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Customer Service Tips: 10 Creative Ideas to Win Back a Lost Customer

Customer Service Tips: 10 Creative Ideas to Win Back a Lost Customer

All business owners know that devastating feeling of losing the business of a great customer. A recent survey shows us that 3 in 5 Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. It may feel like there’s no stopping a customer from venturing out to your competition; losing them forever.

Don’t give up so easily. Check out these creative customer service tips to win back your customer and mend the relationship as soon as possible.

Creative Ways to Win Back Customers

1. Send a Monthly Email

It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. If you have tried to resolve the issue but haven’t gotten any closer to earning their business back, try this simple action.

Create a plan to send out a monthly email to all of your lost customers. Fill the newsletter with content that showcases how amazing your business is. This is a long-play strategy but if done properly, you should see an increase in return customers by the end of the year.   

2. Do a Little Research

When your business loses a customer, it’s important that you fully understand why they left. Pull the account of the recently lost customer to see where your customer service, product quality or logistics department went wrong.

Based on their reasons for leaving, brainstorm custom proposals to offer your lost customer to win back their business.  

3. Send Them a Gift

Find out what your customer’s lifetime worth is to your company and take that into consideration when sending them a gift. Be creative and stay within a budget that is proper for their lifetime worth.

Consider buying your lost customer a nice bottle of wine that has a branded “We’re Sorry” label. You can also send over a customized order of cupcakes that spells out “We Miss You.”   

4. Make a Change 

Review the complaint of your disgruntled customer in detail. Find a direct solution to the issue they had a problem with. Add the new policy and train your team on the new procedure(s). When everything has been corrected and the new protocols implemented, give your old customer a call. 

Let your lost customer know that thanks to their valuable input, your company has changed the way you handle that area of your business.

5. Give VIP Treatment

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. If your customer has a negative customer service experience, you’re not treating them as best you can. Treat your lost customers like royalty and give them a 1-800 customer service hotline that they can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a week.   

Virtual receptionists can act as VIP account managers by providing 24-hour human assistance. To learn more about the benefits of giving your lost customers constant attention, read our customer service tips article: 10 Facts About Hiring a Live Virtual Receptionist Service.  

6. Make a Slideshow 

This will only work if you have a longtime customer that recently flew the coop. Remember that a lost customer is essentially, a broken relationship; your customer broke up with your business.

Try creating a customized slideshow to woo your lost customer and convince them into giving you a second chance. Fill the slideshow with these suggested slides:

  • • We met on {insert date}.
  • • You started trusting us on {insert date} by making your first purchase.
  • • On {insert date} we helped you with {insert service or product details}.
  • • You’ve spent a total of {number} years with us.
  • • We failed you on {insert date}.
  • • We miss you and want you back. 

Call your lost customer after you’ve sent the slideshow to talk more about what you can do to win back their business.

7. Win Our Customers Back Contest

If you have a sales team or admin support team, consider getting them involved with a healthy competition. Start a contest with a goal of getting back as many customers as possible. Design the rules for the contest and split up the canceled customer accounts amongst the participants.  

Reward the customer service team member that brings back the most clients with a bonus or gift card.

8. Offer an Incentive

Harvard Business Review: Winning Back Lost Customer is a study that was recently performed on 40,000 lapsed customers. The goal was to test out different methods and strategies for winning customers back.

The participating firm tested four different inducements:

  1. 1.) One group was offered a discount.
  2. 2.) Another group could get a service upgrade.
  3. 3.) A lucky group was given a bundled offer of a discount and upgrade.
  4. 4.) The fourth group received offers tailored to their reasons for leaving.

The most effective inducement turned out to be the bundled offer with 47% of the lost customers showing interest in returning. The discount and tailored offer both came in second with 45% interested.

Always cross-reference proposed offers with lifetime values of your customers. You want to stay above your profit line to see a return on your investment.  

9. Get Feedback from All Customers

If you have a lot of customers to try and win back, send them all a questionnaire. Ask them to be as honest as possible as to why they decided to leave. Secondly, ask them what the business can do to win them back. Review all of the answers and try to accommodate as many customer requests as you can. 

Remember, if you resolve a complaint in the customer’s favor, they will do business with you again 70%of the time.

10. Make a Phone Call

Last but not least, pick up the phone and have a genuine conversation with your lost customer. A lot of disgruntled customers really just want to be heard. Actively listen to their chief complaint(s) and take responsibility accordingly. Apologize for the negative experience and let them know that you sincerely want to make the situation right.

Listen to your lost customers and have a sincere conversation to clear up any issues, miscommunication or mishaps.   


If you don’t have the time or expertise to implement these customer service tips, don’t worry, we can help! Our award winning answering service can handle all of your outgoing customer service calls for you. Our virtual receptionists are experts when it comes to bringing up your customer satisfaction levels and strengthening your relationships.

Give us a call now at 1-800-785-6161 to discuss how we can start reviving and mending relationships with your lost customers. 

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