Data shows that you have a 60 to 70 percent chance of successfully selling to an existing customer. Compare that to your low odds of earning the business of a prospect — between 5 and 20 percent — and it’s clear that your business will benefit from investment in your current customer base.
There are a number of tactics you can use to re-engage with, and once again delight, your existing customers. We’ve highlighted our favorite re-engagement tactics for you.
Learn Why Your Customers Left
Whether you lost the account or your customer simply hasn’t made a purchase in over a year, it’s wise to lay the groundwork for knowing the reasons they left. This could mean implementing a survey when a customer cancels service to learn why or emailing your customers after a stretch of inactivity to offer a discount or gift. If there’s still no activity, you can then reach out to ask for feedback.
Note: In light of GDPR, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have your customers’ explicit permission to email them before doing so.
Asking for feedback may seem daunting. After all, no one likes negative feedback, but it’s crucial to listen to your customers. It’s the only way to earn trust and improve your business. Showing that you care about your customers is the best way to bring them back.
If email isn’t an option, consider mailing a short feedback survey or offering a feedback card at your business for your customers to fill out in person.
Put these check-ins into practice and see what feedback you receive. For example, you may be unaware that your checkout process is cumbersome or that a recent price adjustment caused many customers to leave. Closing these knowledge gaps can empower you to re-engage with your customers appropriately.
Use Re-Engagement Techniques to Drive Repeat Business
Assuming you have feedback ready to act on, you may want to consider the following techniques to earn back your past customers' business. You can use some of these techniques in tandem if applicable. Many of these suggestions tie back into trust: Fundamentally show that you care about your customers and you’ll be surprised by how they reward you with repeat business and a sales boost.
- Adjust your pricing or offer. If your offer isn’t up to market parity or costs more than the going rate, you may want to change what you’re selling or adjust the price point. Again, customer feedback and surveys asking about price can be helpful.
- Send industry updates. Even if your customer cancels or goes cold, you can reach out and ask to — at the very least — provide ongoing industry updates. These should not be too frequent or too salesy. Instead, be a thought leader by providing helpful information and resources to your customers. Over time, they will reward you.
- Craft a loyalty program. Whether it’s 10 percent off in the next two weeks or points that accumulate with every dollar spent, it’s fun to gamify the shopping experience for your customers and make them feel like they’re being rewarded for their continued patronage.
- Stay in touch. Aim to reach out to your customers once a month or so to stay top of mind. Avoid anything more frequent than bi-monthly, as constant contact can feel aggressive and turn off otherwise interested buyers.
- Consider a referral program. Referral programs are a great way to attract like-minded customers to your business. Say you run a subscription box service targeting men in their 20s and 30s. A referral program giving both the existing and new customer 10 percent off their box subscription is an excellent way to encourage referrals while starting a new customer relationship off on a good foot.
- Always say thank you. Put that extra time into thanking your customers. Getting personal with a handwritten message or direct one-to-one email will go a long way toward earning your customers’ trust. People want to give their money to businesses, organizations and people they like and believe in. Showing that you’re a real person who cares will help incentivize your buyers to return to you over similar competitors.
- Provide guarantees. Make it clear that you will stand by your products and services. This also helps build trust and establish credibility, which will help you earn initial business. Following through with the guarantee and addressing issues responsibly and fairly will help attract past customers even if they return their initial purchase.
Now that you know how valuable your existing customers are, you can adjust your sales strategy to include them. Don’t forget about your past sales, as these customers have exhibited that they fit your customer profile.
Do you have any additional re-engagement tactics to share? Note them in the comments section below!