Whether your small business is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), you’ll likely deal with some level of customer churn, especially given the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Customers who love your business and products may have lapsed for various reasons.

Whatever reasons they have for leaving, it’s still a great idea to try and win them back. Why? Because winning back, a lost customer still has a higher success rate than converting a prospect into a customer. They’ve already bought your service or product once, so you don’t have to convince them of the need. You also won’t need to build brand awareness, as they already know you exist.

You can’t win everyone back, and that’s ok. Those you can bring back to your business will affect your bottom line and do so at less expense overall.

Here are some strategies to win back lost customers.


Ask why they left

By asking the right questions, you can learn a lot from customers. The information you receive may give you the chance to start a conversation to win them back or make some adjustments. For example, you may learn that your service or product is missing a vital feature that your competitors offer. You may want to adjust your service or product based on this information.

Consider sending a survey to your customers to find out why they left, why they initially chose you and what you could do to win them back. A good time to send these surveys would be when someone goes a long time without ordering from your company or cancels their membership.

Ask questions like:

  • What made you decide to become one of our customers?
  • What did you like most about our service/product?
  • What were the reasons that caused you to leave our company?
  • Can we do anything to earn back your business?
  • Have you switched to a competitor? What made you choose them?


Identify people who are more likely to come back to you

You’re not going to be able to win over every lapsed customer; however, there are some who will be more likely to return to you. Those include those who left without voicing any complaints, those who left because of pricing rather than service issues, and those who referred you to others. Additionally, the customers who purchased from you the most were also likely to be highly satisfied with you at some point and probably will be easier to sell to again.

By having customer relationship management (CRM) software, this step will be easier to do, as you can follow your clients through their lifecycle.


Offer the right solutions

Think about what you’re willing to do to win them back and develop solutions that could address their reasons for leaving. For example, are you willing to offer a special discount for returning customers or lower your price slightly? You can offer this to lapsed clients. See if you can offer a premium service at no additional cost if you don’t want to drop the price.

If customers say your product doesn’t have enough features, let them know you’re going to upgrade your product and ask for their feedback on the changes you make. This lets them know you’ve listened to their concerns and gets them invested in the final product.


Know your churn rate

A churn rate is the percentage of people who stop using your product or service in a time period. You determine the time period (this could be a week, a month, a quarter or a year). Take the number of customers you lost in a time period and divide it by the number of customers you had at the start of that same period. Then, multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage.

If you have 1000 customers at the start of the month and lose 40, then you have a churn rate of 4%.

A lower churn rate indicates you have happy customers who love your brand and products.


Final thoughts

Customers who have left your business will teach you things about winning over new customers and even how you can win lost customers back. Always try to find out why they left and what you could have done differently. Take the time to survey them and make adjustments you feel are necessary.

If you have any questions, feel free to Join the conversation…


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