A PR scandal, a full-blown undercover investigation or something as simple as a badly timed tweet, in today’s world can spread like wildfire and damage a brand beyond belief. Building brand love, a solid reputation and a loyal base of consumers takes time, effort and money, therefore losing even a small number of customers can be costly.
Regardless of what caused the issue in the first place, bad press doesn’t always equal the end. With any business, there’s always room for improvement and the opportunity to win back your fans after taking a fall. So if you’ve been unlucky enough to face the negative limelight, then one of these 3 ways to win back lost customers might be able to help you:
A“We fixed it” campaign
You’re not alone in making a mistake. Many of the world’s biggest brands have faced backlash at some point during their lifetime, with companies including Facebook being the topic of damaging headlines around the world over the past year.
But one way they have started to win back those who they’ve lost is through owning up to their faults and doing something about it. Rectify the problem and shout about it. Refusing to take responsibility, passing the buck or dancing around the issue is guaranteed to only make things worse.
Although Facebook’s mistakes are a large-scale example and they knew exactly where their issues lied, if you’re unsure of just what your customers want to see from you, or what they expect in the first place, don’t be afraid to ask them. Collect feedback to identify the problem and be sure to let them know once you’ve ‘fixed it’.
Incentivise them to come back
Everyone likes to get a good deal, and if the offer is strong enough it can even be enough to win back those who have strayed. Give them a reason to come back and give you a second chance. Nothing entices consumers to come back more than a great deal.
When pushing out your offer you can choose to be specific or broad in your targeting. You may want to reach out to recently inactive customers online, sending them a personalised message along the lines of “We miss you” or “We want you back”.
After the additional headline grabber try following up with “Come in store or head online this week for 20% off everything!”. It’s important to remember not to cheap out on the deal. You want and need your customers back, therefore you need to ensure this promotion is worth their time, and although you may not hit the jackpot on their first return sales, you’re on the right track to turning them into repeat customers once again.
Turn to Social Media
Although there’s technically no such thing as bad PR, only poor responses, when something does happen that reflects poorly on your business, it’s time to take a proactive approach and head to Social Media (Forbes,2017).
Different to the “we fixed it” angle, your responses on social media should be less about trying to immediately right your wrongs, but instead more about how you look.
Don’t hide in the shadows and wait for it to blow over, or remain silent until you can fix the problem. You should address as many complaints, concerns or questions online as you can, showing your consumer base that you’re all ears, and hopefully showing those who have wandered that you’re still trying.
If you need more insight or advice on obtaining and maintaining brand loyalty, get in touch with our talented team.
Forbes Coaches Council. (2017). Bad Press Doesn't Mean The End: What Your Company Can Do To Recover. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/06/29/bad-press-doesnt-mean-the-end-what-your-company-can-do-to-recover/#2e30008d24f7. Last accessed 29th March 2019.