Let’s be honest – when you’re struggling to get your business off the ground, the ideal customer is any customer. As things start to settle down, however, you’ll get substantially more selective and start spending increasing amounts of time and energy working out exactly who your perfect picks are and how to attract them.
Let’s take a look at a quick way of defining your ideal customers with a view towards long-term profitability and peace of mind.
A Is For Awesome
No matter how many customers or clients you have, there’s always going to be a percentage that bring a song to your heart and a particularly warm glow to your bank account. There are many ways of identifying this group but a quick 80:20 analysis of your current customers is often the easiest.
Take the time to actually sit down and work out how much revenue and profits your A-tier customers are bringing in – you may be surprised at the results. These are the people you want to be concentrating the bulk of your efforts on.
People in the A-tier segment of your customer base deliver outsize profits, purchase regularly, are a pleasure to deal with, and act as powerful advocates for you out in the market. Any customer or client who meets those criteria should be treasured – make sure you know exactly who they are.
Don’t just stop at identifying the people who currently fit the bill. Break down their characteristics in detail and start putting serious effort into working out how you can attract more of them.
B Is For Bread And Butter
This group is likely to make up the majority of your customer base – and that’s no bad thing! These are your standard customers or clients. A substantial percentage of them well may be one-time purchasers.
It should go without saying that you’ll be looking to regularly knock it out of the park for B-tier customers in every aspect of how you serve them. There are two key things you want to make sure you have a good handle on, however:
- Do you have a defined process for graduating B-tier customers to A-tier customers? Getting this in place has the potential deliver outsize returns for your business. Make sure you’re able to spot potentially great long-term clients and know how to nurture them.
- Have you run the numbers on this group as a whole? B-tier customers are the bread and butter of most businesses, but you need to be sure you’re managing them correctly in terms of time and money expended and eventual profits. If, for example, it turns out you’ve got the majority of your customers chewing up your time but only driving 10% of profits, it’s time for a rethink.
C Is For Can’t Deal With
There’s always going to be a small subset of customers that are truly difficult one way or the other. We’ve all had to bite our tongue at some stage and simply push through on a particular deal or project, but there’s no good reason to deal with toxic or troublesome behaviour over time.
Make sure you’re regularly reviewing your existing customer base for potentially problematic behaviour, and don’t be afraid to cut losers quickly. You’ll sleep better as a result and have more time available for concentrating on the segment of the market that’s truly worth your time.
Our three-stage division is a conceptually straightforward one, but it packs a surprising amount of punch when applied in real-world scenarios. Put it into action with your own customer base and you’ll start seeing the results within months if not weeks!