How to win back lapsed customers

If you have customers who used to buy from you but no longer do, they are a prime base to target with marketing activity.

Implementing a strategy to re-recruit previous customers is almost always a highly cost-effective exercise because conversion rates are usually comparatively high.

But first you have to find out why they are no longer customers. 

Why do people stop buying from you?

Customers typically stop buying from your business for these reasons:

  1. They have forgotten about your business because they haven’t heard from you
  2. Your product is not as competitive as new products or services on the market
  3. Your price is not competitive
  4. They haven’t experienced the customer service they expect


Five steps to winning back customers

It’s cheaper to retain existing customers than gain new ones, so taking the time to develop a strategy to win back your lapsed customers or re-engage old ones is key to improving revenue and profits.

Here’s how you can try to do that:

  1. Create a customer feedback survey

    The first step is to understand why these customers stopped buying from you. A customer feedback survey will tell you this, give you current information about their changing needs and indicate how you can adapt your product service to meet those needs.
      
  2. Consider what might tempt your customers back

    A good place to start is by examining their purchase history. You may find you have different pools of lapsed customers, some who bought lots from you in the past and others who bought very little. This will help you identify where to start with your campaign and what products they might be interested in now and in the future.  You could recommend another of your products or services that is relevant to their last purchase.

  3. Don’t bombard your customers

    Be careful not to bombard them with offers, which could easily put them off. Instead, use your customer data to identify the best time, product and segment to target. Try to identify what services your customer has missed. With a dialogue in place, you may be able to tempt them back with new offers or better services, or at the very least, improve the situation for your existing customers. Don’t forget to make sure these lapsed customers are opted in to still receive marketing communications. If they’re not, you will be breaking the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

  4. Be honest with your customers

    Let them know you are aware they haven’t bought from you in a while, and you want to improve the service you offer them.

  5. Analyse your campaign results

    If your campaign isn’t working for a specific segment, it may be better to invest more in the segments who are responding. You won’t win all your customers back, so the idea is to focus on a small segment to target.

    By taking the time to focus on how you could address the needs of lapsed customers, you could expand your customer base in a cost-effective way.

More on how to attract and retain clients

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Six tips to help boost client loyalty

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How to get more referrals