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Six strategies to get back old customers

When considering how to improve the bottom line of a business, one way to increase sales in the business is to try win back old customers. This can be a lucrative marketing technique, as you have already had a relationship with these clients, and know that at some point in their buying habits you were a preferred supplier. Here are six strategies that may work in getting them back.
1. Do research

Ask someone to draw up a list of inactive clients and analyse why they have stopped buying from you. Is it because they only make one big purchase every few months, or were they unhappy with the product or service that they received?

2. Call the big spenders

People enjoy feeling appreciated, so make a courtesy call to the big spenders to see why they have not been buying from you lately. If it is because of poor customer service or product quality, apologise and ask them how you can remedy the problem. If the remedy is too exorbitant, then try to reach a middle ground in which both you and your customer are happy. If it was because your offering didn’t suit their needs, see if you can accommodate their needs or help them to find a good fit even if it is outside of your business. They will appreciate your suggestion and may use you again in the future.

3. Send an email

Create an email which highlights your business strengths and add a special offer with it. Send this from a new email address so that you can keep track of emails that bounce back. If you receive bounce backs from email addresses, try to go online and search for new contact details. Sometimes the contact person of the business has moved on but they may have use for your product in their new business.

4. Own your mistakes

If you have made a mistake, acknowledge it honestly and offer a solution with deliverable dates to help build trust with the customer again. Work these dates out accurately, and stick to them, or you may lose your opportunity to win back your client.

5. Go above and beyond

When giving a solution to the problem, ensure you deliver over and above the expectation of the customer. For example, deliver a little earlier than you promised where you are able to, offer incentives, or send a voucher for a free meal at a popular restaurant with the product to thank them for doing business with you again.

6. Add the human touch

For example, if people phone to air their complaints make sure that their first point of contact is a person who is able to use sound judgment to resolve their issue. Empower your team with the right tools and knowledge of what they should do if a customer comes to them with a complaint and when they need to call you should they not be able to assist with the complaint.

The most important point to remember when you have successfully won back your clients is to continue to make them feel appreciated. In a society where everything is automated, giving people a personal touch and making them feel valued and respected goes a long way. So listen carefully, and give them time to air their grievance before you suggest a solution. By doing this your customer may also highlight a different way of solving their problem. So turn on the charm and wow your clients into coming back to you!

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).