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Customer Win-Back Basics: 4 Steps to Turning Dissatisfied Customers into Loyal, Repeat Buyers

Alina Wojslaw
Published by
Alina Wojslaw
Read Article

Customer Win-Back Basics: 4 Steps to Turning Dissatisfied Customers into Loyal, Repeat Buyers

Alina Wojslaw
Published by
Alina Wojslaw

Let’s face the facts – in the eCommerce world, you can’t please everyone.

As an online store, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to keep 100% of your customers happy.

Whether it’s a momentary blip in your customer service or a problem with their order that’s beyond your control, today’s customers are demanding and perfectly aware that your competitor will go great lengths to turn your weaknesses into their strengths. So brace yourself, because there will always be one customer who ends up dissatisfied with their experience.

Most eCommerce businesses will chalk this up as a failure on their part and cut their losses.

This is a mistake. Why? Because you can win back dissatisfied customers and if you don’t, you’re leaving your brand’s reputation on the line.

The 4 Core Ground-Rules of Winning Back Customers

Follow this process and you won’t just win back churned customers; you’ll build brand trust and cultivate a loyal following of repeat buyers who spread the word about your products or services. Trust us - it’s worth the effort.

1) Acknowledge their existence

Reaching out to a dissatisfied customer is impossible if you don’t know they exist. Two dangerous scenarios are that you either don’t get notifications for negative reviews or you're not using any customer feedback management software at all. If your customer’s negative experience goes unnoticed, you won’t just miss out on the chance to learn from the feedback and improve your service, you could also damage your future sales.

Why? Because as we’ve discussed before, customers talk and read reviews. If they see that another buyer has been dissatisfied with their experience and nothing has been done about it, they might think twice about parting with their hard-earned cash.

Unless you like seeing downward trends in your sales reports, you don’t want this. So, what can you do about it?  

Well, as the old adage goes, the first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging you have a problem… and then putting a customer reviews system in place to make sure you’re made aware of negative reviews as soon as they’re posted.  

2) Respond in public as soon as possible

Customers don’t just expect responses to their reviews, they also expect them fast.

In fact, research shows that 21% of customers want to see a reply within 24 hours. So, as soon as they post their review, the clock starts ticking.

Don’t see this as a negative. This is your chance to make amends with the dissatisfied customer and show them (and any potential customers who read your reply) that your brand is committed to righting its wrongs and delivering an exceptional level of customer service.

Not sure what to say? We got you. Check out our article on how to reply to customer reviews.

3) Get customer service on the case

Make sure to deliver on the promise you make in your public reply. Depending on your customer win-back strategy and the severity of damage your customer suffered, you can take a reactive or proactive approach. The former means you're leaving the decision on the further steps to the customer by offering them to contact your customer service who will be happy to solve the issue. The latter means your customer service is the one who reaches out to the customer and informs them about it in a public reply. The clue is that you walk your talk, so if you promise that their problem will be referred to - make it happen.

So, as soon as you post your proactive reply, make sure customer service follows up with the dissatisfied customer by email or phone to emphasise your willingness to rectify any mistake that was made and possibly a ready idea for how to achieve it.

Think about it:  

Your new pair of shoes arrives on Thursday without laces. You were super excited for your Saturday morning run hoping to test them and now you’re annoyed. You post a review, venting your frustrations. Within an hour, you receive a call from a customer service rep who apologizes and informs you they’re shipping the laces with the next-day delivery so they’ll reach you in time. There’s no way you don’t leave that interaction feeling both impressed and valued.  

4) Make it right

Regardless of the situation, remember retail rule #1:

The customer is not always right but it’s your role to make them feel taken care of, no matter who’s to blame.  

So, if they don’t feel they’ve received the service they’ve paid for, it’s your challenge to fix the mistake – and maybe even sweeten the deal a little.

What you offer is up to you but the bigger the mistake, the better the compensation.  

Consider the following:

  • Personal apology
  • Free exchange for a new product
  • Free return with paid-for shipping
  • Discount off current order
  • Discount off next order
  • A we're-sorry gift (everyone loves it)

After seeing that their feedback is valued and has been acted upon, most customers will leave the exchange feeling satisfied that their concerns have been addressed. In fact, since you’ve taken the time to speak with them and find a solution to their problem, the personal relationship you’ve built with the customer won’t just remove the bad taste from their mouth – it should lead to them thinking favourably of your brand and you can even attempt to ask them to update their feedback if they feel their opinion has changed after the follow-up process.

5) Ask the customer to update their feedback

A request for a removal of the negative comment is usually not very welcome. Asking for a review update is different. The customer can but doesn't have to change their review completely but may, for instance, increase the number of stars and add an "edit" note at the top of their previously negative review with a description of the impressive follow-up process and amends they were offered. Credibility of a now-positive review from someone who was unhappy with your product or service in the first place is very high and has a strong convincing effect, giving your potential shopper a priceless sense of safety and trust when making purchasing decisions.

3 Reasons why Fighting for your Customers is Worth the Effort

The satisfaction of knowing you’ve made a customer’s day. That in and of itself is reward enough for your efforts, right? Whilst there’s no doubt that providing top-level customer service will leave you feeling great too, customer win-back has a couple of other benefits up its sleeve:

1) Reduced customer acquisition cost

It’s 5x more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep an old one.  

So, by winning back dissatisfied customers, you’re not just creating the potential for repeat orders, you’re also saving yourself money. Follow our win-back process, and your marketing team will thank you.

2) You’ll Create Brand Ambassadors

What if there was a way to turn your customers into your greatest salespeople? Well, there is, and this strategy will encourage customers to spread the word about the great experience they’ve had.

By delivering best-in-class service and also showing your customer that you value their business, you’re not just going to create an environment for repeat purchases, but you’ll also give them a reason to share their experience with their personal network. This is gold dust for brand trust.

Whether it’s simply chatting with friends or recommending you when someone is in the market for your product or service, your new brand ambassadors will spread the word about your business and help you tap into audiences you might not have otherwise been able to reach.

3) You’ll breed invaluable customer loyalty

There’s a reason you’re loyal to your favourite brands and reluctant to try others - even if they can compete on price. And we’d be willing to bet that reason is, among other things, a great customer experience.

The point we’re trying to make is that excellent customer service and end-to-end experience is valued above price. If you can provide it not just to your happy customers but also to unhappy ones, you’ll produce a shield around your brand that will defend it from aggressive, lower-priced competitors.

Make the Most of Every Win-Back Opportunity with Lipscore

Spend less time scouring your product reviews and more time building your business with Lipscore. Our review management platform will instantly inform you when a customer leaves a negative review, giving you the best possible chance to turn the situation around.

Let’s talk. Have a non-binding chat with our team today and see just how much Lipscore can do for your business.

Picture source: Freepic

Alina Wojslaw
Customer Success Manager