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, You want to develop a Relationship Management System fast. You're customers are walking away for a reason. I advise my clients to make those calls and ask questions that sound like: "Would you take a few minutes and share with me why you disconnected from us? I want to improve what we do and the only way to learn is if you will be good enough to help with your honest feedback."
Zoe do not ask if you are not ready to hear what your market is telling you. And do not ask the customer to return until you have fully understood why they walked away, their problem and concern with what you do. I would ask everyone who left. Get on their calendar, ask the questions and do your market research with them. Thank them for their honesty.
Once you have considered their feedback and made adjustments in your business, create a Second Chance campaign. Share the importance of their feedback and how helpful it was to you in creating the Second Chance.
Keep the door open to them if they do not take your offer immediately. If you want loyalty you must demonstrate loyalty. Do not make a limited time only deal. That is insincere and may anger them.
I would ask everyone who left, not just the loyals. Make them feel valued by asking.
Try this and evaluate your results. Some may return, some may not. But you at least are clear on what you need to improve in your business and where.
Hope this helps.
Hi Zoe, is this for your Art Gallery or another business?
There are a few factors going on here
1) You need to find out why are you loosing customers by doing a follow up with them to find out why they are no longer doing business with you. Is it customer service, price, they found a new company they are working with...etc. When you do this, just listen don't try to close them or get them back on that call or meeting. Set up a follow up call/meeting. This is always a better way to connect with your clients.
2) Evaluate the feedback you received and see what needs to be fixed. As well what can be fixed.
3) See your cost per acquisition for each client. If it's taking you 20 hours of work at $100 per hour to get one client back who spends $400. It's not worth your time. You really have to work your numbers.
4) If all your systems are working properly, customer service, sales, pricing. delivery times...etc. You figure out it's just the time of year, the marketing...etc. This is when it's time to market to new clients and keep building.
Good luck with your business. Let me know if you have any questions.
I agree with the others. Job #1 is to understand why they left.
Maybe there's a problem with the product. Maybe there's a problem with the delivery. Maybe it's a communications issue. Maybe you're solving their problem so well they just don't need you any more.
Interview them. Look at the timing (e.g. Are they all leaving after a certain stage or period of time?). Get a couple different perspectives on this and try to get a sense of where the problem is and then you can put together a list of possible solutions and start having conversations about how to get them back.
There are a few things you can do, send a survey to your loyal customers to find out what they like and what they do not like about your business. In terms of you lost customers if they are part of a email list I would even send them a survey to find out why they have stopped using your business.
Call them up and have a conversation with them - even those you don't want back. All customer feedback is invaluable. When calling former customers you want to win back, you're letting them know that you sincerely care about them and their business and while you may not be able to win back their business immediately, you'll leave a positive impression about you and your brand for the next time they are considering a product or service like yours.
Zoe, losing customers is a symptom of a problem. Although surveys are fast and inexpensive, they are easily ignored. To find the cause of their no longer wanting to be your customers, you need to find out why.The best way to do this is to contact them personally to find out. In doing so, you are showing that you care and, more importantly, you may uncover something(s) that you can add to what you already offer or correct what you are failing to offer. It may be a specific product or your method of servicing your customers.
If you coordinate this information with similar discussions with your "loyal" customers, you can develop a plan to offer what your "best" customers want and need.
It is those "best" customers that you want to keep because they will offer your business the highest return and the least problems.
Hope this helps.
If you are uncomfortable asking the customers, or if you want to give them some anonymity, you could hire someone, such as a virtual assistant to make those calls for you.
One could offer special incentives to get those customers back. Incentives include coupons, loyalty cards, and price matching. Rather than focusing on the customers that were lost you might focus on keeping the new customers by approaching them differently with the presentation of loyalty incentives.
see what it was that brought them to you in the first place and see if you can offer them some special price/treatment/facilities along with the: you are a valued customer and your business is importaint to me/us.
If thats not an option see where they are today and why. perhaps you can offer them something attractive enough to pull them back home.
final way - create a new and exclusive service in your line of business and offer it to "the old clients" first.
hope this was helpful.
