We know not every customer is created equal. While every customer deserves your respect and a quality brand experience, they don’t all the same impact on your business’ bottom line.
Chances are you’re familiar with the 80/20 rule in sales—that is, 80% of sales often come from 20% of customers. The analysis we do for our clients often confirms the spirit of the rule.
For example, an analysis we did recently for one client found 10% of their customers had generated 50% their total revenue.
Why Top Customers are Key
This is probably obvious, but there are two key reasons why it’s important to make sure your best customers are taken care of.
First, it’s important to hold onto these customers because customer acquisition is expensive. Depending on the study you’re looking at, acquiring a new customer can be between 5 and 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. And, as stated above, not every new customer equally valuable!
Second, your best customers are highly likely to be your biggest brand advocates. That’s huge, particularly because of who your MVPs will be evangelizing to—“birds of a feather flock together.”
The chances are that your most valuable customers’ friends and family are similar to them, and that means those friends and family have high potential to resonate with your brand and become your future best customers.
So how do you go about keeping your most valuable customers happy, engaged, and coming back for more? And just as important, how do you find them in the first place? That’s what we’ll tackle in this post.
Identify Your Most Valuable Customers
If you don’t know who your most valuable customers are yet, dive into your data. Sift through your sales and find the customers who have ordered consistently over the longest period of time, or who have spent the most with you.
Amount spent and customer lifetime are a fantastic indicators of a quality customer, but don’t forget there’s more to it than just sales.
Sometimes your most valuable customers might not spend a lot with you directly. Instead, they might be quite supportive of you on social media. Someone who spends little but regularly advocates for your brand can be just as valuable as someone who regularly clicks the purchase button.
If you’re having trouble finding your super-promoters, look for those who frequently comment and share your posts on social media. There are a plethora of social listening platforms out there to help you use a data-driven approach to find these advocates. These people are already engaged with your brand—don’t let them go!
Keep Your Customers Happy!
Now that you have a better idea of who your best customers are, it’s time to be proactive and let them know how important they are. The idea is to develop a feeling of community and kinship with your customers.
Here are five ways to ensure that your best customers remain long and loyal customers:
1. Handwritten Notes
It may seem old fashioned, and it is. That’s why it works! A handwritten note takes time to write, and spending time on something shows you care. It’s an unconventional way to reach your best customers in a way that’s sure to leave an impression.
Start with your best clients and work your way down the list. Just a quick note telling them you appreciate their support and care about their opinions will go a long way.
Think about getting the entire team involved writing these. Many hands make quick work, and it helps remind everyone they’re making a human impact, not just changing names and numbers on a spreadsheet.
I should also note that the best time to send thank you notes is probably not during the holiday season. Don’t get me wrong, you can send cards then too, it’s just that everyone and their grandmother sends out holiday cards, and the gesture might feel more obligatory than heartfelt.
2. Exclusive Swag
The swag bag. Admit it, we all love getting free gear from our favorite brands. Especially if it’s exclusive swag reserved only for the best brand ambassadors! People value items they earn quite a bit more than free ones, so make sure your best customers know they earned it becausethey’re the best ambassador you’ve got.
If you arm your brand’s biggest advocates with earned swag, they’ll feel like they’re part of the club. And being part of the club will make them go to bat for you all the more.
3. Ask for feedback
It’s important to ask your most valuable customers for feedback. And I’m not just talking about the 5-star rating system you often see after the payment screen. Pick up the phone and call them. Send a personal email. Tell them they’re one of your best customers and that you’re genuinely interested in improving their customer experience. Your best customers will feel grateful that you care what they think and you’ll gain valuable feedback. It’s a win-win.
4. Improve the user experience
We all know the value of a quick and easy checkout process, so I won’t belabor that point. Instead, what about special features that would specifically benefit your best customers?
Would your best customers engage in an online knowledge-sharing community if you kickstarted one? What about a social site integration that lets customers share their experiences with your products? Don’t limit yourself to the digital world on this one either—local community building events can be huge for the right brands!
5. Automate your CRM
Since it’s much more expensive to recruit new customers than it is to keep old ones, make sure that you have a system in place that keeps your best customers from slipping through the cracks.
At BranchLabs, we’ve created automated systems that let our clients know when their best customers aren’t following normal buying patterns—when they’re at risk of losing interest with your brand. Often it only takes an email, a coupon, or a great piece of content to remind them why they love your brand.
Sending the right content to the right person at the right time? That’s value.
The Final Word
So there you have it. Try implementing the above strategies to find, delight, and keep your most valuable customers coming back for more. Giving your best customers the VIP treatment they deserve will go a long way to ensuring your brand’s continued success.