Retaining customers and keeping churn rates low are the ultimate goals in maintaining a steady flow of happy satisfied customers, but no matter how good your service is, how friendly your technicians, or how efficient your operations, some customers go dark. The reasons can range from timing, to a change in income and circumstances, or in the worst case, a negative experience with your brand.
No matter the reason, whether they’ve been inactive for a few months or more than a year, reaching out to a previous customer to inquire about their experience and asking what you can do to be of service, shows that you value the relationship and want to constantly improve your practices as a pest control business.
“When you consider that acquiring a new customer can be up to 5x more expensive than retaining a current one, conducting a win-back campaign to re-engage with previous customers is a smarter way to bring in new revenue.” says Greg Schoch of Anytime Pest Elimination in Baytown, TX.
So how do you create a successful winback campaign encouraging customers to re-engage with your company and potentially resign for your pest control services? Here are the dos and don’ts to help get you started.
Do: Make it Personal
Each customer is a snowflake. They had a unique experience with your company and the more you understand about it, the better you can speak to their current concern. Ensure that before any attempt is made to re-engage with a previous customer, you’ve done your research:
- Why did they originally seek out your services (what was their pest issue)?
- What was the outcome of the initial interaction?
- How long did the customer use your services?
- Did they quietly walk away or go down in flames with a complaint?
Treating customers like they’re just the next name on the list won’t win you any points in the second chance category. Being familiar with their individual situation and their personal participation with your business demonstrates that you genuinely care about their experience. Do your homework before reaching out.
Do: Ask for Their Side of the Story
It’s amazing what people will tell you when you simply ask. Most customers want to tell their side of the story and hear some reassurance on the other end that they’re understood. Posing questions such as “What happened?” or “How can we do better?” invites customers to respond with any reasons they may have had for dropping your services.
This displays to customers your willingness to learn from their experiences, possibly even your mistakes, and shows them that their satisfaction is your top priority. You’ll discover crucial insights in order to focus on re-engagement.
Do: Get Creative with Your Communication Efforts
The options in customer communication are more varied than ever before. If you’re finding email to be ineffective, don’t assume that your campaign is a bust. Emails get buried and inboxes get overrun with promotions and spam. Consider a more omni-channel approach that utilizes a wider range of communication avenues.
With open rates as high as 90% for texting, employing SMS and MMS messages in your win-back campaign is a no brainer. And don’t forget about social media. You can create personalized ads using paid targeted ad campaigns with dynamic segmentation.
Direct mail, personal notes, and the good old fashion phone call are also effective ways to connect. Creativity is key when finding ways to actively engage with inactive customers so don’t feel limited to one delivery system.
Don’t: Hound People
This seems like it should go without saying, but in your enthusiasm to win back the attention of long lost customers, it can be easy to over do it. If you’ve reached out multiple times with no response or have been asked to cease contacting a customer, respectfully comply and focus elsewhere.
Another tactic to avoid is begging. Don’t forget that what you offer as a reputable pest control company is of great value to the community you serve. If you’re having to beg people to take you back, it devalues your services and your brand.
Remember that most customers have considerable options when it comes to pest control services. If they have chosen to go with another provider and no longer want to hear from you, accept it and move on to the customer who is willing to entertain your efforts.
Do: Offer Incentives
Offering a free gift, bonus service, or other reasonable incentive is a great way to add value to your proposition when courting former customers. Again, it reemphasizes the relationship aspect of the what otherwise could feel like a simple transaction for services.
The “give them the pickle” philosophy wherein you provide just a little extra something goes a very long way in winning customers over to your brand. Evaluate what incentive would be of the most value to your customers and include it in your win-back campaign.
Don’t: Giveaway the Store
Winning a customer at the expense of losing money and putting your bottom line on the line isn’t an effective strategy. For example, offering a year of free services may win several clients back to your company, but you’ll be sacrificing revenue and potentially putting people’s jobs at risk. It’s tempting to give your customers an offer they can’t refuse, but it’s detrimental to offer incentives that put you out of business.
Your win-back campaigns should address and acknowledge your customer’s concern and incentivize them to come back all while maintaining the integrity of your brand and services. Remember that these people have purchased from you before which gives you the advantage of knowing their experience and should prompt a personalized effort in winning them back.
Slingshot’s sales and support team of agents can carry out your win-back strategy to re-engage and resign your customers in time for the busy season. Request a demo today and start winning customers back.