How often do you touch or communicate with your customers. You must develop a relationship. In any year, YOU must reach out to ALL of your customers at least 7 times. Call them, ask a simple question. i missed you why haven't we seen you. There must be some reason and I really want to know in order to serve your better to meet your needs.
It is usually very difficult to get back lost customers, unless the sole reason was cost. If you were under bid or they found a cheaper supplier, then you might be able to get them back based on price. If it is for other reasons, then it becomes much more difficult to get a customer back. If they left because the did not like the service or product, did not see the value of what they paid for what they got, received bad service, then getting a customer back is very difficult.
In an era of online work and communication, it is increasingly difficult to build a relationship with customers. If you have a relationship then it may be easier to get them back than otherwise. If you do not have a relationship, then you need to build one and depending upon why they left that may be more or less difficult.
There is a reason there is still a need for brick and mortar retailers and why some services still require personal interchange and not simply an email or an online communication.
It's hard to provide good ideas since we are not completely sure if your startup is the one listed under your profile. You got great suggestions. There are lots of factors around customers leaving a business: interests, competition, quality, and industry cycle, and even seasons. There are products needed once, there are services used on a frequent basis under different conditions, there are the loyal and all type of clients.
We don't say we lost a client until they say so directly. They are watching you, you may find a way to keep communication moving around. You need to get there, where they are. Today's businesses and overall management are totally different than years ago- it's part of what we hear client-centric market. Update your business strategies. Find them, engage them, invite them, and yes costly, we have to spend on them - free gifts, promos, interviews, any type of connection because customers now are taught they can ask whatever they want and someone would answer. They know competition is playing hard and they are looking for a winner, for a place in where to be best appreciated in some way.
You can 'gain' them back based on few premises you got ideas about. You say they left you, but do you know why? to where? at what cost? is there something new you have not told them? Good luck.
It depends upon a number of factors, Zoe. Sometimes customers only need your service up to a point and then move on or perhaps there was a failure to provide the desired service.
If the question relates to patrons of your new gallery, then perhaps they are looking for specific artworks or genres of art.
My first step would be to find out why the customer left and check if there is a pattern in customers leaving. Only after that would you be able to formulate a strategy to bring the client back into the fold.
You would need to check best practice and if possible send invites to these lost customers for the next show or provide value via a newsletter or website to retain loyal patrons.
All the best!
I have the same question, why did they leave? There are always customers worth getting back, but watch at what cost. Sometimes a simple conversation can win back the customer but hard to judge not knowing what your startup is. Sometimes it's better to look for the new customer to replace the ones who left.
1.do you know why they left? Thats critical for clearly defining and then knowing how to chart your go forward strategy and specific offerings.
2. Do you know what your "loyal" customers actually value and why they stay?
Thats the very basic but critical answer, not just on re-approaching lost customers but on how and where to grow your business while keeping your customers as well.
During a regular sales event offer the lost customers an additional 10-15% discount by special email or letter. This will give them a reason to come back. Track who comeback. Not knowing what you do can't suggest more than this.
It depends on why they left in the first place. Customer service is my number one reason for staying or leaving. I've paid more for a product knowing that I'll be taken care of.
Yes sure there is a way always , but first if there is a well there is a way , contacting your old customers showing them how much you care to searve them with mentioning why -Left them -what are the reasons behind your disconecing with during previous period , tell them the truth - If your searvices before were at some level and you are ready to add more seavices - you have to convince them with your words , them I am sure it will work - I have done it practically .
A "Lessons Learned" activity, which includes communication with lost customers (to learn the whys and hows) is a powerful tool. I enables you to reassess "what went wrong?" so to review your business processes. Not only might it aid in bettering these, but it may also result in you regaining the lost costumers...
I am a firm believer you can regain your customers, 1) show them you fix what that there concern was that cause them not to continue as your customer, 2) I tell my customers because of you I am in business, so what can I do to make things more efficient for you, 3) I communicate with them on a regular basis, and help them address there needs etc. 3) these things work, because in the real business world there will always be issues or concerns, just be ready to deal with them, don't brush them off, from the smallest to the largest, let the customer know you are there for them. 4) let them know about any changes or updates you have available that will make your services or product work for them.