Many business owners are focused on finding new customers and at the same time holding on to those they already have. Most service and product based businesses spend most of their time catering to the wants and needs of new customers. Knowing which types of customers they should be concentrating on isn’t something they usually think about.

Which customers are the best for your business?

Those who need something tend to be looking for a particular item. While this item could be something you provide, often the need-based customer is one who will purchase only once if your product or service is not something that they will need often. Concentrating your marketing and advertising efforts on  this type of customer can bring in more sales at one time but then you’ll find there is a downturn in your business. When the specific item/s that these customers need is purchased, you are once again out there looking for new sales prospects.

One way you can benefit from sales of this type is to foresee the need before others are aware that the market is even available. Another way is to turn them into loyal customers by interacting with them. All of your need based customers have the potential to become long term loyal customers if you find out what their long term needs are.

The best customer for any business is the repeat or loyal customer. Focusing on keeping the customers you already have while still providing what they will need at a later date combines the best of both worlds. These types of customers can make up more than 50% of your sales while representing no more than 20% of your customer base. These are the customers you should be keeping in touch with. By email newsletter, telephone calls or mail, make sure to touch base and remind them that you have new products or services that they will want.

Ask for their input on future offers. What do they need that you can provide? How can you improve on the items they presently purchase from you? Offer your loyal customers discounts and specials that are available only to them. This will help keep them coming back and show them that you value their business. The secret is to make sure they feel special and they will return to your business time after time.

Your loyal customers are those that should be influencing your marketing decisions. Knowing that their opinions are valued, they may recommend you to others. Always remember that these customers provide the foundation for your business, treat them well and you will notice the growth in your business.

Chris Draper

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image courtesy of Pedro Kwezi