How Winning Customer Service Can Help Win Back Lost Customers


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It’s estimated that small businesses are losing up to 40 percent of their customers each year, winning customer service is a strategy for winning back lost customers.

Think that the statistics are wrong? How many customers can you stand to lose each year? 10 percent? 20 percent? Regardless of the number, each customer lost means that your organization has to work that much harder to win an extra customer to make up for the lost one. With the general business estimate of between 5-10x the cost to acquire a new customer compared to maintaining an existing customer, it makes absolutely sense to have a winning customer service strategy in place to keep customers or be able to win back lost customers.

Winning customer service will be the key to keeping your existing customers and the most powerful weapon you have to win back the lost customers that may have gotten away.

A customer you lose is a customer your competitor gains

Many business professionals and small business owners assume that some customer loss is just a cost of doing business. Sure, it’s true that we can’t please everyone and in the end some people will be disappointed, but this brings us back to the original question, how many customers are you willing to give to your competitors. Oh yes, the competition. When we talk about customer loss, those customers are going somewhere, they don’t just stop doing business.

Every customer you lose is a customer one of your competitor probably gains. So winning customer service is crucial to keeping those heard earned customers. You don’t want a lack of customer attention to let your customers slip away.

So how are you going to win back those lost customers? Customer service experts agree, it’s not a given that once you gain a customer that you will keep them forever. And when you lose a customer, a specific strategy needs to be executed to win back the customer.

4 Effective ways winning customer service helps to win back lost customers

Four effective principles are part of the best customer service tips to get you on the right track and winning back those important customers.

1. Examine problems creating customer losses

There’s always a reason why you lose a customer. Maybe it’s price. It could be lack of features. The quality of your service or product can drive customers to your competitors. Maybe it’s your customer service approach. The point is, in order to win back customers and prevent future customers from leaving, you have to understand why they are leaving in the first place. What are the problems that are driving customers away.

Sometimes it may be something unique to one individual customers, but usually it’s a general trend with something doing wrong in your organization or with your offering. Identifying and correcting it is the first step to winning back the customer.

2. Winning customer service takes responsibility for customer service

It may not be your fault, but a lost customer is your problem. You have to take responsibility for your customer service losses and showing customers you’re responsible and making steps to fix the problem is the next most critical step to winning back the customer.

Award-winning customer service training is a way to start taking responsibility for the type of service your organization delivers. When you approach a lost customer and can specifically state what has been done or how things have been fixed, you’ve opened the door for that customer to come back.

3. Make a special value incentive

You customer has already been burned in some way. How can you regain customer trust? It’s not easy and often times it’s going to cost you. It may not be practical to offer an aggressive deal to everyone, but it’s a must for your biggest customer losses, or those customers that represent the most potential for revenue. But then again, can you make some special incentive that can be applied to any customer walking out the door? If you’re saying no, think of it like this. Would I like something less than I normally get and keep this customer or am I willing to settle for nothing.

As long as you’re meeting your basic costs, you have to consider that even the most aggressive discount is at least brining is something more than zero. Zero is what you get when you refuse to address the lost customer. Zero is the price you pay when you lack a winning customer service experience. You’ve lost a customer. You’ve lost revenue today. You’ve lost revenue tomorrow, and forever.

4. Winning customer service centers on exceptional communication

Communication is the final step in using winning customer service to win back that lost customer. By now, if you’ve been able to make some progress with getting back your customer, you’ve just begin to recreate that customer relationship. It’s not done. You can’t go back to how you’ve been doing things. You will need to continue working on and developing this tender relationship even after you’ve won back the customer. Customer service communication is the key to ensuring that this customer doesn’t walk out on you again.

Winning customer service recognizes that its customer relationships that matter most. Improving customer communication and taking customer service to the next level is the way to ensure that you catch the warning signs that lead to customer loss in the first place. By communicating effectively with customers you get the hints that there’s trouble with the customer relationship. You can catch customer dissatisfaction and fix it before it leads to outright customer loss.

What’s your take on winning back customers?

These four principles are simple and effective at helping your organization develop the type of customer relationship that keeps customers loyal and creates winning customer service organizations. These principles are a central part of a winning customer service strategy. Your customers aren’t asking for everything. They just want to feel valued. They want to feel respected. There’s no better way than by creating a winning strategy that shows customers, even those who have chosen to walk out on your that you still care about them and are willing to do what it takes to get them back.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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