Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

What To Do When Customers Go “Missing In Action”

If you had to guess, what would you think the top four reasons are for customers not returning to a business? (Hint: price isn’t one of them). Are you ready to be astounded? Here’s the countdown:

Reason Four: Bad service. Either you didn’t take care of them, they had a bad customer experience with one of your staff, or you dropped the ball in some major way.

Reason Three: Your product was bad. Your marketing might have been excellent but their experience with your product just didn’t measure up and they were left with a bad taste in their mouths (sadly this is all too common).

Reason Two: They left you for someone else. Either you didn’t market your services regularly enough to them so that when they were ready to buy, there you were, or you were out of touch with what their needs are. Someone else saw the gap and swooped in.

And, (drum roll please) – the number one reason why your customers go missing in action is #1 They FORGOT About YOU! That’s right, the #1 reason people don’t return to your business is because they forgot who you are and what you do. This is a pure and simple marketing problem that can be fixed with a prescription of regular marketing.

Are you shocked that price doesn’t even feature in the top four reasons? Most of us automatically think that if customers don’t return, it must have been because we were too expensive, when actually it’s just because we weren’t regular enough with our marketing by reminding them we’re here.

This is an easy fix! Here’s how:

First, decide at what point in your business you would consider a customer “lost.” For example a hairdresser would consider a customer lost if they didn’t hear from them in 2 months; a restaurant, likely 6 weeks. Figure this out and then set up a lost customer sequence to trigger as soon as a customer doesn’t return when you expect them to.

The most effective “win back” marketing campaign is going to be a highly personalized direct mail campaign. It’s been many years since I ordered my last jar of Proactiv acne cream but to this day I still receive lost customer marketing from Rodan & Fields.

A very distant second is to try and win your customers back via email campaign. It’s a distant second because email is so easy to ignore, but any marketing is better than none!

Now here’s the real secret to winning them back: unless you specifically invite your lost customers to return to you, most won’t because they’re too embarrassed! You need to warmly invite them back. Remember that a customer who’s already done business with you is at least 5 times more likely to buy from you than a cold prospect.

So take a little breather from chasing those new leads and show a little love to your existing clients. Woo the lost sheep back by making them feel special. If they don’t respond to the first campaign, schedule another next month with a different offer!

Rinse, lather, repeat!