Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying that “…you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” That saying is just as true today, particularly in business, as it was back then. It’s a fact; you will lose customers. Some will be due to factors beyond your control, while others are your responsibility. The big variable, in all reality, is how you respond to those customers who leave. How can you win back your lost customers ?
- Call Them. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and contact those lost customers directly. One of the powerful factors influencing this approach is when the person actually making the call has real power and authority. By the time a customer has left, they’ve likely already spoken to enough front-line people who didn’t have the power to solve their problem. They want to know that they’re speaking with someone one who has the authority to make changes.
- Direct Mail. Direct mailing with a response card has the benefit of reaching a greater number of customers than direct calling alone. Be sure to leave plenty of space on the response card for the customer to express him or herself. The trick with these is to give the customer an incentive to complete and return the form, perhaps some kind of discount on future products or services.
- Use Technology. Contacting those lost customers with an email or even a brief, carefully worded text, is a great way to communicate to a large number of people efficiently. Again, the trick is incentive. Provide a valid reason for them to give you another opportunity to win their trust and their business back.
- Communicate With Your Staff. Make sure that your staff is ready to provide that extra level of customer service. Could this situation be used as an educational tool?
By treating each and every customer as a vital and valued part of your business, you spread the message that customer service is important to your company. Don’t underestimate the power that a regained customer who was once lost can have on your marketing efforts.