Which Customers Do You Want to Keep?

Which Customers Do You Want to Keep?

Intro by Skip Cohen

“Everyone, regardless of how much they spend, should feel happy, respected and appreciated.”

Your greatest marketing tool is relationship building and it’s so important you do it with EVERY customer. I know there are times when you’ve also realized every customer is not necessarily a good fit. Most often that relates to your style of shooting, or what the client is interested in buying especially when they’re at the low-end of spending you’re much higher.

At the same time before you dismiss a potential customer as a bad investment, take the time to get to know what their needs are. There’s that old line about, “You’ve got two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you talk!” And if you discover they’re not a good fit, see what you can do to direct them to another artist or alternative solutions.

You may be surprised at your ability to get a client excited about working with you when your first impression might have been completely different.

Most important of all, and to Shep Hyken’s point, every customer is an opportunity for you to build your reputation and brand!


By Shep Hyken

There is an old joke in the dental world that a patient asked his dentist, “Which teeth should I floss?” The dentist answered, “Only the ones you want to keep.” Customer Service is the same.

All customers are good customers. Okay, maybe not all. Every business has customers – or should I call them former customers – that companies choose not to do business with. But, for the purpose of this article, let’s assume you’re willing to do business with everyone who wants to do business with you.

So, as I was saying, all customers are good customers. Yet, some customers are better than others. What makes them better? They do business with us more often. They buy more. They spend more when they buy. They are easier to work with. There are many reasons.

Yet when trying to gauge a good customer by numbers, we usually look at the dollars they spend. What is your average customer worth? Now, this is important, because to determine your average customer, you need to combine all of your customers. The ones that spend a lot of money and the ones that spend a small amount of money.

Using teeth and dental care as a metaphor, which teeth would you rather keep, the front ones that help you bite, or the back ones that help you chew. Tough choice? The simple answer is, you want to keep them all. Again, same with customers.

Loyal customers tend to be more connected emotionally. Maybe they have a relationship with someone at the company. Maybe it’s the comfort of a predictable and consistent experience that they always have had and know they will get. Many things connect customers to a company beyond product and price.

On the other end, you have your customers who may not see you very often or spend much money with you. But, they still come back every so often. They are good customers, too.

I once bought a dress shirt that was on sale from a salesman at a men’s clothing store. Realizing my purchase was small, I commented, “Maybe next time I’ll see a sport coat or suit I like.” The salesperson smiled and said, “If I had 500 customers just like you, I’d be the happiest salesperson in the store.” He went on to tell me that he likes good customers who walk out of the store happy, regardless of how much they spend, because they come back. He was right. I came back, and I bought a suit. And, I’ve been buying clothes from him ever since.

He figured it out. It wasn’t how much money I spent that first time. It was that I represented one of his customers, regardless of how much or little I bought. So, the point is to take care of all of your customers. The small ones and the big ones. Everyone, regardless of how much they spend, should feel happy, respected and appreciated.

And, by the way, be sure to floss your teeth. All your teeth!

Copyright © MMXVII, Shep Hyken – Used with Permission

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This article was written by
Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or www.hyken.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Hyken

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