Lost Customers Can Mean Found
by Marcia Yudkin
Do you routinely purge customers from your database when
they haven't bought from you in ages? If so, you're
discarding an incredibly cost-effective source of revenue.
Studies show that previous customers, even if inactive or
dissatisfied, respond to sales pitches at a rate several
times higher than customers who have never bought before.
That's why I drop people from my mailing list only when they
request removal, die or become unreachable after moving.
Even better: investigating why they're no longer buying.
When you take the time to find out why people defected from
your customer ranks, customer retention improves, even
before you fix whatever problems they complained about.
Why? Besides specific gripes about things that went wrong
in a buying relationship, the most common reason for
defection is a feeling that the company just didn't care
whether or not it had their business.
Persuading People to Buy? Problem
More dramatic, credible and enticing wordsmithing does the trick.
Marcia Yudkin's most popular report reveals hard-to-find principles from a master marketer's toolbox, including guidelines and checklists for offers, bullets and testimonials. Then you'll be set to sell, sell, sell!
McKinsey and Company discovered that simply having a forum
in which to express dissatisfaction doubled the percentage
of customers who said they would repurchase from a company
they had complained about. That forum might be an old-fashioned suggestion box, postage-paid comment cards, an
800-number on packaging or an email address for feedback.
Customers whose complaint was resolved had a repurchase
intention rate of 54 percent. Of those who had their
complaints resolved quickly, 82 percent expressed the
intention to buy again.
These statistics help explain why Ruppert Landscape in
Ashton, Maryland, goes to extraordinary lengths to find out
how customers feel about the company's service. Twice a
year when it sends out a customer satisfaction survey, 40
percent don't respond. A followup letter nets another 15
percent, and Ruppert personnel phone or visit the other 25
percent. As a result, they enjoyed fewer lost customers,
larger renewal contracts and fewer bad debts.
You can also motivate inactive customers to buy again with a
win-back letter. Report on customer service changes,
describe new products or services, relate success stories,
make revealing comparisons with competitors or extend an
irresistible offer. Make the letter as personal as
possible, not only individually addressed but also with the
name and extension of some real individual for them to call.
In our increasingly impersonal business environment,
personal contact makes a difference.
The need to prevent and pursue lost customers also applies
to those who once expressed an interest but never bought
anything. Marianne Smith, a Houston-based corporate
trainer, learned several years ago to keep contacting non-responders. She had developed a habit of deleting people
from her database if she called them three or four times and
got either a negative response or no response. Then a
potential client she'd deleted called her more than five
years after no contact and hired Smith for one of her best
and largest projects up to that time.
Become an Information Marketer - Your Products or Others'
Get step-by-step guidance on assembling a family of products and services and a system in which they bring you regular income while you sleep. Transform what you know into lucrative passive revenue, more easily and quickly than you might have imagined.
Information marketing course details.
"That was three and a half years ago," Smith reminiscences.
"Has this client contacted me again after that project? No.
Is she still in my database? You bet!"
Marcia Yudkin. All rights reserved.
more about Marcia's comprehensive information
other articles about information marketing.