Classify Your Customers
Isn’t it true that not all customers are good customers? We all know who our best customers are, they show up on time, they pay their bills and they communicate openly and honestly about what is going on.
I coach clients to identify their best customers in as much detail as possible. For example what do they drive where do they go out to eat, what credit cards do they carry in their wallets, where do they live, where do they send their kids to schools, what kind of vacations do they take, what level of education have they attained. This is just a small list of details you should know about your perfect customers.
When you have enough of these details you will learn to do what is needed to attract them. Once you have it you can develop your message and articulate your unique selling proposition. Or what can you define in your message that is different than anyone else and will attract clients to your company?
I typically suggest that you rate your clients ABCD. The worst classification of customers is “D’s” or Duds. They are clients that don’t pay, want everything for free, don’t invest in themselves, make up stories, and are afraid to learn new things. This “D” customer is someone you may feel obligated to accept because they are a referral from a respected colleague, or because you feel you need the business.
The next category of clients is the “C” clients. They look good and seem like they will be a B or an A, but they disappoint you. I call “C’s”, “Can be better” customers. With “C’s” we must work with them or position them to become at least a “B”. They typically have the ability to become a “B” or an “A” but need to given strong reasons to improve.
“B” clients are good customers who do a lot of business with you and refer you from time to time. By working closely with a B customer, over time you can build trust through partnering to get the best solutions for all parties. Over time, a good “B” customer can become an “A” and there should be a lot of focus to make it happen.
“A” customers are a pleasure to work with and provide repeat business over a long period of time. They become raving fans and are willing to refer you to everyone they know. They are getting so much value out of the relationship they are willing to tell everyone they know. They are committed to helping you grow your business.
In conclusion, get rid of the Dud “D’s”, get the “B’s” and “C’s” to improve and do whatever you can to WOW your “A’s” and this simple strategy will grow your business profitably while working with the people you choose, and create a more successful future.
-Kevin Glynn, Business and Executive coach
Lighthouse Strategic Partners