The Letter to Send When You Want Someone's Business Back

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Rebecca Riserbato
Rebecca Riserbato

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When I was a little kid, Hannah Montana was one of my favorite shows. It may be surprising to some of you, but I learned an important life lesson about customer service from it.

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In one of her songs, "Nobody's Perfect," Hannah Montana sings, "Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days...Nobody's perfect."→ Free Download: 61 Templates to Help You Put the Customer First [Download Now]

Those wise words are not just true of people, but also of businesses. No business can be perfect. During your career, your company will likely make mistakes. And, sometimes, it might cost you a customer.

For example, many of us remember the Chicago Tylenol disaster. In 1982, there were a series of deaths resulting from Tylenol capsules that were laced with potassium cyanide.

That disaster has become one of the most popular case studies in the United States. Yet, Tylenol is still succeeding and selling products. How can this be?

While your company is bound to make a mistake -- hopefully not as big as the Chicago Tylenol incident -- and lose a few customers, it's important to focus on your strategy for getting those customers back.

Below, let's review tips for reaching out to ex-customers, then we'll provide an example of the "we want your business back" letter that you can send them.

The 'We Want Your Business Back' Letter

Typically, clients leave for one of two reasons: they find a better price with a competitor or your company makes a mistake that upsets them. While there are more nuanced reasons at play, these are the two most common scenarios. So, to prepare, consider writing two "we want your business back" letters based on the circumstances.

However, before you send a "we want your business back" letter, you should understand why your customer left. To do this, you might consider sending exit surveys whenever you lose a customer, so you know why they decided to leave.

Regardless of your customer's reasoning, here are a few best practices to keep in mind when writing your letter.

Featured Resource: 50 Customer Email Templates

 

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Need a better way to communicate with your customers? Reach out using our 50 customer service email templates, including apology emails and "we want you back" email templates. 

We Want Your Business Back Letter Tips

1. Make it personalized.

When you're sending a letter to get someone's business back, you should keep the focus on them. Use "you" language, as opposed to "I" language as this will show you're more concerned with their needs and goals than your own.

Plus, your letter should address your client's specific reasons for leaving. Was it because of a mistake you made? A competitor? Whatever the situation is, it should be addressed in the letter.

2. Include some formalities.

Although using informal language can work at times, make sure to keep a higher-level of formality. You should exude professionalism, which will make someone comfortable with getting into business with you again. A lack of formality could cause customers to lose confidence in your company, or worse, suspect that your apologies are insincere. The last thing you want are customers telling their friends how you messed up and didn't care enough to fix it.

3. Add an offer.

If your customers have left to use a competitor's product, adding an offer can help entice them to come back to you. You could include a discount or address their pricing concerns in some other way. Even if your customer didn't leave for a competitor, adding in an offer never hurts.

4. Take responsibility.

If your company made a mistake, you need to take responsibility for it. You should issue an apology that genuinely showcases your company's remorse. Customers understand that you can't be perfect, so if you're truly remorseful, they're more likely to forgive and forget.

Just look at Tylenol -- people are still using its products because of the reaction from Johnson & Johnson. The company distributed warnings to hospitals and distributors and halted Tylenol production and advertising. Then, it issued a nationwide recall of Tylenol products, amounting to 31 million bottles worth $100 million.

Additionally, it put out advertisements for individuals not to consume any of its products containing acetaminophen once it was determined that only a few capsules had been tampered with. It also offered to exchange all Tylenol capsules already purchased for solid tablets.

The actions of Johnson & Johnson showed that the company was more concerned with public health than it was with its bottom line. Johnson & Johnson has been widely praised since the incident.

5. Incorporate a call-to-action (CTA).

Your letter should include a clear way to contact you. If people don't know how to get back in business with you, they won't. That's because when customers are confused, it creates friction during the buying experience and they'll be cautious to make a purchase. So, use simple and straightforward language that lets the customer know exactly what to do next.

6. Be human and genuine.

Your letter should be human, helpful, and genuine. If you're sending it via email -- and let's face it, that's the most likely scenario -- consider stripping any formatting, so it looks like it was written by a friend or colleague. Also, make sure your email is sent from a real person that a customer can reply to. When people get mass, "no-reply" emails, they tend not to reply or reach out.

These tips will help you to think about what you want to say in your "we want your business back" letter.

But, if you're still having a bit of a writer's block, below is an example to help get you started.

We Want Your Business Back Letter Template

Dear {name},

We are so sorry for {insert mistake}.

We always aim to offer the best customer service for our clients and we know we let you down. To resolve this issue, we're going to {insert solution}.

We want to express how deeply sorry we are for the stress and frustration this must have caused you. To make it up to you, we'd like to offer you 15% off your next order with us. We hope you'll still consider using our products in the future.

If there's anything else we can do to help, just hit "reply" and let us know!

Sincerely,

{Name}

Although losing customers is a normal part of business, it's important to try to get their business back if you can.

Want to learn how to re-engage customers? Check out these Tricks to Re-Engage Your Customers for Better Retention.

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