|We stress the basics.
Marketing is finding and profitably filling a need. Know your customers and build a learning relationship with them. Treat different customers differently and treat your most profitable customers best. Ask them questions and listen carefully to their answers. Anticipate their needs and the needs of others like them.
Focus your marketing to identify and keep your best customers. Who buys from you or uses your service most often? Who's been with you the longest? Who just started using your services? Who's at the beginning of a profitable relationship with your company and whose time with you is coming to a close? Then set your goal on finding new customers just like those best customers you've identified.
Everyone knows the "Pareto Principle", even if they don't know Pareto. It goes like this -
It's the 80/20 rule. Put simply - 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers. Give or take some points here or there, it's true."In any series of elements to be controlled, a selected small fraction in terms of number of elements almost always accounts for a large fraction in terms of effect".
One tried and true way to determine who your most profitable customers are is to section them according to three behaviors.
Their importance to your company follows that order. Other factors may also be important to consider for your particular business but this is a time-tested method.
If you are in the telecommunications business, for example, eager competitor's will target your heavy caller customer base for a quick start in the market. You have to know what they really want and give them a reason to stay.
Just as important, if you are under competitive pressure, inoculate your customers. Tell them in advance what they are going to hear. Then tell them the truth. That means being honest about what they might gain by leaving as well as restating what they would give up.
Marketing successfully also includes leaving an open door if they do choose your competitor. Give them a reason to come back.
Make sure you know who makes up your profitable 20%. Then plan and implement a program to contact those customers. Ask how you're doing. Offer them a benefit. But most important - listen to them. Then share what you've learned from listening to them with everyone else in your company. Everyone who comes in contact with your customer in any way must understand what part that contact plays in making a profit and staying in business. Your company's Web site can be an invaluable tool for communicating with your customers.
We will post updated information on successful database marketing and customer retention strategies here on our site. Please stay tuned.
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