Insights | Customer Experience

Goodbye Isn’t Forever, Part II: How to Design a Compelling Customer Re-engagement Program

Designing a re-engagement program for lapsed or lost customers is a key way to grow revenue

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As mentioned in Part I of Goodbye Isn’t Forever: Building Effective Customer Re-engagement Programs, one of the most easily tapped sources for new customers is the pool of lapsed customers—and winning them back could be as simple as giving them a good reason to return. A lost customer is not a lost cause. That’s why customer re-engagement is such an important piece of the customer experience strategy. 

Studies show that 44% of companies prioritize new customer acquisition and only 18% focus on the retention of current customers. Those statistics are confounding for two reasons; first, the majority of next year’s revenue (for most companies) will come from current customers and second, other data shows that increasing customer retention by 5% can boost profit by as much as 95% 

There’s even more compelling evidence for creating a strong winback strategy. First, it positions a business ahead of their competition. When customer acquisition, retention, and re-engagement programs are tightly aligned and fully deployed, customers won’t think about the competition. And that’s a shortcut to faster revenues.  

Similar re-engagement strategies can be used to target customers who haven’t made a purchase in months or years, people who expressed interest but never bought anything, and those who have cancelled service all together, which is our focus.  

If customers become inactive, Marketing Metrics says companies have a 60-70% chance of success to sell to them again, while the chances of success for selling to a new potential customer are only 5-20%. This means companies are much more likely to sell to a former customer than a new one – and a Forbes article  confirms that it’s 5 times more cost effective than pursuing a new customer. 

Staying entrenched in a customer acquisition mindset has us overlooking our most valuable asset: current customers. It’s time to put serious thought into actions that will satisfy, retain, or re-engage the clientele that will drive the majority of next year’s revenues. 


Customer Re-Engagement Program Design 


A well-designed customer re-engagement program will set your company up for success. This program should be part of the overall CX strategy and designed as a formal part of the business process. The re-engagement program should be part of a senior leader’s overall responsibility, contain success metrics, and be communicated across the entire company. 

1. Start with the end in mind. Define program goals and the outcomes you want to achieve. Is your goal to reach out to all customers who left or only those in a specific segment? What incentives will be offered and investments made to win back as many customers as possible? What measures of success will you use to determine if the effort is meeting outcomes and if there is a return on that investment? 

2. Define performance metrics. The re-engagement effort is similar to a sales effort – or rather a reselling effort, so similarly the metrics should be carefully monitored to ensure we are reaching our goals. Staffing this effort with sales reps isn’t necessary, but having a solid phone script with specific questions and responses to objections is.  

Consider the following KPIs when building your monitoring plan.   

  • Number of calls made to lost customers 
  • Number of lost customers contacted and a conversation happened 
  • Number of customers who decided to return  
  • Amount of incentives provided (if any) 
  • Revenue dollars from these customers 

3. Develop an end-to end process. Include re-engagement duties in the roles of team members responsible for winning back customers. Create calling scripts and coach and monitor staff to help develop and reinforce effective outreach practices, the same way you would for a sales campaign. Document all efforts into a CRM or other technology to ensure data capture and quality reporting. 

4. Create an outreach offer. What will you offer customers to come back? It’s not always necessary to incent former customers with expensive discounts or giveaways.  Sometimes it’s a matter of giving them time to try a similar service and understand if that is working for them or not.  

It’s also important to understand why a specific customer left, help them to understand how you’ve resolved the issues that caused their departure and bring them back with a promise of excellence. Note: you must deliver that excellence when they return so be mindful of what you are promising.  

5. Review churn data. It’s imperative to monitor and evaluate churn reports and to assess detailed data about those customers who left. Monthly reports designed to show the types of customers who left, which segment they were in, the reason(s) they left, and the value of that loss are key to a successful re-engagement program.  

Be mindful of which lost customers are or are not contributing to profit margins as they will be approached with different offers to return. Dig deep into the data to understand CX analytics and determine if there are trends to why customers are disengaging. You will use these CX analytics later to investigate and prevent other customers from leaving.  

6. Learn from the re-engagement process.  The best customers are the ones who derive the most value from your products and services so they stay longer, buy more, and tell others about you.  

The hard work is to retain customers in the first place, but sometimes customers leave. Through this CX effort, you will learn a great deal about your customers and why they stay and leave your company. Listen to them. Act on that information. Win them back through re-engagement and keep them with excellence! 

 For more information on customer re-engagement programs, schedule a quick chat with one of our CX experts to learn how RevGen can help your organization.  


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