5 Strategies to Win Back Lost Customers

Every business loses customers, and while this is never a happy occurrence, it’s always important to understand what went wrong. Some customers may have left your business because of a bad experience, while others may just need a reminder to come back.

When trying to win back lost customers, it’s important to tailor your approach to make it effective for different types of customers. You’ll need to try to address the problems that may have driven them away in the first place.

Being a business owner myself, I know all about winning back customers. Below, I’ll share some of my favorite strategies with you so that you can get back their business and retain it in the future.

Is Trying to Win Back Lost Customers Worth the Effort?

Fighting for lost customers is usually worth it, but it’s important to look at the cost of trying to restore their business versus the cost of finding new customers.

Depending on the size of your business and the strategies you want to use, it might sometimes be better to let them go. However, most of the time, it’s better to try to approach customers who already know of your business and try to get them to come back.

A customer who already knows your company and has used your service or bought your products is far more likely to do it again than a person who has never heard of your business before. If you can fix the problem that drove them away, you may win yourself a regular customer again.

Some customers don’t leave on purpose and just need a gentle reminder that your business is out there. For those customers, the cost of winning them back will be relatively low – an email, a text message, or a well-timed discount may be all that it takes.

5 Strategies to Win Back Lost Customers

1. Find Out Why They Left

To be able to accurately pinpoint potential problem areas within your business, it’s important to know why your customers are leaving.

Reach out to customers you haven’t heard from in a while. Try to start a friendly conversation and see if they would be willing to tell you the reasons why they left. Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to ask them for feedback instead.

It’s a good idea to offer them a little token of your appreciation for filling out a quick survey. One way to do this is to attach a discount code for their next purchase, giving them another reason to come back and try your services again.

Even if implementing these strategies doesn’t help you win back those lost customers, the information you get from a feedback survey can be valuable for you moving forward.

2. Act On Customer Feedback

Gather as much customer data as possible and learn from the responses to surveys you send out. If the quality of customer service seems to be a common pain point, invest in training your staff or hiring new employees to improve it. If the quality of your products or services is often questioned, try to find a solution.

Once the problems have been resolved or at least addressed in some way, you can reach out to the customers and let them know. This message can be sent out to your existing customers as well as those who left. Spin the messaging in a positive way. Instead of saying “Our wait times are finally shorter,” say “Our experts are just a minute away.”

3. Compare and Adjust Your Prices

If your prices are higher than your competitors’, you may find yourself losing customers. Scope out your competition and check whether they might be offering better incentives.

If you lost customers and you suspect that pricing may be the reason, there are at least three ways to approach this.

Reach out to your lost customers and offer them a discount – I elaborate on this below. Even a one-time offer might be all it takes for some customers to come back.

Adjust your prices – If your competition is offering similar products or services at lower prices, think about a permanent cost adjustment. Let your customers know when it happens. A message along the lines of “This product you liked is now cheaper,” can be a powerful way to lure them back.

Highlight the value of your products – If lowering your prices is not an option, try to adjust the value of your product or service instead. Highlight the quality the customers are getting by shopping with you. Focus on the positives. For example, if your product is made using top-quality materials and is expected to last longer than that made by other companies, draw attention to that fact. It means the customers are getting better value for their money.

4. Use Special Offers

Reaching out with special offers to ex-customers is a very effective way to win them back. According to a study from Georgia State University, a telecom company saw success rates as high as 47% when offering discounts to 40,000 lost customers.

Don’t be afraid to go big on discount codes or special bundles. If the sale is considerable enough, even a disgruntled customer might want to come back, and that gives your business the chance to prove itself to them all over again.

Using the feedback you gathered previously is going to be helpful here. Tailor the offer as much as possible based on the reasons for leaving cited by your customers.

5. Work On Your Brand Image

It’s not just better prices that may draw your customers away. If your business doesn’t appear to keep up with the times, they might go somewhere else that’s more “shiny and new.”

Check out the websites of your top competitors. If yours needs a refresher, work with a professional to establish the way to do this. Offering an enjoyable user experience makes it easier for consumers to shop with you.

This is also a good time to hire a designer to make a new logo and various assets for your website and your newsletters.

You can also start providing value to customers without trying to lure them into making a sale. Consider adding a blog to your website and notify customers who are on your mailing list that they can now read these blog posts for free.

This strategy will work best if you’ve gathered some data from the customers who left, but even if you’re going in blind, it’s worth a try.

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