This is why you think the customers that you have lost have stopped doing business with you:
• Can’t compete on price
• Key contact left the company
• Bad customer experience
• Ummm… don’t know why
In reality, here are some real reasons they gave as to why they stopped doing business with you:
• Vendor stopped calling us
• Didn’t grow with us
• Unwilling to be creative
• Only heard from them at renewal time
• Unresolved bad customer experience
• Someone else wanted the business more
The differences between these two sets of reasons point to a key communication gap. A typical scenario: Former Customer says,“I never hear from them, and someone else appeared who took more time with us. So we went with a new outfit.”
When asked if they would consider doing business with their old vendor again, Former Customer said he would certainly consider it, but wasn’t sure that his business was important to them. This should be an “a-ha!” moment for the old vendor.
So think about it: what if you could recover 10-20 percent of your lost customers? It would likely have a significant revenue impact for you not only this year, but in future years. It’s not always comfortable to reach out to former customers, especially if they were disgruntled. But you may find it well worth your time to reconnect, and this time, LISTEN to them. Addressing their issues might be easier than you think.
– Lisa Dennis