Customer Experience News & Trends

33% of lost customers say they’ll come back if …


Everybody loses customers. A few people know the secrets to getting them back. A recent of survey of former customers by a Fortune 1000 company showed that about a third said they would return to the company they dropped if approached properly. What’s “properly” mean? It involves three steps:

1. Find out why the customer stopped buying. Search records for clues and then call the customer and ask him or her what went wrong. Try to put together a special offer that addresses why you lost the account in the first place.

2. Research the customer’s present situation. The customer’s business may have changed. If you understand what happened, you can create a better offer that will take advantage of those changes.

3. Make the contact. Call the former customer and let him or her know that you want to get the business back.
Chances are you won’t get an immediate appointment. But you will plant the seed. And that will give the former customer an alternative in case he or she runs into some of the problems that cost you the account in the first place.

Don’t give up without a fight
Some salespeople who lose a customer go into various emotional reactions: blaming someone, getting angry or running and hiding. Successful salespeople understand the ebb and flow of business and relationships.

Here are a few suggestions to use when you do lose a customer:
• Find out what your competitor did better than you to get the business.
• Don’t assume it was price, even if that’s what you’re told.
• Don’t let it negatively affect your attitude. Keep at it.
• Don’t wipe former customers off your database. Work some of them into your weekly schedule.
• Continue to send your former customer testimonials, articles, etc.
• Have a specific strategy for dealing with lost business.

Adapted from 91 Mistakes Smart Salespeople Make by Tim Connor (Sourcebooks.)

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