What is Your Post-Exit Strategy?
Every year, every company loses customers. These customers exit the organization because of a myriad of reasons. Maybe it’s the bad economy, it could be a competitor, maybe it’s your pricing, or possibly your customer experience is declining.
So if your business is like others, you may respond to a loss in business by ramping up advertising and marketing efforts. Or if the pain of loss isn’t too great because you’re adding new customers at the same time, it’s easy to assume that you had no control over why customers left; but if you make that assumption, you’re costing yourself time and dollars.
Instead, when customers have left, ask yourself this question: What is my post-exit strategy?
Some of the best sales prospects your organization can have are former customers. You already have a great deal of intelligence on your former customers. You already know their likes and dislikes, their preferences, what’s most important to them, key demographic information, and their purchase history. Well, at least you should know all this information.
Find Out What You Don’t Know About Former Customers
The two things you don’t know are two pieces of information that can make you a lot of money very quickly. The first piece of information is the specific reason or reasons why they left. This is where you avoid making broad assumptions about the customer base, and you look specifically at each one to determine why they left. You would probably be shocked to find out why the individual customers left even though you might be able to guess broadly about the major reasons. By knowing why they left, it helps in future conversations to get them back.
The second piece of information that’s vital is their likelihood of future interest in your products and services. You have to know what level of interest they have in returning to your business, whether they have an established relationship with a new product/service provider, and – if so – how that relationship is going. Without this information, you don’t know enough to have an efficient sales pitch with a former client.
So what is your post-exit strategy?
Conduct Exit Interviews
With our pro sports clients, for example, it includes conducting Exit Interviews in a soft form with former season ticket holders to gather intelligence about these key pieces of information. And then to use the results of that research to both apply to current clients to best retain them but also – in the hopes of increasing revenue – to make targeted sales pitches at the former season ticket holders. Could you do something similar with your former customers?
Your lost customers are one of your greatest sources of future revenue. Have a strategy for getting them back.