Winning back customers – these tips will help you achieve long-term customer loyalty

Customer recovery - With these tips you succeed in long-term customer retention

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Companies constantly face two major challenges: attracting new customers and retaining existing customers. Unfortunately, people more often invest in acquiring new customers, neglecting the fact that maintaining existing customers can not only be easier, but actually more cost-effective. If your company is active in competitive markets, you should intensively pursue the cultivation and care of existing customers. In this article, you will learn the reasons why customers leave your company for your competitors, how you can improve customer loyalty and how you can win back customers. Now you know the best way to win back customers and what conditions you need to create so that existing customers recommend your products to potential new customers.

Why customers turn away

In some companies, customer losses are often registered tacitly. Targeted inquiries do not take place, just as little as a concrete internal analysis. For many entrepreneurs and their employees, this loss represents a sore point, a personal defeat that people don’t like to talk about. And who likes to admit defeat?

However, the reasons why your customers have migrated to the competition can be very useful for you. Usually, the triggers are similar.

  • Customers have felt harassed in personal contact. It’s better to let existing customers choose who calls or e-mails them and how often. To do this, regularly update all customer information and add emotional details as well.
  • Existing customers had the feeling of being only "second-class" customers to be. Either the service was unfriendly, the sales department did not react to improvement requests after the end of the project or the general attention was simply missing. These emotional aspects are extremely important and say a lot about the trust relationship. Always show appreciation and respect. Thank them personally and, most importantly, honestly for every purchase of your products or services.
  • Customers often migrate to the competition if complaints are not handled with the necessary professionalism. Therefore, respond to complaints and thank your existing customers for their feedback. Poorly handled or not handled at all customer objections are a major reason for losses.

As you can see, in practice there are usually emotional aspects behind the rational reasons. Standard surveys won’t get you anywhere here. In order to find out the actual reasons for the change, the only way is to talk to the customer personally and directly.

Retain customers: Existing customers benefit you multiple times over

The fact that customers switch to the competition is part of the everyday life of every company. However, with a smart strategy and systematic measures, you can reactivate these buyers and win back lost customers.

You can gain several advantages from this type of customer retention and recovery:

Low cost:

Win back customers, you save time and labor resources compared to new customer acquisition. You do not have to prove again your business potential or the quality of your products. In addition, there is no need for mutual approach: Your customer knows you and your company.

Useful feedback:

Ask your customer why they are not currently buying from you. In case of concrete inquiries, he could give you one or the other tip, which can be extremely useful for your company. Whether it’s inadequate service, delayed delivery dates or unsatisfactory product details: now you know where to pull the lever.


When customers feel that your company cares about them, they are positively surprised. You should take advantage of this effect and retain existing customers. Your customers will probably pass on this positive experience to their partner companies. Remember: Only loyal customers will recommend you as a trustworthy business partner. And this is the best way to attract new customers.

Staying realistic about winning back customers

Before you come up with concrete measures on how to win back customers, a few basic preliminary considerations are useful.

Keep the following in mind: A "too high" or "too low" rate is not a good idea. unjustified price" for your products and services is much less often the reason for losing a customer than is generally assumed. And if it is: often it is a pretextual one in order not to disclose an underlying emotional injury.

For this reason, it is not worthwhile to entice your migrated customers to return with discount and low price promotions. This is how you would present yourself as a supplicant who is desperate to do anything.

Therefore, you should rather follow this approach:

Don’t sell yourself short and take customers and their problems and reservations seriously. Train your employees specifically to recognize these and find out what motivations lie behind them. In addition, appeal to their attitude: that customers have not been taken away by the competition, but that it is important to accept that the customer has merely been "borrowed" by the competition was. With this approach in the back of your employees’ minds, it is more possible to develop appropriate recovery measures.

Tips for your customer recovery

1. Get an overview

Create a list of customers from the past 2 to 3 years and identify those who have not engaged you in the past 6 to 12 months (depending on the industry). Determine the customer retention rate over the last 2 to 3 years.
Tip: If possible, draw on contribution margin and look at customer lifetime value.

The totality of this data provides a solid basis. Use this and go a step further by forming clusters. How to identify those customers for whom customer recovery measures are worthwhile.

2. Establish contact

Whether it’s catalogs, flyers, a personalized mailing or a small gift from your company, it’s important to create incentives when you get back in touch with your customer. However, nothing is as important as face-to-face dialogue, which gives you the best chance of winning the customer back over again. Go into the customer meeting well prepared, asking specific questions, such as z. B.

  • Did our customer relationship no longer satisfy you?
  • In case of a change to the competition: What positive experiences have you had with our competitor?? What was better, what was worse compared to our company?
  • Can we convince you with an adapted offer, tailored more precisely to your needs?
  • What do you think can be optimized to achieve your satisfaction??

3. Invite customers

If you are planning a broader recovery, trade fairs or other events can also be used to remind customers of you. Invite your former customers to workshops or an after-work event, for example – ideally with a little bait or clear added value. clear added value.

Here’s how to win back your customers through email marketing

One of the most effective ways to get in touch with former customers is email marketing. In addition to simply submitting using an email marketing tool, you can also get some interesting insights:

  • Does my customer open the email?
  • Does he follow links? Then look at my website?
  • Answering the questions I posed?
  • Does he give feedback, does he criticize?

Before you get to designing your email campaigns, clarify the following details in advance:

1. Filter customers

Adjust your mailing schedule and content based on how long your lapsed customer has not purchased from you and how they have responded to your email campaigns so far. You should also observe and record interests, behavioral patterns and purchase history and incorporate them into campaign planning.

2. Formulate an attention-grabbing subject line

Here it is important to set a special stimulus for reading right from the start. The more individual and unusual you formulate your subject, the more likely your customer will open your e-mail and respond to your content. Try not to write too luridly, but to focus on the concrete customer benefit right from the start and to write as personalized as possible.

3. Inspire with individual content

The content of your email should also pick up your customer and be individually tailored to them. An unusual and unique offer should be combined with other useful content and reading incentives that fit the customer’s needs. In doing so, conclude with an impressive call-to-action button and encourage your customer to read on or contact you.

Conclusion: customer recovery pays off

A systematic and cleverly prepared customer recovery can become an essential competitive advantage for your company. Smartly planned win-back campaigns help any company expand its customer base and also prevent customer loss preemptively.

Even with all efforts and attempts it can happen to lose a customer. Always respond in a professional, friendly manner and ensure that you are remembered well. Always leave a door open and thank them for the past business relationship. So the probability is higher to be able to reactivate their lost customer soon again to an existing customer.

Get insights on the most important factors in sales! In the 4. In the second edition of our State of Sales Report, you’ll find out what strategies salespeople are using to meet the current challenges and how they’re taking advantage of opportunities. Download now for free:

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