The true value of valuable customers
As any business will know, not all customers are the same.
Some are worth more than others. This may be because they tend to spend more, tend to spend more regularly or tend to make fewer demands of the business in terms of time, effort and resources.
Surprisingly, such customers are not always self-evident. However, it is worthwhile identifying them for two reasons. The first is that the business can then make sure they devote the appropriate customer care to them. The second is that they can be used to profile the sort of new customer the business ought to be targeting.
What makes a customer valuable will depend not just on the customer but on the business too.
For some businesses, a valuable customer will be a prompt payer. For other businesses, a valuable customer will be a regular purchaser. In most cases, though, valuable customers are the most profitable.
A valuable customer will usually meet one or more important criteria such as: placing a few large orders rather than a number of smaller orders; purchasing services or goods with high profit margins; paying on time; and requiring only a limited amount of after-sales support.
To identify its most profitable customers, a business will need to analyse all its sales data. Some businesses will find that a relatively small number of customers account for much of the profit.
If a customer is not valuable at the moment, that is not to say they won't become so at some stage in the future. Growing and successful customers may well step up the level of their purchases as their own businesses develop.
Once the most valuable customers have been identified, it makes good sense for a business to shape its service and resources around their needs. Never under-service an important client or devote too little time to them. And, above all, reward important customers with excellent customer care.
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