Do You Treat all of Your Customers the Same? Stop It.

I know this seems like a silly question, but here it goes; How well do you know your customers?  I know you probably know them from a CRM perspective.  You have their names and addresses and phone numbers.  You may also know the recent activity with you in terms of sales orders and questions answered.  But, do you know your customers well enough to be able to distinguish the best customers from the average customers?  

When asked that question I frequently get the following responses.  Huh?  How do you determine the best customers?  And why would I care?

Determining the best customers is not easy.  The answer to that question will be different from business to business.  And to make it harder, there are an endless number of ways to calculate and compare customers to determine which customers are better for your business.  For some businesses it is purely a dollars thing.  Which customers are the most profitable?  Which customers spend the most money with us?  Which customers are buying our most profitable products?  For some businesses it may be more of a fundamental contribution.  Which customers push us to be better?  Which customers are asking hard questions that force us to get better?  Which customers are asking for product improvements or products that we don’t have pushing us ahead of our competition?

Once you know who those customers are you need to serve them differently.  These are the customers that are driving your business forward.  These are the customers that deserve more than just your average customer interaction.  There is a lot that contact centers can learn from frequent flyer programs, luxury hotels, and casinos that cater to high rollers.  Special queues, fast service, product promotions, and personalized messages are easy pickings for treating your best customers differently.  Take a stab at it and you are sure to get feedback from your best customers that they like it.

Not all customers are the same.  Do you treat your customers differently?  If so, how?  Please share your experiences with the rest of us.