lending insights

Reactivate Lost Customers

Losing a client is tough, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost. Former clients can be recovered—and they can even become some of your most loyal supporters if you show them how committed you are to meeting their needs.

Here are four steps that can help reactivate lost customers:

Find out exactly why they left.
Whether you use phone calls or surveys, take time to get this information. Segment your list into groupings by feedback, especially if some former customers had negative perceptions of your value or service. Remember to listen, take responsibility for any mistakes, and don't get defensive or make excuses or you will discredit your effort.

Ask (directly) what it would take to win them back.
Throw in an "extra" too—say, a discount or freebie for their next visit. Even if they don't return, you'll get insight, and they'll have a positive conclusion.

Tune up your offers or service based on your findings.
Focus on creating a better customer experience. If you segmented your lost customer list by the types of complaints, you will be able to follow up with each group to share specific offers and service enhancements crafted to overcome resistance.

Ask permission to keep in touch—then actually keep in touch.
Send a steady stream of educational, timely and topical information to keep your name in front of them.

Finally, make a routine of asking for feedback at the close of each business transaction. A simple: "Is there anything I could have done to make this experience better for you?" will give you endless actionable data. It will also allow you to proactively adjust, so losing customers becomes a rare occurrence.

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6 Booking Secrets for Travelers

You can start saving money before you go anywhere with these six quick travel booking tips:

Don't immediately book airfare online—call the airlines directly and compare from there. Phone agents often get access to deals not posted on the web—and even if there is a service fee, it may still save you in the long run.