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How to win back customers and regain customer trust

Winning back lost customers isn't easy. Martha Rogers explains how to win back customers in B2C and B2B settings.

I work for a customer service company. A longtime customer was unsatisfied with our services at present, so he took his business elsewhere. Since then we have made some changes, but how can we convince this customer to come back to our company and regain his trust?
What this question really emphasizes is how important it is to make sure that we do it right the first time, because once we lose a customer, as is clearly the case here, we may never get a chance to be able to talk to that customer again. We know that, so what do we do now?

What is not clear from the question is whether this is a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C)...

setting. If it is a B2C setting then it's going to be very hard to go to a particular customer and make everything alright. If it's a B2B setting, then it's worth investing some effort into going back to the customer and educating him about the new things we have, making it clear what we can offer him now and also emphasizing what's in it for him by at least reconsidering doing business with us. In the meantime, what we want to do is make sure that we are doing everything as well as we can and hope that word of mouth will reach that customer and he might give us another try.

This was last published in April 2008

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