How Customer Feedback Works in Winning Back Lost Customers

Gathering customer feedback helps you identify the exact reasons why customers stop using your product, and allows you to win them back for longer customer lifecycles.

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Customers nowadays can start using your digital product in a matter of seconds. All they need is a username and password to begin a subscription plan or place an order online. However, because of this speed and efficiency, it’s also just as easy to lose them—making winning back lost customers an essential part of every company’s business growth strategy.

While bringing back past customers may sound tedious, there is data to show that it’s very much worth it. A report from Client WinBack Benchmark Study says 26% of customers will return because of a win-back campaign, and stay longer, giving you double the customer lifetime value (CLV). You also have a 60-70% chance of success selling to inactive customers again, compared to the 5-20% chance of selling to a new customer. Moreover, winning back lost customers is 5 times more cost-effective than gaining new ones.

However, there’s a catch. You need to know exactly why they left in the first place to run an effective win-back program. Of course, they churned for a reason. But that reason varies from one customer to another. 

This is where customer feedback comes in.

Customer feedback helps you understand lapsed and inactive customers. It directly asks for their why and allows you to plan your how, designing specific offers that are guaranteed to bring them back. 

Whether they stopped subscribing for months, or they expressed interest but never bought, or they flat-out canceled their subscription, customer feedback helps you pinpoint the precise answer that will get them to return to your product.

Let’s see how it all works together.

How to Get the Most Out of Customer Feedback

You can create your products with the best intentions, but do they solve the customers’ problems? Moreover, does the customer know how your product addresses their issues?

Conducting customer feedback surveys is the most direct way to gather feedback from the very people who know the strengths and weaknesses of your product. They can tell you what’s good about your product, what’s lacking, and what features can be improved. But, more importantly, the surveys can tell you the real reason why some customers stopped using your product.

Here are a few questions to ask your lapsed or inactive customers:

  • What convinced you to choose our product instead of others?
  • How do you use our product?
  • What do you want to achieve with our product? What prevented you from doing so?
  • What’s the biggest problem with using our product?
  • What changed when you started using our product? 
  • How can we make it more valuable for you?
  • Do you feel like our product is worth the cost?
  • What nearly stopped you from buying our product?
  • In what situations did you find our product most helpful?
  • What made you stop using our product eventually?

And, of course, the three most important questions:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): How likely are you to recommend our product to others?
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): How satisfied are you with our product?
  • Customer Effort Score (CES): How easily did our product help solve your issue?

With all of these questions, you can begin identifying your customers’ core needs and expectations in using your product. Customer feedback surveys give your customers a chance to voice their opinions and complaints, sharing information about which parts of your product led them to churn.

Now that you know their reason for leaving, it’s your turn to win them back.

How to Use Insights for Winning Back Lost Customers

Lost customers have different motivations, which means you can’t have an apply-to-all solution. For example, you can’t offer all lapsed customers a 20% discount when their reason for leaving wasn’t due to the price. It could be product limitations, bad customer service experience, or lack of product understanding that a price reduction cannot solve.

To create a tailored strategy for winning back lost customers, you need to answer a few key questions:

  • What is the goal of your program? Is it for higher buying frequency, new product adoption, awareness of a new feature, increased revenue, or something else?
  • What is the customer action that will help you achieve the identified goal? Is it to reactivate their subscription, update the software, re-download the app, or to log back in?
  • What is the sole reason for them leaving? Using the information you’ve gained from customer feedback forms, you can generally categorise each lost customer into one of these four:
    • They Don’t Need You Anymore: Their customer journey inevitably ended because they only needed your product for a fixed time. Often, these are for products that solve a one-in-a-lifetime need.
    • They Have Different Needs: Their needs have changed, and they now need something completely different—which your product is not designed to do.
    • They Found A Better Option: The customers have decided to go with your competitor. Possibly due to a lower price point or additional features they realised they needed.
    • They Can’t See Product Value: They can’t see the value of your product anymore. They may experience product limitations or find the product too difficult to understand.
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Once you’ve answered these questions, lay them out in a chart to see what kind of rewards will solve specific barriers that will re-open the door for customers to return:

As you plan and create programs, remember that the reward you offer directly changes your customer’s behavior once they’re back. For example, a one-time purchase discount might encourage them to reactivate the product, but it may not encourage regular use. On the other hand, discounts for adding on new features will likely help them see the value of your product and promote a strong repeat usage habit.

Their Reason for Leaving is Your Opportunity for Growth

Winning back lost customers is an essential business growth strategy, only made possible by gathering customer feedback. The direct responses of your customers are what points you towards strategies that will convince them to return and reduce your overall churn.

Once you understand the reasons why customers are leaving, you can turn all those relevant insights into actionable steps for your company to enhance the user experience and generate continuous profits.