They Might Come Back: Why It Pays to Treat Exiting Customers Well   

38309393 - group of different families together of all racesNo company retains every customer they do business with. There is a natural ebb and flow of customers over time, whether your company provides a product or a service. Understanding that ebb and flow is important. Calculating the lifetime value of your customers, anticipating potential losses and determining how much time and effort to spend on prospecting for new customers are all very important elements of running any business.

Companies also need to think about how they will handle the loss of a customer. Doing this well might mean that they will come back again. Doing it poorly could mean negative word-of-mouth, or worse.

Some organizations readily know when they lose a customer. Subscription-based companies, for instance, know when a customer’s subscription lapses. Service companies, like ours, also know when a client is no longer a client.

Other companies have a more difficult time determining if a customer is “lost.” Restaurants, for instance. If a patron hasn’t been back for a few months, are they lost? For a year? The key for these types of organizations is to establish some “proxy” for a lost customer. For instance: “If Customer X hasn’t been back for six months, we will consider them lost.”


And then what? For service organizations, the exit process can be planned and well-handled. When our client engagements come to an end, for instance, we’ll generally have a sign-off call to determine what hand-offs may need to be made and to set the stage for future engagements.

For other types of organizations, it might involve reaching out via email, or traditional mail, to let the customer know you value their business and hope they will return.

Handling the process well keeps the door open for future engagements; it’s not at all uncommon for us to hear from past clients wanting to work with us again. But that doesn’t happen by accident. Businesses need to think about how they will remain top-of-mind not only with current and potential customers, but with exiting, and past, customers as well.

What steps are you taking to manage departing customer relations to help keep your company top-of-mind?

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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