How to reengage unresponsive customers?
Customer conversations are core to achieving customer success goals.
Conversation is crucial to keeping the customer with your product, and CSM managers need to do this on a daily basis.
No or minimum conversation is a warning about where the future relationship could go.
It's very similar to having a personal relationship, likely to have a good relationship with your partner you need to be talking very frequently, now I am no guru in this but communication is the very basis for any relationship to work and work well.
This post will discuss strategies that can help us revive a dormant customer, but first, let's looking at engaging to understand reengaging better later.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer Engagement rudimentarily put by me is
"The process of all touchpoints the customer has with your product, product reps over different stages of the customer lifecycle"
It starts by meeting the sales rep of the company, they make the first impression of what your company is and how your company treats customer experience.
Trust begins from this stage, now for complete trust to exist there needs to be comfortable in the relationship
The customer should be comfortable asking you any questions about the product at any given point of time. The more comfortable they are the stronger the relationship.
Secondly, identifying the roadblock the customer has during the lifecycle, this can be done through NPS or other metrics to find problems the customer may have with the product and what can be improved upon for the customer to be successful.
The above points also cover how CSMs can proactively eliminate the possibility of the customer going cold and act in a timely manner.
What could be the reason for un-responsiveness?
1. They are busy
They have too much on their plate, and don't have enough time to call you back.
This is completely understandable, specifically, if your customer is growing startup, they are usually understaffed but one person is donning multiple hats and don't have the bandwidth to get back.
2. They are waiting for internal approval.
The POC you are in touch with from the customer team has shared his points with the team management and are awaiting a final call before deciding on renewal, you will have have to wait days or even a week before you may get an update.
It's just that the management is not prioritizing this over other tasks.
3. They are avoiding you.
The last but the scariest reason, they have been using your product, they haven't found it valuable/or have found a better alternative but instead of communicating with you about it or haven't found the time to tell you, either way, you are being ignored completely.
How to Reengage Customers?
Here are a few things you can do to win the customer back.
1. Set up a call-
Customers could be busy at times, they could be caught up with their own work which leaves little time for your calls and you need to make the best of those calls.
You need to prepare advance for such calls, structure it in such a way that you help them with most details needed to assure them.
Here’s an example of how you can structure your meetings over the phone:
First, do your research (leverage your data).
Start with a friendly/personal conversation.
Set goals and expectations for the call:
Lead the conversation and framework in a polite manner
Announce you will own the follow-up once you agree on the next steps
Let them know the estimated time frame for the conversation
Ask them to be in front of a computer if you need to show any material.
Offer compliments to the customer / their company on performance or other.
Remind them how long they have been a customer.
Present your material and refer back to the goals.
Ask if they have any questions.
Summarize the conversation and remind them they don’t have to write anything down, you’ll send a follow-up.
End on a positive note!
Rebuilding the relationship
There are times when the customer leaves on a bad note.
It could not be due to how the CSM acted with the customer but due to services or the product itself.
By taking full ownership of your client relationships and avoiding a “that’s not my job” attitude, you can approach any situation with a forward-thinking and future-oriented spirit that most customers appreciate.
Face to Face Communication
Let's agree to the fact there is nothing better than face-to-face communication to win back the client.
If they are busy, offer to meet during lunchtimes or at other times if they are comfortable you reaching their office and meeting for an hour to discuss their account.
This would show how much you care about them and give you a chance.
Not the most preferred way, but hey as long as it works.
You can reach out to them on Linkedin. Make them aware of your presence, maybe by reacting to their posts on Linkedin or sharing their posts.
But make sure you don't go over the top.
Invite them to an event
You could invite them to a webinar which can really help them, webinars which have something in it for them.
You could even mention how these things can be achieved through your product and offer them more support once they are there.
This is one of the subtle ways to get them back
Having a backup
There could be times where the relationship you maintain with your POC is probably leaving the company, or the customer does not have enough funds.
It's best to have another customer contact with whom you share a great rapport as well.
Because if you are not aware of their problems you can't solve it.
You need to constantly be aware of what the company is doing what changes are going on internally.
Being in the know with your clients as much as possible allows you to be one step ahead of any potential rifts in relations.
More often than not, if you have waited until your customer disengages to the point of silent treatment, the chances are that you have waited too long to act.
One of your main jobs as a customer success professional is to identify situations before they arise. Maybe you are no clairvoyant, but if you set proper communication expectations from the very beginning, you can anticipate the warning signs long before anything happens.