those good customers have left for a valid reason. Better yet, think of them as lost "clients" ..."customers" that would have come back to you time and again because you are their source for products/answers /solutions, their professional expert. If they are not returning, they see no value. Review your value proposition and look to see where there is value missing. Then create a value proposition that you can get behind that is simply irresistible. If you can maintain that proposition, you can build a customer for life - a client. This can also stop the bleeding while giving you a more solid platform to build a clientele on.
When your customers who you have lost due to many reasons such as poor product or services. The disappointments and dissatisfaction they receive from you, further boiling down to reprimanding, intimidating, rivalry, inferiority treat of your customer, complaints, arguments or better said haggling, difficulty with factually painful ride procedures you have provided for your customers to abide or obey. First and foremost, your customers are customers, they want your product or services in good manner and satisfactory manner efficiently and safely. Name me a customer who wants to go through hassles, fighting, indecency, image rotting, and further to this they have not gone to the business area for any other internal affairs, as they are in need of product and services only, and even if the want to seek opposite attraction for fun or infatuations I am sure there are much more better avenues to look rather than your business area. Your worker must realize that the customer has no personal preference to your worker of their minding internal affairs which they judge about the customer who is walking in with needy image. Does a customer who is need seem to be wearing expensive pearls or driving an economic car is answerable to your worker because they judged that she/ he is so and such due to the internal affairs only your worker knows about but the customer has no idea since she / he is coming from already a professional background rather a descent educated systematic procedural fed with adequacy in an organization in which the organization only accepted she / he to be in service after already having invigilated of her/ his credibility of a professional to be in service. Coming from where and how she / he was brought your workers whose got a mindset drilled with shallow and lame ideas of an authority and also inadequacy of your conduct and behavior is actually has put your customer at a disgust annoy due to that it was all ridiculous and very much fouling stinking and painful. Putting your customer on pedestal for too long or a time or too numerous of a time isn't going to do any better for you or her. Why don't you think of mutual respect, mutual love, mutual understanding, mutual well being; of course you can't I realize that because you are much more lacking, and she may be starving due to you have stolen her cheese, she may be suffering and it means another men's poison is your sweet honey. If you think you want to get personal with your customer you may always go to her personal avenue but if right isn't committed then you are just a thief who must have been very jealousy over your customer's pearl and car. Whatever it is you customer don't even have money to buy your product or services due to that you have already stolen her cheese and if you by any chance knew when is her only minimum return of investment she is receiving; obviously your mom is not well and you wan to visit her buy your whole family candle light dinner. At the end of the day there is no mutual, because you have been lacking, you stole her cheese and now she is dying. She loves outsiders and thieves more than herself and her loved ones, and she knows and she too is waiting to leave behind her earnings for your families of fouls and vitamins and flowers. Honestly, do you think your customer is there at your business avenue to kindle your internal affairs instead of your product or services? Anyway are you such a fool to seek an old black poor sickly instead of already very good vitamins in your own avenue. Do you think some people are blind?
I would discuss as a group. And make sure all acknowledge the reason "we" lost them (customers) and proactively discuss possible solutions after we brainstorm with the team and come up with a plan and then work the plan!!!! and so goes another story of success!
Create a customer rewards program. Share the program with your lost customers as well as the loyal customers. Once you get participation, it will drive in new leads.
There are many cost effective rewards programs.