Everyone knows that retaining current customers is much less expansive than signing up a new one. It would make sense to go an extra mile to ensure your current roster of clients is happy. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and many entrepreneurs don’t have a clue as to how to win them back when lost. If you happen to be one of them, here are a few suggestions:
1. Find out Why
There is always a reason why a customer is unhappy and walks away. The only way you can find out why they are unhappy is to conduct a SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis in order to identify why your product or service is no longer perceived as having the best value.
2. Create a Plan
The plan of attack must be written. Lay out the benchmarks and timeliness for when to check in with clients. Don’t take too long to check in and don’t check in too often. Many companies make the mistake of waiting closer to renewal or a year and half after the deal was signed to reconnect. Big mistake! Keep communication lines open. Send happy birthday emails, holiday gifts, thank you cards etc. Anything to show the customer how much they mean to you.
3. Take baby steps
Don’t set your sights on completely winning over the client and their business. It almost never works. Rather, do it gradually and take baby steps to edge them back. Maybe offer an entirely different product or try to promote a smaller piece of the puzzle rather the entire one.
4. Request an interview
Try to set up a meeting where the client can debrief you on the current status of the relationship. What factors influenced their decision? Use those factors to create a new proposal that is customized and particular to what the client is now looking for. The important thing to remember is to not be defensive and take responsibility when the time comes.
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