What is a better customer? One that shops regularly in your store, one that spends a significant amount of money when they come in, one that makes your staff smile as they come through the door, and one that shares their excellent shopping experience with the world on your behalf. All we want are better customers!
It's unusual to cater to the higher value customers. We usually do the best we can for all our customers, not wanting to let anyone have less than an exceptional experience. But, according to The Harvard Business Review, "Your top-cohort customers are super fans who have voted with their wallets. They are the ones who will recommend you more often than other customers and would miss you most if you no longer existed. Find more people like them and spend less time trying to turn others into people like them. Thank your best customers to death for their great patronage and worry less about the others."
What a novel concept! There are many ways to focus on the great customers. But first, the Harvard Business Review says, "Dive deep to understand their demographics, psychographic, and purchase behavior preferences of your "super loyalists." Where do they come from? What is their attitudinal profile and what bundles of goods do they like best and at what price? Getting an intimate clustering of your top customer base is the foundation for a high-quality-of-revenue business."
After you have this information, you can adjust your programs to benefit the better customers. This may mean adjusting your free shipping level or free gift-wrapping level or maybe the frequent purchasing program now begins with a certain level of purchase. It could mean offering longer, special shopping hours only for your better customers. Maybe they only, not everyone anymore, receive birthday or shopping anniversary cards. Maybe they are the only ones you send questionnaires and surveys to, letting them know they are receiving it because they are part of a small, special, especially important group and their opinion is greatly valued.
Start targeting this category of great customers, rather than all your customers with your advertising. Use images of items your great customers most often purchase. Use quotes from them in your ads. Let potential new great customers know you offer free shipping, or free gift wrapping, or whatever, but only with a purchase of "X" dollars, or those who shop “X” number of times per month. This way the new customers you attract already fit into the great customer category.
Begin to tailor your product offerings to the type of products your great customer’s purchase. This will automatically make them even greater customers as the new products will be a fit for them. No longer are you buying for all your customers, you are buying for your great customers.
This idea of creating great customers is really just another way of bringing your product offerings, your service, and the retail experience of your target customers to a higher level. We all want great customers and who knows if you start thinking about creating great customers, the average customers may just come along!