When clients are dark or "ghosting" vendors

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Bertil Weil
Bertil Weil Member Posts: 5 Seeker
edited June 2021 in Strategy & Planning
Hi all,

I'm interested in hearing the thoughts and wisdom of this group around dark or "ghosted" customers.

Despite many improvements to customer engagement, we continue to have strategic customers who ghost us for one reason or another.

I welcome your insights on how do you re-engage these customers? I would love to connect and discuss best practices, processes, win-stories and/or playbooks.

Thanks in advance,

Bertil
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  • Elisabeth Courland
    Elisabeth Courland Member Posts: 10 Contributor
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    Hi @Bertil Weil
    Any updates ?
    I m working on CS at scale and I realize it is very tough to get in touch with customers who are ghosting and 
    - do not connect
    - did not do anything specific on platform
  • EvaS
    EvaS Member Posts: 18 Navigator
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    Hi I was hoping to find more insights in this post's replies. I get ghosted a lot by customers but recently managed to get on more meetings. I do a constant follow-up on the emails I send our, not too much, I`m not a stalker. I try to find an important `excuse` to reach out. Renewal, pricing, new feature, a specific question about a feature. We are now trying to send some content videos. I don`t have a winning formula as we are testing ideas.
  • Sruthi Ramachandran
    Sruthi Ramachandran Member Posts: 4 Navigator
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    I liked this video for starters - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgbwoWWShbY

    To avoid such situations in future -- few recommendations 
    1. For ENT customers especially - Multithread from the start - Increase communication with customer POC's not just through emails and phone calls, ensure you have multiple team mates (CSM, Solutions Engineer, CCO, Professional Services team etc.) from your side engaging multiple team mates from the customer side. Another way is to engage them on multiple communication platforms - Slack, Whatsapp, Line etc. This way you are well connected and can call in a favour/help when one of them is ghosting.
    2. Know your customer's business (cant stress this enough!)-set up Google alerts and/or "Follow" your customers on Linkedin, read about CEO objectives, 10K reports for latest news and engage your customers accordingly.
    3. While you email your customer make them feel obligated to you, so that they respond back (Eg: “Is this project no longer a priority to you?”). Always be positive in the message with some use of mail softeners (Eg: Instead of writing “If you don’t make this change, you will risk losing X,” try: “I’m afraid that if you don’t make this change, you will risk losing X”)
  • Bob London
    Bob London Member Posts: 54 Expert
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    I give CS teams this template - repositioning the "ask" from about US to about THEM. Wanting to hear about their company's priorities and challenges, not product feedback. Folks can feel free to steal this!

    Subject: A quick favor if you can.

    Dear (first name):

    I hope this note finds you well. Knowing how busy you are, I’m always sensitive about asking for your time. With that said, we’re embarking on a concerted effort to raise the bar on how well we understand our customers’ challenges and priorities. Not just day-to-day, but also the business priorities for the company overall.

    Would you be available for a 30-minute, 1:1 conversation in the next week or two? As I said, it’s different from our regular meetings, as we’re basically looking for your candid perspective on a few topics—mostly around your company’s high-level priorities and challenges in the marketplace.

    If so, please reply with a couple dates/times when you’re free, and I’ll send you a calendar invitation. Alternatively, feel free to use this scheduling link to find a time that works for you.

    Your involvement would be greatly appreciated! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach me at (phone) or (email).

    Best regards,
    - You
  • Anna Alley
    Anna Alley Member, CS Leader Posts: 70 Expert
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    I agree with Bob on ensuring you're making the outreach about them. Also provide a little bit of value in the outreach, almost like a teaser, to get them to want to engage with you. I think ghosting is a clear indicator that we aren't providing value, so really try to understand what the customer does value, and how you can demonstrate that clearly and concisely.

    Also, don't be afraid to reach out to multiple contacts. I've found that CSMs can often be hesitant to reach out to other people besides their main contact. I can't count the number of times I've gotten information by picking up the phone and calling every contact we had for that customer until someone answered or could provide me with more information.