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Though often overlooked, former client reactivation can be the easiest option for business owners who want to get up and running quickly without breaking the bank.

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August
15, 2021

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What would you do if you needed to get some new customers and sales before the next month?

If you are a business owner, even an established business owner, this will happen to you at some point. For example, how would you react if some customers left you unexpectedly? Similarly, could you take the devastating blow of learning that some of your customers cannot pay you on time or at all at the same time? Also, what if you find that your leads or sales pipeline is drying up?

In all of these cases, before your business goes too far south, you need to quickly correct your course or it might be too late.

A proven but overlooked strategy that generates revenue

There are numerous viable options that business owners can use to increase their sales instantly. Increasing ad spend, optimizing pricing strategy, and running seasonal ad campaigns are just a few popular examples that come to mind.

Another highly effective strategy for reactivating former customers. Though often overlooked, former client reactivation can be the easiest, most affordable option for incumbent business owners to quickly grow revenue without breaking the bank.

Customer reactivation in itself can be a confusing term and varies by industry, so let's break it down. When you refer to a customer in this article, it is anyone who purchases a product or service from your company. It's not a lead, qualified lead, prospect, referral partner, or other stakeholder. It's an actual paying customer. To simplify the explanation here, a customer can also be referred to as a customer, patient or member, depending on the profession.

So which type of customer should you reactivate? This strategy has nothing to do with your current customers. Rather, it has everything to do with your former customers. The intent of the reactivation process is to get these former customers not only to get back involved, but also to pay again for your product or service. Essentially, you want to wake up, revive and regain past customer relationships.

Related: Four Ways To Improve Customer Experience (And So Keep Your Customers)

Benefits of a customer reactivation campaign

Some organizations refer to former customers as lost, dormant, expired, past, or inactive. Whatever you do, please don't refer to your past customers as "dead customers." I know you want to "bring back from the dead" some of these inactive customers, but what if some of the names on your customer list actually passed away? I've been to customer meetings where this has happened and it can get awkward in a rush.

Regardless of what your preferred name for a former customer is, there are numerous benefits to a well-defined and well-managed customer reactivation process:

More sales in the short and long term – The goal is to keep the former customers from disappearing entirely. Fast recoveries lead to short-term increases in sales, while consistent, timely, and relevant communication with other former customers promotes reactivations and helps meet longer-term sales goals.

Lower customer acquisition costs – Remember, technically these are not new customers. These former customers are ready to be won again. They already know you and many of them have had good experiences with you. Additionally, most of them are likely gone for reasons unrelated to the performance of your product or service, or your company's people. With that in mind, the saying goes that it costs five times more to find and win a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer or revive an old one.

Improved Current Customer Experience – Finding out why previous customers left you can apply that knowledge and introduce new systems and processes that better suit the needs and preferences of existing customers so they are happier and stay with you longer.

Reduced customer churn – more information about current customer trends, past customer behavior, their purchase history, and the likes or dislikes of other competitive offers results in a more seamless end-to-end customer experience that should result in higher and lower customer loyalty.

Related: The true ROI of customer focus

How to successfully start a reactivation campaign

Here are the key steps you need to follow to profitably start and run your next former customer reactivation initiative:

Determine your target audience for the campaign – Identify who you want to address first. When exactly did they stop buying from you? Why did they leave It's important to keep in mind that if a customer has previously sent you referrals, has decided to leave for any reason other than poor service, or previous inquiries and escalations have been promptly and satisfactorily addressed, the likelihood of a customer reactivating increases.

Define your campaign goal and your success criteria – you not only want to generate sales from your former customers, but also want to introduce them to a new product offering or update them to a new version or a new package?

Create Your Personalized, Persuasive Content and Strategies / Answers to Reclaim Them – Based on their purchase history and the reasons they have recorded for leaving, start preparing the appropriate messages and enhancements to highlight them in the unique offers for that particular buyer personality.

A / B testing different offers – you don't always have to offer discounts or incentives to win back a customer. In many cases, having just one new line of products or a new service offering is enough to get the former customer to do business with you again.

Follow-up via various channels – In addition to email, make sure to use the phone for follow-up in case your note somehow ends up in the junk or spam folder. It is highly recommended that you stay in front of your customers through various channels.

Measure your campaign performance – Track which outreach technique works best, find out which segment of your database is more likely to become a customer, and see which competitors are the easiest to take back business from.

Keep accurate and up-to-date records – Industry leaders use a centralized and integrated CRM system to track the history of all customer activity, purchases, opportunities and service incidents. Make sure that you continue to introduce an offboarding process for the customer so that all reasons for leaving the customer can still be freshly captured in the customer's mind. This data can then be used to prepare a more effective reactivation campaign in the future.

If you're a business owner with an established list of customers who needs a quick recharge in sales, leverage the power of customer reactivation strategy. After all, if best-in-class companies are committed to balancing new customer acquisition efforts with a customer reactivation outreach strategy, why shouldn't you? You will be amazed how quickly you can make some profits on the board. Whenever my customers are looking to increase sales just before the end of the month or quarter, I always advise them to reach out to their former customers. In fact, a customer's family member recently shared that they had as much sales in two weeks as they typically do in two months!

Your former customers already know who you are and it's a much shorter sales cycle. What do you have to lose?

Related: How to Really Hear and Use Customer Feedback

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