Use Your Lost Customers
One of dozens of strategies listed and linked to here:
How to Make More Money
From Your Business
By Steve Gillman
There are two basic ways to use lost customers to increase
your profits. The first is to find out why you lost them in the
first place, and use that information to improve the service
or product you sell. There will be times when there is nothing
applicable from such research. If a customer stopped coming to
your store because he moved, for example, this doesn't necessarily
suggest a solvable problem. Then again, if you hear the same
reason enough and the moves are to the same area, it could be
time to build another store in a new location.
How you apply this idea will depend on the nature of your
business. If you run a fast food restaurant, for example, it
can be tough to even identify lost customers, let alone find
them to get information. In that case, the best you might hope
for is to ask around about anyone who has heard bad things about
your business, and look for common complaints that might suggest
If you have a business that has a customer list, you can note
who hasn't used your service or bought your product in a long
time, and contact them. For example, if you clean houses and
a regular client stopped using your service a year earlier, you
might just call and ask why? If it is because they no longer
could afford the cost, you might consider offering minimal service
at a discount. If they tell you that your employee broke things
or stole from them, that's something you need to fix.
I recently canceled my subscription to an online service that
provided content for my sites. I explained in some detail why
I wasn't satisfied with what they offered. But this is rare.
Most of the time you will not know why you lost a customer unless
you find a way to locate and question him or her.
Another Way to Use Lost Customers
It's a good idea to make improvements based on information
gleaned from lost customers, but you can also make money more
directly from them. How? Help them get what they want elsewhere,
and arrange with other businesses to get paid for sending them
Suppose you sell new cars and you have a customer who just
can't qualify for normal financing. Help him out by sending him
to a used car lot seller who arranges financing for bad-credit
buyers. You helped yourself out too, if you arranged to get a
commission for each purchase made by a person you send.
To prepare to use this strategy, list all the most common
and essentially unresolvable problems potential customers
have with your product or service. Then find solutions outside
of your business for these lost customers, and start arranging
a way to make some money by providing this help.