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How to identify dormant customers — and get them to reengage

Mar 05, 2023

How many customers in your database are inactive, old or don’t respond to your sales and marketing offers? If you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can find out.

First, your sales team needs to define what “dormant” means in your business and product lines. Some companies have lengthy sales cycles, so six months of silence isn’t a death knell. Review buying history, frequency and recency to create your definition of dormant.

There’s no right or wrong answer, but everyone should be clear on the definition and use the term the same. Otherwise, reports and analytics on dormancy won’t carry the same weight — or even be accurate.

Likewise, dormant customers could be skewing your performance data. It might look like you’re working a ton of leads but only closing a few or that sales journeys are longer than they really are.

Dormant customers matter

If customers leave the buying journey, a CRM can help you figure out why.

Some attrition is natural. But sometimes clients leave because of bad experiences with customer service or a product. Maybe they jumped to a competitor or they don’t think they need your product anymore. Your CRM system can help you spot trends among dormant customers and create strategies to reengage.  

Dormant customers are more economical to pursue and have a higher likelihood of purchasing your products than new customers, according to data from Small Business Trends. And with a CRM system, you can manage customer data more intelligently and focus on the most promising leads.

How to reengage dormant customers

Not sure how to rekindle the relationship? Don’t overthink it. You can:

  • Use retargeting cookies to advertise on web pages that dormant customers visit.
  • Pick up the phone or email them to ask for a face-to-face meeting or Zoom session.
  • Connect through social media channels such as LinkedIn. Tag them on an article or engage with one of their posts. Drop them a direct message with a coupon, limited-time offer or news about the company.
  • Include dormant customers on company announcements, along with a personal note. Maybe changes in the company or product mean that you can address a problem you couldn’t solve before.
  • Create an incentive for dormant clients to come back. Exclusive access and deals can get customers excited to work with you again.

Customer retention is the goal

Lowering customer churn is one of the best ways to increase profits and grow. The right CRM system plays a pivotal role in retention.

Give your marketing and sales teams the right tools and training to build loyalty and generate repeat business. Don’t let your database get clogged up with dormant customers. When dormancy rises, find out fast and find out why.

If you’re not sure where or how to start, ask us. Wipfli’s specialists can optimize your CRM and data management practices, so that you get the biggest ROI for your IT investment. Learn more.


Kyle Aulerich
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