We all love our customers, we really do. Right?
For the most part, it’s easy to say without a second thought. When we give our customers a great product and a great experience, we expect that our efforts will result in a steady stream of loyal, repeat buyers.
But what happens when our effort comes back empty? What if we’re putting way too much effort into a customer relationship and never reaping the reward?
This is a relatively common issue for small local businesses, farms included. A simple and straightforward solution to making sure that you are reaping what you sow effectively is by using a customer quality evaluation.
On the low end, customers who require lots of attention and time, but spend very little at your business would fall into the lowest quadrant on the diagram. Let’s call this customer “High-Maintenance Harry.” In a nutshell, Harry:
- Rarely orders, and when they do, it is 1-2 low-cost items
- Consistently changes or cancels orders, delivery times, and/or pick-up locations
- May be new to or unfamiliar with how ordering from a farmer differs from ordering from a grocery store
On the high end, we have our ideal customer. Let’s call them “Solid Susan.” By-and-large, this customer:
- Orders consistently, on time, and rarely requires changes or accommodations
- Is ordering in large, planned quantities and it is obvious that your business’ products are part of their regular purchases
- May even engage with your brand on social media, or through a newsletter, and is aware of your process and respects it
Identifying these customers and deciding what to do about them is key to making sure that you are spending your time and effort in the right way to increase sales, keep loyal customers, and target the right new customers.
Take a few moments to think about your own customers. Who are a few “Solid Susans”? What about these customers fits them into that category? This is your Ideal Customer Type. When you think about marketing and spreading the word about your business, this should be the person that you target. They will give you the highest return on your efforts!
- Using our simple and easy-to-use Customer Quality Evaluation Tool, organize your customers into one of the four categories. Look for commonalities in the characteristics of those customers. What makes them great? What makes them not great? How did they find out about you?
- Invest in moving customers in 2 (low spend, low maintenance) and 3 (high spend, high maintenance) into 4 (your Ideal Customer Type). Don’t worry, we’ve posted a few ideas below this list.
- Cut your 1s loose. Eliminate the time, energy, or money that you invest keeping these customers in the Low Spend, High Maintenance category. Instead, focus on catering your marketing efforts to prospects who match the characteristics of your ideal customers.
All in all, we do value every customer, but we could all use to invest less in what won’t bring us a return.
Sorry High-Maintenance Harry... it’s not us, it’s you.
Download your copy of the Customer Quality Matrix spreadsheet!
Evaluate your current customer base, determine what strategies to use to improve customer quality, and cater your marketing to those prospects
Katie is Local Line's Demand Generation Manager. She's all about brand awareness. New to Local Line? Katie likely helped you find us!