Your customers are your most valuable assets, but what happens when a customer stops buying from you? Firstly, you need a system in place to identify problems. This is often called an RFM Analysis (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) which takes into account the time elapsed since a customer’s last purchase, their usual frequency of purchase and their typical spend. When a significant change occurs in a client’s habits, you need to understand why.

Ask Them!

One way to find out is to ask them. Using a survey or other form of market research, you can attempt to gauge whether they have stopped buying from you due to dissatisfaction with your offer, because they have switched to a competitor, or perhaps due to a change in their financial situation. If you offer a subscription service, or use a mailing list or mobile application, you can conduct an Exit Survey to try and find the answers.

For every client that complains, there are around twenty-six unhappy customers who remain silent. Understanding why a client has chosen to move on is crucial in addressing the problem before more do.

Make It Personal

Using the information you can gather from your lapsed clients, you can re-adjust and tailor your approach to try and win them back. If you still have permission to contact them (remember to abide by GDPR guidelines if you’re B2C!), send them tailored special offers that emphasise the changes you’ve made based on their feedback. Make sure they are aware that you are responding to them personally as it will reassure them that their custom is not only valued, but you do listen.

Email and SMS can be very useful for re-engagement campaigns. Around 99% of SMS messages are opened so your offer will almost certainly be read. In the case of email, the key is persistence and patience. Don’t fill up their inbox, but adopt a gentle stream of information that touches upon their pain points, their needs, and make sure to keep them in the loop about all the efforts you are making to win them back.

Finally, if you have a great sales team, you should not rule out the phone call. Even a follow-up call to gauge their opinion of a previous sale can open the door to re-establishing the relationship, and making them check out your current offer.


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