It is normal for a business to lose some of its clients, and there are plenty of reasons why customers leave a business for a competitor.
Perhaps you’ve failed to scale your business and keep up with the sheer volume of orders.
Or perhaps a new competitor arrived, offering better prices. And then there are instances wherein customer service representatives have failed to deliver their best effort.
But why should you even mind wooing back old clients?
One major reason to win back old customers is that it is easier to sell products or services to them. They know who you are and you do not have to invest much time into building your reputation.
Second, current clients, through their recommendations, can allow you to win new clients. The next crucial question, then, is how to win back old clients.
Before you or one of your trusted employees contact a former client, set aside time to analyze and theorize potential reasons why the client left you. By having a probable list of reasons why your client previously made the decision to switch, you’ll be adequately prepared to provide reasonable answers.
Do note that what you may think are the reasons why a client left may not be entirely correct.
Your next step would be to contact the client. Ideally, you should talk to the decision-makers. Or, in place of the decision-maker, contact the person who is next in line in the organizational chart.
Find out from them the reasons why they left you and what you can do to make them return. Of course, there are instances wherein you cannot woo your customer back, but either way, by contacting them, you’re in for a win-win proposition.
First, you can make a good impression on your clients by showing them that you value them. Second, with the inputs of the clients, you’ll know which areas of your business need improvements.
At this point, you may encounter some disgruntled customers. The key here is to listen, have an open mind and remain calm. The purpose of contacting a departing or old customer is to learn what went wrong. In any case, be prepared to provide an apology to the customer for any shortcoming on your part.
Once you have your client’s feedback, it is time to take a hard look at your business and identify what went wrong. There may be instances wherein the complaint of the customer may come as a result of an isolated incident, or the complaint may just be a symptom of a larger problem like pricing or poor customer service.
The next crucial step to take is to determine whether it is worth the effort to win back the customer. If the complaint is something that can be easily be remedied, then the answer would be to go ahead and woo back that customer.
However, if winning that customer back means overhauling your processes, you’ll either have to make exceptions for that client, rework those methods (which can be time-consuming and costly), or simply let that customer go.
The final step, if you opt to take your chances and hope to win the client back, is to inform the customer about the steps you have made to correct the problem which caused the customer’s complaint. Whatever the customer’s response will be, you’ll end up on top for two specific reasons.
First, if the customer stays, your efforts will be rewarded.
Second, if the client does not immediately return, you’ll part in amicable terms, and should the client encounter problems with another company, you’ll surely be next on their list.