Being a Sales Rep for your student newspaper is a great way to learn what it takes to be successful in any sales role. Part of this experience is learning how to work through the different challenges you may encounter as a salesperson. Good news though! If you’re prepared to face these challenges, you can absolutely crush it and be an ad sales champ (with my help, of course.)
That brings me to today’s topic: winning back lost customers. Winning back lost customers is challenging because you are responsible for finding a solution for someone who is unhappy with your product, service, or both. But not to worry my friends; I’ve developed the following tips to help you win back customers by repairing your relationships.
1. Be Prepared
Though I’m not a fan of Scar from the Lion King, we should play a little bit of his song “Be Prepared” in the background for this tip. It’s important to know ahead of time if this customer is upset about a past problem. Be sure to research past client notes or discuss the situation with other staff members to gather as much info as possible.
Contrary to One Republic’s hit song, it’s never too late to apologize. If you meet with a customer who is upset about a past situation, it is important for you to sincerely apologize, even if you were not the person responsible for the customer’s bad experience.
3. Ask about Details of What Went Wrong Last Time
You want the 411! Definitely ask about what happened last time so you can express that you fully understand the situation from the customer’s perspective. Not only does this help mend the relationship, it also allows you to provide the best solution possible.
4. Include the Customer in the Solution
It is important to ask “If I could address your concerns, would you consider working with us again?” If no, apologize and keep in touch with them throughout the year. If yes, ask what you could do to make them confident about doing business with you. This shows that you are willing to listen and learn from past mistakes, even if it wasn’t your fault. Once you have their ideas, tell them you are going to talk with your manager to see what you can do.
5. Explain That You Are Different, then Back It Up!
Now that you understand the situation and want to provide a solution, you need to back, back, back it up! It’s important to follow through on all the promises you have made to your customer. For example, if he or she wants you to drop by in person with information about upcoming special issues, you must visit on a regular basis with all the necessary information. This is your opportunity to show this customer how much his or her business means to you by providing incredible service.