Reviving Former Clients + Customers
Clients and customers come and go, but loyalty can be a forever thing too. Customers can part ways with you for a plethora of reasons, but it doesn’t mean you cannot reconnect under different circumstances. There are numerous things to consider when looking to revive former clients and customers!
Maybe it’s Them
Sometimes clients need to put your services on hold or pause, from being a customer for a bit. Over the last couple of years the economy has been quite shaky, and many small businesses have taken a hit. Perhaps, it is that your service was no longer able to fit in budget and there were no hard feelings but – it’s just the way it goes. What’s wonderful is that on many regards we are able to look ahead to better and more bright days economically speaking. This means budgets may be readjusted and services may be restarted. Fingers crossed it was just a dry spell.
They Need Time to Think
Many times when you on board a client, you without meaning to, you can overwhelm them. Questionnaires, client homework, strategies — all things that you need to help take their business to the next level – however, they may not be ready for it like they thought. Many times, we find that clients or customers think they want “X” but once you explain how “ABC” are needed before you can get down to their goals, you may find that they decide to back out and leave you hanging. Starting a new service or product can be overwhelming for a company or client— it is for that reason that on boarding slowly and in an organized manner is the way to go. Conducting on boarding in this way allows for continual, transparent communication so that the client does not feel nervous or overwhelmed.
Maybe It’s You
Your Plate was Too Full
As a business owner, you have most likely at one point or another, have encountered dealing with one too many tasks, one too many overbooked weeks, and one too many things to do. Unfortunately, when this happens, some things can fall to the wayside. It’s even more unfortunate when it’s a client’s needs or a customer’s satisfaction that suffers. Hopefully in time, as you have grown as a business owner, you have learned the brilliant art of time management.
Sometimes, unavoidably so, things get misunderstood, expectations aren’t met, and there can be a bottleneck in a project. Perhaps the damage is of your own accord, someone on your team or perhaps it’s the doing of someone on the client’s team. When this happens, your relationship will either sink or swim. As the business providing a service or product, it is in your best interest to repair the damage the best you can to avoid burnt bridges or a tarnished reputation.
Hey, nobody’s perfect, right? As you grow your business and learn from mistakes, it’s possible that during your learning and growing experiences, bridges were accidentally burned, and clients were left with a bad taste in their mouth. Luckily, these things can usually be mended.
“So what do I do? It’s been X months. I’d like to get back in touch with them.”
Then do it!
Drop them a Line.
So write them a love letter. No, not really, that’s creepy.
But you can get back in touch with an email, a phone call, or a postcard in the mail (check out FELT for something like this).
You’ll never know if they’ll resume services unless you try, right?
Create an Enticing Campaign
If you decide that creating an email is the way to go in order to ask them to resume services, you want to be sure to make it enticing. Let the discount and offer really be a step above your typical special or deal. Something cheeky and catchy like “ We Miss You…Come back for 30% off” — this is a pretty substantial percentage off and will make them do a double take. For a business that offers services vs. products, consider offering a free hour of billable time, a free consultation, or a percentage taken off their invoice for billable services. Make it worth their time to come back!
Don’t Beg, but Be Bold.
You never want your clients (past or present) to feel like you’re begging for them to come back to you (yes, in some ways this can feel like a break up).
Be sure to make sure your messaging, cold calls, or check ins are not pushy or looking like you’re begging. Be clear, concise, and communicative on the fact that you’d love to link up with them— make it clear what you are willing to offer if they resume services or purchases with you; however, don’t come off like you are desperate for their business (even if you are!)
Check Back In
Let some time go by, and then circle back around and check in. Worst that can say is “No” right? Aim to reach back out 7-10 days after the initial contact. Remember to be appropriate and cognizant of their time zone and preferred method of communication.
From all of us at the VA USA team: we are so thankful for clients in the past and the present, with a special place in our heart for our former clients who have decided to come back and join us again. We’d love to help our clients work on their plan to gain their old clients back as well— whether this be in the form of our VA team calling your former clients, dropping them a mailer, designing an email campaign, or arranging your next lunch to reconnect with an old client.