When a customer “ghosts” you (aka ups and vanishes), it can feel as if you’ve been punched in the gut. Don’t they know how much blood and sweat you put into finding them and compelling them to use your product or service?
Unfortunately for you, however, they’re not thinking too much about that. No hard feelings or anything. It’s just because they’re the boss. Even Sam Walton, an American businessman and entrepreneur, says so:
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
Haven’t thought of it that way quite yet, have you? That’s okay. It happens to the best of us. You see, it’s normal to dream of having customers for life. But, it just doesn’t work that way. They might change their mind, feel as if they can’t continue to afford the investment required, or think a competitor—for one reason or another—has something better to offer them.
No matter the reason, though, the last thing you should do is to say, “Forget them,” and race to find a replacement.
Because it’s six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
No, I’m not saying you shouldn’t continue to seek out new customers. I’m just painting a picture that it’s cheaper to work your magic to try and retain your current customers and stop the revolving door once and for all!
So, today, I’m dishing out my top tips to help you repair your relationships with your long lost buyers and reclaim your revenue. I’m sure you’re eager to hear what they are, right? Okay. I won’t keep you waiting any longer.
Before all else…
You need first to define what a lost customer means to you. This truly varies from business to business. Even so, a lost customer typically falls under the definition of “actively disengaged.”
According to Gallup.com, that can be described as the following: “customers are emotionally detached from a company and its products or services. They will readily switch brands. If switching is difficult or impossible, they may become virulently antagonistic toward the company. Either way, they are always eager to tell others exactly how they feel.”
So, to zero in on who your actively engaged customers truly are, follow CrowdSpring.com’s advice.
- First, define what your business considers active. Does a customer have to make a purchase periodically? Or, is it enough for them to simply open an email?
- Next, ask yourself how long it’s been since the customer in question last interacted with your business.
- Then, set a timeframe for an active customer. Any customer who falls outside of that timeframe should be considered disengaged. For example, if I expect my customers to make a purchase approximately once every three months, and six months have gone by, and I haven’t heard from them, you better believe I’m dropping them on my disengaged list.
Keep in mind that your customers might fall into different disengaged groups if you have more than one product or service. As long as you keep a running list of lost customers, however, it’ll be easier for you to keep track of the people you’ll need to get into contact with to repair relationships!
Now, onto the tips you came here for…
1. Treat them like freaking royalty.
According to a Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, the top two reasons for customer loss are:
1. Customers feel poorly treated.
2. Failure to solve a problem in a timely manner.
So, the obvious first tip to winning them back should be that you need to treat them no less than freaking royalty. A few ways to do that include sending out personalized emails to make them feel special and show them that you’re thinking about them.
In most (if not all) email platforms, you can add what’s called a merge tag. You can use it to insert personalized (ex. First names) or dynamic content from your email list into the campaigns you send. That way, even if you send out a mass email to your list of lost customers, they’ll feel as if you wrote it only to them.
Fun fact, we actually have a script that’ll craft the copy for a win-back email sequence for you. Check it out!
What’s even better than an email? If you have their phone number, call them. Picking up the phone to talk with a customer is a tactic that is seriously underused and underrated these days—especially because we’re super focused on quick communications through text messages and emails.
Doing this will allow you to show them they’re not just another number in your books and give them the opportunity to share any feedback they have to offer you to improve your business.
When and if they do, sincerely listen to what it is they have to say!
2. Incentivize them to come back to you.
Go ahead and get to dangling that carrot in front of those customers who’ve “ghosted” you. What I mean by that is, don’t be shy about incentivizing them to come back to you.
Just consider the brands you’ve purchased from in the past and how they worked their magic to win you back. Chances are, they didn’t simply pop into your inbox or call you on the phone to say, “Hey! We miss you. Come back, please. It’ll be better this time. I promise.”
No way, Jose. Instead, they probably gave you a motive to come back—a discount, freebie, complimentary consultation, training session, and so on. So, follow their lead and come up with a top-notch, time-sensitive promotion—something that’ll not only make them want to return to using your product or service, but also not delay the decision any longer.
If you’re feeling depleted in the creative realm, read through this blog post, which will help you come up with a bonus of your own.
3. Deliver an alternative.
Maybe it took using your product or service for a hot minute for your lost customers to realize it just wasn’t for them. You didn’t hit the mark.
But, that doesn’t mean they should be kept totally out of the picture. As CrowdSpring.com explains, “If you’re smart about assessing why you’re losing customers’ interest, you’re bound to find some success.”
That said, if you have another product or service (or something brand spanking new!) that would be a much better fit, let them know. They might’ve been so laser-focused on the last one that they didn’t even see everything else you have to offer. And, as soon as you sell them on it, do everything in your power to “wow” them.
Yes, this requires sincerely taking the time to understand each of your customers and their needs, and tailor offers to them. Yet, you’ll find you’ll reap some serious benefits (hello more revenue and loyalty!) from doing just that!
Repairing your relationships with your long lost customers isn’t an easy mission by any means. As soon as you begin identifying who exactly has disengaged with your product or service, and you implement the tips shared here today, you’ll be on your way to reclaiming your revenue and limiting the amount of “ghostings” you encounter in the future!
If you need help with your messaging when you’re ready to reach out to your absent buyers, be sure to grab your free copy of my eBook—Pack on the Sizzle in Your Copy: How to Create Features and Benefits, Bonuses, and Induce Fomo to Devour Some Serious Sales.
You’ll be able to craft sales materials that win them back in no time! Just enter your email address in the box on the right side of your screen, and it’s yours.
Have questions or additional ideas on how to repair lost customer relationships? I’d love to hear from you. Drop your comment in the box below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!