Business owners dread losing customers. If your customer retention rate is dropping rapidly and it doesn’t seem temporary, it’s time to take serious action. You can start losing your customers for several reasons, but regardless of their motive, you need to find out how to fix it immediately – not just to save your business now, but to keep new customers coming back and to know how to handle such a scenario should it re-occur in the future for different reasons. Feelings of anger and frustration at your declining customer base are completely normal, but the success of your business could depend on your reaction to the experience. Move past the negative feelings and salvage the situation with the following steps.
- Address obvious reasons: Before any damage control measures are taken, make sure you’re not acting out of anger, frustration or desperation, because you might take actions that would affect your relationship with clients negatively. Be honest when answering the question “What are their reasons?”. Some obvious answers might come to mind – maybe your prices are high, your customer service is poor or there’s just a better alternative at a justifiable price out there. First, address these concerns you know that your business has before taking other measures. The cause for the customer exodus could be one of those.
- Get in touch: The next step is to get in touch with your clients(calls and one-to-one meets are good, but try to avoid email if our can). Get conversing with them and find out ways you can help them with your product or service and the problems they have that need your attention. Ask your customers what they like and don’t like about your products, changes they would like to see and the main reason why they left your business in the first place. This is the singular most important bit of market research you could possibly do after losing your customers. The benefits to this are twofold: you would see your brand from the customer’s perspective and know how to fix it for them and your customers would value the attention you give them on that one-to-one basis, making them willing to give you another trial.
- Find out when: Another way to determine what went wrong is to check the data you have and try to determine precisely when you started losing your customers. Having this knowledge will help you pinpoint the series of actions you and your staff took that sent your customers away. Getting the reasons from the customers themselves is a good step, but finding out what exactly went wrong on your end helps as well.
- Provide a solution: Based on all the data you’ve gathered thus far, deliberate with your team and come up with solutions to the problems you’ve identified. After losing your customers, they won’t return to the same old situation they left in the first place, so fix the problems as best you can and reach out not just to the old clients, but a new set of clients as well. Always be looking to expand, not just remain where you are.
- Get customer feedback: Remember, your product or service can never be perfect. Even when you make positive changes, it’s always good to know what sits well with clients and what doesn’t to avoid losing your customers again.