Unfortunately, you can’t keep customers forever. This harsh reality often appears when a longtime customer leaves you behind in favor of the competition. Reaching out to lost customers should be part of your business strategy.
Put Emotion Aside
When a customer leaves you, it can be an awkward situation. Especially if you thought you had a good relationship and were caught by surprise.
You’ll need to shelve your emotions and disappointment and focus on how lost customers will perceive a communication from you.
Reach out and tell them you are sad to hear of their departure. This is likely true either from a personal relationship standpoint or a financial loss impact on your business.
Your sincerity should be curbed, however, if you are angry. It is better to wait to communicate with any lost customers until you can focus on the positive.
A great way to open your email, phone call, or letter is to apologize that you didn’t meet the customer’s needs. Something obviously didn’t go right or the customer would still be yours.
Assume the fault is yours and apologize up front for not meeting their needs. This prevents you from taking an aggressive attack position and helps the customer not be too defensive.
What Could You Have Done Better?
Ask what you could have done better to keep them as a customer.
Asking for feedback from lost customers can be a treasure trove of customer research and insights. Listen to the customers’ thoughts without being judgmental. Make note of what their pain points were.
You can now work to improve your product or service to fix these problems for the rest of your customers. Additionally, since your lost customer has stated these concerns, it opens the door for you to reach out to them and invite them back when you’ve fixed what didn’t work for them.
If your tone is sincere and focused on helping your lost customers, the door should be left open for business in the future.