Avionics News September 2016 - 44

series

BUSINESS BASICS
B Y

G R E G

L A S L O

Silver linings
How to regain lost customers to boost your shop's business

I

nto every life, a little rain must fall. But when that deluge
comes in the shape of a valued customer who decides to
leave your avionics shop for another, it can seem like a
monsoon.
When it happens, you get to choose whether to sink or
keep swimming - or to put it more bluntly, you need to decide
whether you can get that wayward client back.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why you should,
and foremost is the cost you'd accrue in finding new ones;
even lapsed customers are cheaper to retain. According to a
Marketing Metrics survey, you have a 5 to 20 percent chance
of converting a prospect into a customer, yet your chance of
regaining an ex-customer is more than twice that. Plus, in
the long run, these customers also bring their lifetime value
of business and referrals, according to recent research in the
Harvard Business Journal.
The take-home is this: Don't consider a lost customer to be
lost forever, and you can take steps to reverse their decision if
you're willing to try to win them back. All it takes is knowing
why you might lose customers, how win-backs work, and how
you can plan for your own - including following up, making
good on your service offering, and staying in touch until
they're ready to buy again.
With a strategy, you can weather this storm. When you do it
right, you might find a silver lining in all but the darkest clouds.

44

avionics news

*

september

2016

Lost opportunities
Unfortunately, losing customers is a fact of business.
Favorite customers stop flying and sell their airplane, your
contact moves on from his corporate flight department, or a
new hire replaces you with his trusted standby when he gets
a job at your client. Each of these can happen, and there's not
much you can do about it. You factor this into your annual
new-customer prospecting. But some customers leave for
reasons that are in your control, and whether they choose
elsewhere because of price, better service or some other reason,
that's a decision that can prove expensive to you.
Indeed, customers may chase pricing if they are not keen
to the value that's built into your service - either because it's
not a matter to them, or you haven't made it clear - and they
found a "better deal" elsewhere. Likewise, they may move on
if your sales people haven't delivered as promised during the
bidding process, or they may look for better service if you've
insufficiently resolved past issues. In fact, this is the most
common reason for defection: Customers were either treated
poorly or they were dissatisfied with your service.
When either of these occur, you've added to your normal
rate of attrition, which means you need even more customers
to fill the void left by those who disappeared. That makes for
more work and greater expense - perhaps five to 10 times
the cost of keeping an existing customer in your fold. In most



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2016

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Avionics News September 2016 - Intro
Avionics News September 2016 - No label
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2016 - 1
Avionics News September 2016 - 2
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Avionics News September 2016 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover4
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