Have you lost customers recently?
According to the research done by John Gattorna, a visiting professor at Macquarie Graduate School of Management in 2008, businesses lose 68% of their customers due to perceived indifference. This means the customers walked out and left because they do not feel valued by these companies. Imagine losing these many customers just because you didn’t show you cared?
So how to you avoid losing all these customers? Allow us to share some ways to win them back and make them stay:
1. Identify the reason they left.
It is important to understand why your customers are leaving. It will help you recognize what you need to improve on and discover areas that are commonly overlooked. Entrepreneur suggests conducting strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of your product and services to evaluate it better. While you may not win the customer back right away, you can save another customer who might be on the verge of leaving.
2. Own up to the mistake.
Acknowledging that you have a fault is one of the best ways to recover a turned-off customer. Apologize for being at fault and assure the customer that you will make sure it will not happen again. You will be surprised how forgiving customers can be when they hear the sincerity in your explanation and that you can win them back given that you assure them of improvement in those disputed areas.
3. Seek their recommendation how to fix it.
This part is normally left out of the equation when trying to win customers. When you solicit suggestions from your lost customers, it shows that you still value their contribution even if they chose to stop doing business with you. Doing this will neutralize any frustration they may have, and they will feel empowered that you are asking for their advice. It is not impossible to win these customers back since they know that you are ready to listen to them, and you value their inputs.
4. Work out a plan to address the reason.
Now that the reasons are clear, you’ve gathered customers’ recommendation; it’s time to create a follow-through plan to make sure these areas covered. Identify if the issue is specific such as one-time oversights, personality differences, and the like; or could it be systemic—do you need to modify a process, improve or change a product or service, assess your customer service staff for further training? Work out the resolution to make sure that it won’t be an avenue where you will lose more customers over it.
5. Re-establish connection with the lost customer.
Given that this is a customer you are not willing to let go, and then you must connect with them again. Communicate to them in their preferred method (phone or email) what your plan of action is after your last conversation. Inform them about what you are improving on that will cause them to keep doing business with you, and thank them for the inputs they have shared.
You don’t necessarily have to verbalize that you want them back. When they see that you took the time to assure them you desire the best for your customers, most of the time they have changed their mind into remaining with you. And even if they don’t, you still have the edge because now they will remember you in case the other company commits a blunder—then, they may just contact you again.