How To Win Back Old Clients With This Strong Finishing Move

How To Win Back Old Clients

If you are a marketing consultant, you probably want to know how to win back old clients that have dropped off at some point.

They already know you, and probably still like you (but yeah..some will hate you).

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.

Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

With that in mind, let’s get into the win back process.

Reasons To Win Old Clients Back

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.

Preparation Work

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.

Reengaging 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.

Should You Make It Right?

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.

How To Win Back Old Clients With A Single Phone Call

If you get a live person, use this script:

“Hi ___ This is Brian Horn and I’m calling from Authority Media Group… I don’t want to bother you, so do you have a quick minute to speak with me now? … (if they say it’s not a good time, ask “is there a better time for me to call you back?”)

I am just going through my files to get organized for next quarter and see you stopped using our service on  ______.

I would love to have you back in our family again.  So to ‘entice’ you to use us again, I am offering a special gift for you. This gift to you is an interview on Influencers Radio and a national news release about your business. We normally charge $999 for this package, but I’ll give you a 90% discount today.   You’d save $900 and get it for only $99.

Would you like me to set this up for you?

Great, I can set that up for you right now. Do you want to use the credit card we have on file?

Is there anything else I can do for you at this time? GREAT, THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME. I look forward to having you back in Authority Agency.”

If you get the machine, use this script:

“Hi ___ This is Brian and I’m calling from Authority Media Group.

I am just going through my files to get organized for next quarter and see you stopped using our service on  ______.

I would love to have you back in our family again.  So to ‘entice’ you to use us again, I am offering a special gift for you.   

This gift to you is an interview on Influencers Radio and a national news release about your business. We normally charge $999 for this package, but I’ll give you a 90% discount today.   You’d save $900 and get it for only $99.

 If you need more exposure and customers, please call me back at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email me at XXXX@authorityalchemy.com and I can set this up for you.

How To Win Back Old Clients With Email

From best to worst, incorporate 1 of these 5 in the beginning of email below

  1. You remember something personal about them: An event, a birthday, an anniversary—anything. Send an email checking in and asking how Little Billy’s graduation was.
  2. You remember something health or fitness wise that they suffered from. Find a great piece of information to send to them because you came across it and “was just thinking about them.”
  3. You can make a connection through somebody else. “I was just talking to “x” and your name came up so I thought I would say hi.
  4. You make a connection via something or some moment that you shared. “I was doing squats today and thought of you. Remember that time when…?”
  5. A random hello, which is not the worst thing to do either. Send them a message just saying that they crossed your mind and you wanted to see how them and their family was doing. Being thought of is a good feeling.

“Hi ___ .

[REASON FOR REACHING OUT TO THEM FROM ABOVE]

Anyway, before I reached out to you, I went through my files I saw you stopped using our service on  ______.

I would love to have you back in our family again.  So to entice you to use us again, I am offering a special gift for you.

This gift to you is an interview on Influencers Radio and a national news release about it. We normally charge $999 for this package, but I’ll give you a 90% discount today.   You’d save $900 and get it for only $99.

If you would like me to set this up for you, please call me back at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email me at XXXX@authorityalchemy.com.

Thanks,

Brian

 

5 Hooks To Use To Win Back Old Clients

If example I use above doesn’t sound like something you’d want to do, don’t let that stop you.

Here are 5 ideas to get your old clients to reengage you again:

1. Offer a Special Discount

It may not be practical to offer deals to all of your lost customers, but send the most important ones a discount certificate or a special gift along with your personal letter.

In an age of impersonal mass marketing, it’s impossible to overestimate the positive impact that your individual attention and appreciation of their business can make.

Through your regular social media channels or email postings, send your most important customers a direct offer that is exclusive to them.

For an email, they should see that you sent it to no one else. Such an offer just might be the trick to get them to come back.

2. Remind Them of the Benefits Your Business Offers

You can also send lost customers a message reminding them of the benefits your company offers today and – most importantly – how you can help them going forward.

A gentle reminder of how your company provides much-needed products or services, and is actively working every day to create more value for customers, could be just the thing to jolt them back into making more purchases.

3. Refer Business to Them

If the customer you lose is in business themselves, consider referring new contacts and or business to them as if they were still your loyal customer.

Such an offer will remind them of the appreciation and respect you have for their business and their worth as a customer.
Ultimately, this helps trigger their memory about why your company was a valuable partner and asset to their own business, and keeps your brand top of mind.

No matter your line of work, whether you’re an accountant, attorney, mechanic, marketing guru or business speaker, cultivating a strong network of referrals creates a virtuous cycle that can benefit all involved.

4. Provide Access to Special Programs

What win-back offers tend to best entice which audiences?

Is a lapsed customer that received special favors and gifts in the past best motivated by a price advantage coupled with special treatment?

Testing various offers is key to finding out, as it enables you to understand which factors influence customers to return.

If you have a new product or service, consider incorporating them into tests as well. Market your new product with exclusive advance access, special discount promotions and other offers around it and see if customers react.

Give customers the chance to provide feedback and respond, refining campaigns as you go – you may be surprised who reengages along the way.

5. Reinforce Positive Decisions

Research shows that a lost customer’s decision to reinitiate a relationship after a long lapse can result in more discord than it does for those who reinitiate after a shorter lapse.

The way a lost customer who comes back handles this dissonance is to engage in post-decision processing that reinforces the new decision that has been made.

Knowing this, for customers who do return, it’s important to provide ample messaging and insight that communicates why the decision to return was a sound one.

After all, reinstating interaction isn’t just about reengaging customers or reigniting interest in your business – it’s also about building trust, creating positive relationships, and reminding others why it’s a great idea to keep coming back.

CASE STUDY: How Jet Blue Won Back Their Old Customers

About the author

Brian Ainsley Horn

Brian Ainsley Horn is considered to be the “pioneer of authority marketing”, which has exploded in popularity recently. His unique methods have been talked about and covered on The Howard Stern Show, Wall Street Journal, ABC, Perez Hilton, CBS News , Forbes, Advertising Age and dozens of other media outlets. Brian is the co-founder of the consulting firm, Authority Alchemy, and also writes for Huffington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine about authority marketing and personal branding.

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