Winning Back Lost Customers


By
Saji M S
Pradeep S N
Kiran P
Prem Lal
S2 MBA
Institute of Management in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram
E-mail:
sajimba06@yahoo.com
 


The average company loses 20 to 40 percent of its customers every year. "Stuff happens" as the saying goes, and customers stray for a variety of reasons: unhappiness with product delivery or service, improper handling of a complaint, disapproval of a change in price or policy , just plain feeling taken for granted.- or the company's product or service is no longer on the customers radar screen.

Any of these reasons can cause trust to weaken and customers to take a hike when the company's performance or presence does not meet their expectations.

Assuming that the firm has done the analysis to ensure the lost customer is worthy than of win back (not all are), here are seven key steps to regaining trust and winning back a lost account:

  • Ask a question : "What can we do to win back your business? "
  • Listen closely to what the customer tells you.
  • Meet the customers requirements; communicate the changes you have made. Ask again for the customers business.
  • Be patient with the customer. Be open. Remember, some wounds heal slowly.
  • Stay in touch with the lost customer.
  • Make it easy for customers to come back to you. Avoid the "I told you so" stance.
  • When the customer does return, earn his or her business every day.

Form a trust team-now

Ready to get serious about building customer trust? Form a cross-functional team of employees and, together, map out the customer development stages as they apply to your trust breakers inherent at each customer stage.

Brainstorm these questions: Where are your best trust building opportunities? How can you capitalize on them? What are your biggest threats to losing trust? What safeguards can be implanted to protect against this potential loss? And , for lost customers, what specific actions can immediately be taken to start the process of rebuilding trust?

Repeat the same exercise, but this time focus on building staff trust. Why? Because you can't expect employees to build customer trust when they themselves don't trust the company.

These steps will likely uncover a surprising truth: a host of trust-building opportunities already exists in your company, and they are simply waiting to be tapped. Capture the best ideas and create a company-wide implementation plan for senior management review and buy in. It's time well spent. Trust me.
 


Saji M S
Pradeep S N
Kiran P
Prem Lal
S2 MBA
Institute of Management in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram
E-mail:
sajimba06@yahoo.com
 

Source : E-mail April 7, 2005

 
 
 

 

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