No one likes losing a customer. It's the worst — you can almost hear the flushing away of all the time, effort, and money that was spent generating that lead, converting them into a paying customer, then nurturing them along the way.
But lost customers can actually be used to improve your inbound marketing strategy, as well as your current marketing funnel, and level of customer service.
Here's how to turn that negative into a positive.
Evaluate Why They Left
In many cases, you know why your customer left. This is information that needs to be kept and tracked over time, to determine if there are any trends you need to be aware of.
For example, did a recent price increase have anything to do with it? Perhaps you didn't do a good enough job explaining how the value was improved with the price hike.
Maybe there's been a recent decline in quality control, or perhaps another competitor has upped their game and it's time to reclaim your market share with a better inbound marketing strategy.
Always keep track of why customers leave you, and pay attention when a trend appears.
Examine Your Overall Customer Satisfaction Ratings
When was the last time you held a comprehensive customer satisfaction survey? These surveys are an excellent way to determine when customers are likely to start jumping ship.
There are two sides to the customer survey coin: a longer survey means a higher dropout rate (for the survey), but a shorter survey gives you less information to work with.
If you need to delve deeper into trends that are causing customer churn, you might opt for a longer survey with a higher dropout rate that will allow you to dig deep enough to find the answers you need.
Decide Whether You Even Want to Keep This Customer (or Customers Like Them)
A little-discussed fact is that not all customers are worth keeping. For example, you probably don't want the ones that cost more in terms of customer service and tech support than they spend on your product can go.
When customers leave, it's a good time to conduct a review of customer lifecycle spending and assess which customers are most valuable to the company. Tweak your inbound marketing strategy and funnel marketing efforts to generate more of the kind of customers you like to keep.
Consider Making Them a Sweet Deal to Stay
If it's a lucrative customer you just lost, that needs to stop!
Many businesses offer special packages to customers who are ready to leave. The short-term loss in revenue is almost always worth the long-term gain in keeping a valuable customer.
Consider cutting their rates for a year or giving them a bunch of add-on products for free. Anything you can do to keep them happy (and paying) will give you time to get back in their good graces again.
Ask If It's Okay for You To Stay in Touch
Sometimes goodbye really is goodbye. That's okay. You've learned how to glean some benefit from the loss.
But it's also okay to ask them if you can continue to send them newsletters, special offers, or other correspondence. You never know if the competitor they're jumping to might not be everything they expected.
By continuing to reach out to them with your customer development and nurturing campaigns, you can be like the ex who regains the love and admiration of a lost lover, simply by continuing to be a really good friend.
Does your inbound marketing strategy need to be tweaked a bit so that you're generating the right kinds of leads — the leads that convert into long-term loyal customers? Get a free inbound marketing assessment to find out.