How to Win Your Customers Back
Whether your small business is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), you likely deal with some level of customer churn. Even customers who love your business and your products may have lapsed for a variety of reasons.
Whatever their reasons for leaving, it’s still a great idea to try to win them back. Why? Mainly because winning back a lost customer still has a higher success rate than converting a prospect into a customer. After all, they’ve already bought your product or service once, so you don’t have to convince them of the need. And you don’t need to build brand awareness, they already know you exist.
Even if you can’t win everyone back, those you can bring back to your business will affect your bottom line–and will do so at less expensive overall.
Here are some strategies to win back customers who have left
Ask why they left
You can learn a lot from customers simply by asking the right questions. The information you get may enable you to make some adjustments or start a conversation to win them back. For example, you may learn that your product or service is missing a vital feature that your competitors are offering. Based on that, you may want to adjust your product or service.
Consider sending a survey to your customers to find out not only why they left, but why they chose you in the first place, and what you could do to win them back. These surveys can be sent when someone cancels their membership or goes a long time without ordering from your company.
Ask questions like:
- Why did you decide to become our customer?
- What did you like most about our product/service?
- What circumstances caused you to leave our company?
- If you switched to a competitor, what made you choose them?
- What could we do to earn back your business?
Identify people who are more likely to come back to you
You won’t win over every lapsed customer, but there are some who are more likely to return to you. Those include people who left because of pricing issues rather than service issues, those who left without voicing any complaints, and those who referred you to others. Additionally, the clients who purchased the most from you were also likely highly satisfied with you at some point and probably easier to sell to again.
This step is easier to do if you have customer relationship management (CRM) software and can follow your clients through their lifecycle.
Offer the right solutions
Determine what you’re willing to do to win them back and come up with solutions that could address their reasons for leaving. For example, if you’re willing to lower your price slightly or offer a special discount for returning customers, you can offer that to lapsed clients. If you don’t want to drop the price but can offer a premium service at no additional cost, consider that solution.
If customers said your product didn’t have enough features, let them know you’re upgrading your product and invite their feedback on the changes you make. This lets them know you heard their concerns and gets them invested in the final product.
Know your churn rate
Your churn rate is the percentage of people who stop using your product or service in a time period. You determine the time period (say, a week, a month, a quarter or a year). Take the number of customers you lost in a time period and divide by the number of customers you had at the start of that same period. Then, multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage.
If you have 500 customers at the start of the month and lost 10, then you have a churn rate of 2%.
A lower churn rate indicates you have happy customers who love your brand and your product.
You can learn a lot from the customers who have left your business, both in terms of how you can win them back and how you can win over new customers. Take the time to survey them to find out why they left and what you could have done differently and make adjustments you feel are necessary.