Losing a customer is never easy. You never want that unexpected phone call or email, where a customer informs you that they no longer need your services. But as frustrating as it may be – it is unavoidable. It can also be a valuable learning tool that you can use to help improve your business. Here are 3 steps every business should follow when re-engaging lost customers:

Listen before you act.

Though your initial reaction may be to pull out all the stops to quickly regain the customer’s business, make sure you have fully heard their concerns. Take time to really understand why the customer is leaving and ask yourself the following: What was their expectations for my service? What type of service did we actually provide? Very few companies take steps to understand the customer’s vantage point. They assume they already know why the customer has left. By virtue, they also assume they know how to fix it. Gathering first-person customer feedback can either reaffirm your position or open your eyes to a new issue you were not aware of. Additionally, it demonstrates that you truly care about your customer’s voice.

Be personable.

Customers want to be heard. Moreover, they want to be valued. Always engage your customers in person or over the phone. This personal touch shows the customer that you are invested and value their feedback. Avoid sending emails or leaving long-winded voicemails at all costs. This feels cold, and customers are more inclined to either ignore you or respond with a generic answer. Take it a step further. Send a handwritten note thanking the customer for their time to speak with you. Include a discount on their next service. The generic cookie-cutter approach most of your competition is taking gets lost in the crowd. Adding a personal element to your outreach helps you reconnect with your customers and is a vital step in regaining their business/trust.

Solve the problem, not the symptom.

For some businesses, they expend a lot of time and energy by trying to fix issues one incident at a time. They hear that a customer is unhappy, and quickly jump to fix it without finding the root of the problem. You create new rules, implement new systems and create new policies with your staff to appease a client. These band-aid “fixes” often turn out to hurt more than they help. Rather than finding and fixing the problem, they treat the symptom. Instead, spend your energy (and time and money) to truly identify the root of the problem. Once you find the root of the problem, create a definitive solution, rather than going for a knee-jerk, reactionary quick fix that provides a superficial and temporary solution. Let’s explore an example, say you’ve received a customer complaint that a technician did not provide adequate service, why is that? Is this result of truly sub-par service or is it a case of unmet expectations? Instead of immediately retraining the technician, a better strategy may be to rethink how you brand your services so customer expectations are better aligned with the services you provide.

Whether you’re looking to gauge service performance or retain current customers, WorkWave Service provides businesses with the ability to gather customer feedback and spot at-risk customers before they leave.

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