We can learn more from our failures than our successes. That’s why talking to former customers and dead leads can be a blessing to your sales numbers. Examining why someone didn’t buy your product or service can be as telling as a survey detailing why they did.
Ask yourself these questions when you interview those who did not – or will not – buy from you.
Do you want this customer back?
Talking to a former customer may reveal that your business is better off without them. Difficult customers are liabilities, because they give bad word-of-mouth advertising and damage your reputation in the community. If your research finds that a customer is chronically difficult, quietly cut ties and move on.
Do you know why they left?
Why are your customers and leads no longer interested? Did they think your goods or services were too flimsy? Too complex? Too expensive? Or did the customer simply have a different idea of what a good value should be? Get as much info as you can, and take note of repeating patterns. One customer’s assumptions might be ignored. But if multiple customers are making the same assumptions, you might consider making some changes.
Can you adjust offers?
Ask your former customers if there are different price combinations and price points that you could add within your offers. It could be that a customer needs a different level of service or a different level of item (i.e. limited auto insurance or a smaller television than what you have featured).
Can you fix the problem?
When you take the time to correct or prevent a mistake, your customers feel valued. This could be anything from replacing a negative salesperson, to correcting a negative store experience. Ask your lost customers what you could have done to make the sale or retain their business. Even if they decide to go elsewhere, their last interaction with you will be positive and engaged.
Clients come, and clients go, it’s a part of the business experience. Look at customer loss as an opportunity to win the business back or to identify changes that your business needs to grow.