Many business owners come to me with the problem of lost customers, but they don’t often realize this problem also comes with a huge opportunity!
Sell More to Existing Customers
The problem they come to me with is a lack of sales. Now remembering that the easiest way to increase sales is to sell more to existing customers, I highly recommend looking back into your own client database before trying to “buy” new leads/customers with marketing dollars.
Think about this:
How many lost customers do you have in your database that have not returned in the past six months?
How about the past year?
What about two years or more?
The answer is usually thousands!
Hopefully you have been diligent about collecting everyone’s email addresses and adding them to your system (if you haven’t been, start now!!!!) so that you can send out an email like “We miss you!” or if your brand is cute and slightly cheeky, “Please give us another chance!”
Another email campaign title, “We want you back” worked quite well for another client of mine. Either way, make the subject of the email something that will make your client want to open it and give you another chance.
Incentive to Come Back
Second, make sure the email contains a special “gift” so that if they return, they are treated to something special for giving you another chance.
We Need to Know—Why Did You Leave?
Last, make sure YOU ASK THEM WHY THEY HAVEN’T BEEN BACK! You can learn SO MUCH from lost customers! And in most cases, they will give you answers that shock or befuddle you—answers you never would have guessed on your own.
Constructive Criticism—So Useful!
I can honestly say in my experience I’ve gotten the BEST (and by best I mean most helpful) constructive criticism from lost customers. They are more willing to share
openly, and less worried about hurting your feelings. *Hint: the best titles for feedback request/surveys include a very short amount of time, like “60-second feedback survey.”
Lastly, make sure you never send out a campaign that does not feel authentic and on-brand for you. You know your business better than I do, so craft a loving/funny/clever/inspiring message to which your ideal clients will respond.
Even if you get no response, you will get some people back in your business because they will be impressed by the fact that you care, and that you’re looking for feedback and trying to improve.
Here’s a video on what to do with a lost client, to give you some more ideas:
Contact Clients—Email, Phone, Mail, Smoke Signals…
I’m sorry that I even have to type this, but for those of you who have been naughty and have not collected all of your past clients’ emails, try these same things with phone calls, or (sigh) mail-outs. If you have their cell numbers, text messages may also work. The key is to know your audience. Some clients prefer email, some (not many) prefer a phone call. Very few prefer a mail-out, but if that’s your ideal client demographic, you do what works!
For further information on how to turn the loss of a big customer into a bigger opportunity, have a read of this article from Salesforce.com.
Have a wonderful week discovering your problem (your opportunity with lost customers) and THEN your SOLUTION!!!!!!
If you need more help to find opportunity with lost customers, contact TMH Business Coaching and Consulting today for a confidential, free, no-obligation consultation to propel you forward. Also, please feel free to add yourself to our weekly coaching tips email!