Newsweek: 13 Ways to Re-Engage Inactive Customers

Actively connecting with disengaged customers could make all the difference in encouraging repeat business.

Smart business owners know that it costs less to keep a satisfied customer than it does to acquire new ones. That’s why it’s so important to focus on repeat business and customer loyalty.

To do this, you’ll have to invest in your current customers and find ways to continuously engage them. But what do you do if a customer is disengaged or goes inactive for a while?

If you’re unsure how to solve this issue, follow the advice of these Newsweek Expert Forum members. Below, 13 of them shared tips for organizations that want to connect with unengaged or inactive customers in the hopes of earning their business again.

1. Provide Educational Content

We have to remember that only 3% of people are actively looking for the particular service or product we are offering at any time. Another 7% may be passively in the market for something we can do for them. Our job as business owners and/or executives is to reach the rest of our target audience by providing educational content and market data they would find helpful in their own lives. – Kami HossThe Super Dentists

2. Create the Content They’re Seeking

Create the content your customers are looking for. What struggles are they facing that relate to your organization? What questions are they asking? What are their goals? Once you know the answer to these questions, create content that helps them with their struggles, answers their questions and brings them closer to accomplishing their goals. Do that consistently and they’ll be more likely to re-engage. – Leslie SamuelI am Leslie Samuel

3. Ask Them Directly

Instead of trying to read minds, contact a sampling of those customers and ask questions. Find out what their goals and needs are, what challenges they are facing and what support they are looking for. It’s a great way to not only re-engage them but gather valuable market data as well. Give them context for why you are asking and how it benefits them to provide feedback. – Maria RossRed Slice, LLC

4. Keep Connecting in Personal Ways

5. Segment Your Audience

With Facebook advertising, businesses can build custom audiences of customers who have purchased. Successful businesses can show ads to certain segments that relate to the product or service that was purchased, including content about walkthroughs, how it works, tips, blogs, news, articles, etc. This ensures your customers see these assets and build more trust in your company. – Brian MeertAdvertiseMint

6. Move Toward a Mindset of Helping Your Audience

The most important and effective way is to get out of the mindset of “What can I sell them?” and move to “How can I help them?” and “What can I offer them?” Keep the sales conversation out of the equation at this point. Customers want to engage with an organization that they perceive cares for them and their needs — whether it’s a bank, an online business and everything in between. – Gregg BrownChange Ready Leadership

7. Appreciate and Respect Them

Don’t harass them with marketing emails. Instead, find ways to give back to your clients and show your appreciation and respect. We’ve had parties with our clients and we’ve given them gifts and other signs of thanks. When we do keep in touch by email, it’s to share information and resources, not to sell. – Scott BaradellIdea Grove

8. Be Generous

Customers are used to hearing “Buy! Buy! Buy!” Instead, give things away to pull them back in. Share your team’s expertise by offering free video tutorials, industry research or white papers. Connect them with like-minded people in your network to help them solve a problem. Offer a free 30-minute follow-up after a project has ended. Become a generous resource and loyalty will follow. – Loren MargolisTraining & Leadership Success LLC

9. Ask Them About Their Problems

Reconnecting with inactive customers can often feel like an uphill battle, with attention spans being tiny and screen real estate being precious. Rather than deep discounts on your services or gimmicks to get their attention, take the time to ask careful questions to evince adjacent problems, then consult them on how to solve those problems without being sales-y. This will always get their attention. – Yuri KrumanHR, Talent & Systems Consulting

10. Reach Out in Personalized, Individual Ways

One way you can create a big impact with unengaged or inactive customers is by doing things that don’t scale. In the age of technology and everything digital, sending an inactive user a handwritten card or some company swag with a note shows you’re thinking about them as an individual in the real world. It breaks the normal patterns we’re used to today and makes you stand out to your users. – Chloe AlpertMedinas

11. Meet Them Where They’re At

Listen to their needs and meet them where they’re at. If you can’t align with their current state, they will likely remain inactive and disengaged. – Jenna HinrichsenAdvanced RPO

12. Ask for a 15-Minute Conversation

Reach out to them and tell them that you’d like to buy 15 minutes of their time. When they ask you, “What for?” reply, “You were once an excited customer of ours, and we’d like to find out what we did or failed to do that might have lessened your enthusiasm for us.” Find out what’s truly important to them currently to get a sense of what they want and need. – Mark GoulstonMark Goulston, M.D., Inc.

13. Don’t Assume You Know the Answer

Organizations can reconnect with unengaged or inactive customers by asking questions. We often assume we know the answer but try asking a simple question like, “What’s new with you?” or “Are you still using our product/service/advice?” It can help you to gauge whether the customer is in a position to continue working with you or if they have an interest in working with you. – LaKesha WomackWomack Consulting Group

Dr. Kami Hoss is a member of The Newsweek Expert Forum, an invitation-only network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with the Newsweek audience.

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About the Author

About Dr. Kami Hoss

Dr. Kami Hoss is a nationally sought-after expert with a master’s in craniofacial biology from USC, a doctorate in dental surgery from UCLA, and a post-doctorate in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. With over 25 years of experience in the dental field, Dr. Hoss is a #1 National Best Seller author frequently featured on NBC, ABC, FOX, NPR, and CBS affiliates, and founder of The Super Dentists, one of the leading multi-specialty dental practices in the country.

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