A useful framework to review your customers is through conducting a Customer Stocktake and segmenting customers into groups.
After conducting a Customer Stocktake, I encourage you to introduce a Customer Care Model. The Customer Care Model plans the frequency and activities or ‘touch points’ you make with customers throughout the year.
Having a plan and following it makes it easier to interact with customers and deepens relationships. Hopefully this leads to both more enjoyable customer relations and increased revenue.
The first step in assessing your customers is to conduct an honest Customer Stocktake. The Customer Stocktake is a review of your current customers, breaking them into categories using an airline metaphor.
A & B Customers are Business Class. They are a pleasure to deal with, they’re very loyal, they actively refer people, they pay on time and they treat your staff well. They’re simply awesome and hopefully make up the bulk of your sales revenue.
Think of C & D customers as Economy Class. Economy customers are customers that might not always buy from you and aren’t always great payers. They’re still acceptable customers in the short term, but they can be difficult to deal with. Your goal is to get these C & D customers out of Economy and convert them into A & B customers in Business Class.
And finally, there are the E customers in Freight. Freight are the customers that you probably should have sacked a few years ago but continue to tolerate their poor behaviour. You know the ones.
From the Customer Stocktake, you then calculate the percentage and dollar sales revenue that each group represent out of your total customer numbers. If you’ve got a hundred customers, how many of those are A & B, how many are C & D, and how many are E.
This sees your customers arranged into groups that allow you to analyse them and determine what you should do in relation to your customer list and your customer sales-mix.
For example, what customers would you like to sack? As a starting point, you should definitely consider ceasing business with the Es in Freight. Then look at the Cs and Ds and work on how to move them out of Economy into Business Class. If you can’t do that, you can assess whether the Cs and Ds are in fact E customers in Freight.
Customer Care Model
The Customer Care Model is a model for ‘touching’ your customers throughout the year.
List your A, B, C & D Customers in Business Class and Economy. Appoint a Customer Care Champion to be the custodian of each relationship.
Establish a frequency of touch points where contact will be made. This might be quarterly, bi-annually or annually.
Establish a range of activities to be scheduled with customers and schedule them in the Annual Calendar.
Examples of activities might be hospitality, events, site visits, training, phone calls or email.
Frequency of touch descends so A Customers might be cared for quarterly whereas D Customers may have contact on an annual basis.
I recommend you conduct your Customer Stocktake and a Customer Care Model.
Have fun with this and add it to your Annual Calendar.
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All the best,
Darren K Bourke