A customer deciding to leave you is never nice, but it happens. They had their reasons and chose to move away from you and whatever product, service or relationship you had. Perhaps it had been coming for a while, maybe it was out of the blue, but how do you react and what should you do?
If they’re a customer that was worth keeping, don’t dismay. Often organisations make the mistake when clients leave them of immediately switching their focus to the clients that they still have. Departing customers get dropped off communications, ignored and treated as disloyal.
These ex-clients often move to your competition or an alternative offering. Therefore, any money or time spent on them is viewed as a waste, as you may never see them again or not in the short-term future at least, so why bother?!
How many companies in a B2B environment have a plan or process for winning these ex-clients back?
What if you embarked on a path for winning them back rather than resigning yourself to the fact they’ve gone and turned their back on you?
Why not consider making it super easy for customers to leave? Recent research conducted by HubSpot*, the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales technology platform, tells us that one of the top customer requirements is to be able to leave without being hampered.
Don’t create any barriers, but instead make it so easy that they’ll be thanking you for it. It may turn out that where your ex-client has gone won’t be any better, it may be worse, and they will want to come back to you.
Rather than burning your bridges, why not rather leave a trail back to you? Make it easy for them to return without losing face and feeling like they have to eat humble pie.
You can do this by working out a medium-term strategy, where you keep re-engaging with no expectation of anything in return, but instead ‘we missed you and we’re sorry things didn’t work out, but we know we can do better’.
Remind them why they chose you in the first place. If they’re worth winning back, then woo them without being too over the top - no one wants to look desperate!
Don’t use discounts but extra things you can now offer which will delight and entice them back to you.
We’ve witnessed organisations gloat when their ex-client has gone to their competition and it hasn’t worked out for some reason. A smugness can be hard to hold back as a sort of ‘serves you right!’ or ‘told you so’. Instead be the bigger organisation and make it your opportunity to ask how it’s going, without ambulance chasing, but rather offering to help them recover. We’ve seen this happen with great success.
You can plan this out using marketing and sales automation tools to help make the process more efficient, but still personal - generating content designed to win back your once loved client.
Below are the top 3 things you could do today to start winning back some of your old contacts:
- Who could be back on your Christmas card list? Write a list of ex-clients. Have a look at what they’re doing now. Why did they leave? Are things working out for them where they are now? If in doubt, add them to your list of potentials. After all, what’s the worst that could happen by contacting them?
- Get automated. Do you have a marketing automation system in place? They’re crucial these days for managing CRM tasks and ensuring tailored, relevant messaging. Have a look into what this could do for your business and how much easier contacting customers would be. Read more here about why your business needs automation.
- Create your plan of delight. How has your business evolved? What innovations or improvements have you made since losing customers? You may now be able to solve the reason you lost clients. Or you might know which buttons to press to win them over and get them picking up the phone to you again. Think about what will appeal to your demographic and how you’re going to deliver and communicate it. For inspiration, read more about what customers really want in our recent blog on creating a frictionless business.
As a gold-tired partner with HubSpot, Secret Source have helped many organisations create strategies to improve customer retention and of course, to attract new clients. To find out what we can do for you, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, phone us on 01522 700266 or leave your details below and we’ll be in touch.
*Source: HubSpot’s Customer Code: www.hubspot.com/customer-code