Are all customers of equal value, to be cherished and loved, for fear that they will run off to our competitors?

In my opinion, there are 4 categories of customers; A for Awesome, B for Basic, C for Cannot deal with and D for dead and depending on their category, they need to be treated differently.

I’m sure you have heard of the following:

– Customer is KING!

– The customer is always RIGHT!

– The customer is our reason for being HERE!

– The purpose of Business is to create and KEEP the customer!

and my personal favourite

– If you don’t take care of the customer, somebody else WILL!

Are all customers of equal value, to be cherished and loved, for fear that they will run off to our competitors? In my opinion, there are 4 categories of customers; A for Awesome, B for Basic, C for Cannot deal with and D for dead and depending on their category, they need to be treated differently.

Lets class them based on the following matrix:

Lets start with

C- The Cannot-deal-with Customer

I’m sure you have met them before. This category of customers may be paying you well, but they do not give you the love or respect. They bargain for price, they rush you to complete the job, you bend over backwards to accommodate their demand. Do they thank you for your effort? NO! Instead they complain, they pay you late (very late!) and they never ever thank or show any appreciation and you almost always end up over servicing them. In other words, all of the profit made from the sale goes down the proverbial drain. So what do you need to do with the category C customers? Tell them the new rules of the game of doing business with you, especially when it comes to delivery and payment terms. If they don’t comply, just refer them to your competitors! Tips: C customers likes to price shop, so the easiest way to get rid of them is to increase your price! They will then look to another supplier.

D -The Dead Customer

This is the customer that gives you least amount of satisfaction. They are both low on the money and fun scale. Just don’t deal with them and remove them from your database. They probably already owe you a lot of outstanding payments, so stop servicing them already!

B – The Basic Customer

This is your basic customer that buys what you sells them, pays on time, hardly complaints and happy with your price. This customers makes you money and in most cases, loyal to you unless you annoy or upsets them. When this happens, normally they will give you feedback and just wants normal service returned ASAP. This category B customers just need basic maintenance from you. Communicate frequently with them via newsletters or magazines, send them thank you card or create special memberships for them that gives them loyalty points for their purchases. Make this customers feel that you care and appreciate their business.

The last category is

A-The Awesome Customer

This is just like the Basic Customers. However, in addition, they are your advocates and they also do the selling for you by referring and recommending other people to you! In other words, they have just become your RAVING FANS! Of course, they make you more profit as you never have to spend any money on marketing and you know what they say about  birds of the same feather. By taking really good care of this customers, you will get more awesome customers. Start and exclusive club, a VIP membership if you will, for them. Shower them with love and attention. Wine and dine them. Give them priority service and YOU must personally attend to them. Remember, this small group of customers makes you the most profits.

So, it’s time to list down your customers, grade them according to the above matrix and plan your next course of action. This may be the most important thing you do for your business!

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