I just came across this interesting post from the Return Customers blog. The author provides useful insight into the eternal problem of customer churn. Although this is speaking specifically about prospective customers, the concepts still apply to existing customers. See what you think:

Are Your Prospective Customers Still Interested in You? – by returncustomer.com

“People that have expressed an interest in you in the past may no longer care about you nor want to hear from you.

This may be sad, but it is still true.

What should you do with these prospective customers?

Talk to them.

I recently got an email from TripAdvisor.com where I has signed up to receive notifications about a trip to Chile:

Still thinking about that trip to Santiago, Chile?

We’ve been sending you e-mails about Santiago, Chile for a while. Are you still interested?

Wherever you’re hoping to go, TripWatch can bring you the best deals and reviews. Add new places and drop the places you’re no longer interested in.

This email helped do two things:

1. Made me think if I still wanted to get these emails.

2. Let me know how I could change my preferences if needed.

In this Trip Advisor case, they were sending me regular emails with updates about Chile. If I had changed my mind about that destination, I would have started to ignore their emails or could possibly mark them as spam.

Either of those actions is damaging to the relationship.

By sending an email specifically asking if I was still interested, it reopens the conversation and allows the customer to select the course of action he or she most wants.

If you have prospective customers that haven’t purchased from you or interacted with you in some time, reopen the conversation to see if they are still interested.

While none of us wants to believe that we have lost our customer’s hearts, it should come as no surprise that when the conversation stops, the relationship is on a slippery slope. At Laughlin we use a number of methods to reach out to our clients on at least a quarterly basis. Nevertheless, we still lose a small percentage each year.”

Traditional wisdom says that it is easier to keep a client that to replace her. But keeping that client isn’t always a simple thing to do. What is working for you in your company? I would love to hear from you. – Aaron

You can read the original article here: http://www.returncustomer.com/