You’ve heard of the Pareto Principle: the rule of thumb that 20% of the work drives 80% of the results. In sales and marketing, we can observe that this principle holds true across all industries, and understand that a huge amount of sales, revenue, and brand interaction can be directly traced back to a few high-value customers, or HVCs.
If you haven’t put much thought into CRM, it’s a good policy to prioritize the creation and retention of HVCs who will give you the most return on your investment. Though the majority of all sales transactions are likely to be one-offs or from occasional buyers, a significant amount of your revenue will be driven by intensely loyal HVCs, who will not only stick by your brand but help promote it. To put it simply: you should keep your HVCs happy because when they buy, they buy big.
What makes a customer high value?
- HVCs buy for a reason: HVCs look to your products, services, and brand to meet a fundamental need. Whether it’s health, wealth, or status, identifying your business’s raison d’etre will help you serve your best customers more efficiently.
- They are interested in the next big thing. HVCs will keep checking your website, app, and social media pages for updates and new products. If you make customer loyalty a priority, you can create positive feedback loops that pay off huge in the long run.
- HVCs are less sensitive to price changes. High-value customers will return to your brand even if they can find similar products for cheaper. It’s not about the cost: it’s about how your business addresses their specific needs in a relevant and personalized way.
- HVCs will promote your brand. Your most loyal customers will promote your goods and services to friends, colleagues, and even strangers, if they believe in your products and customer service. HVCs bring with them a large social network of potential new clients, so pay it forward!
High-value customers are your business’s Golden Geese: keep them happy, and you’ll set yourself up for huge successes in the long run. And the truth is, doing so is actually pretty simple once you adopt the mindset of putting the customer first and personalizing your services to give each individual the VIP treatment.
3 Ways to Engage High-Value Customers
- Reward HVCs for their loyalty. By integrating loyalty data into your delivery providers and personalization tools, you’ll be able to understand when, how and why high-value customers access your site and design useful, personalized touches to interact with them across multiple channels. When done right, loyalty programs remove barriers between your customer and their purchases and streamline their shopping experience. Doing so can empower the customer with a sense of agency when they realize that their actions have a direct impact on their experiences with you and what services you can offer them.
- Pay attention to their recent activity. This information can be used to identify a customer as high value based on metrics such as: frequent site visits, a high clickthrough rate on email and website, and big recent purchases. Someone who can’t get enough of your content will respond well to an increase in messages, especially the triggered marketing that corresponds to important life events or interactions with your brand. When done right, this will prove to customers that you really understand what makes them tick. One appropriate example for a triggered message: if a certain HVC has a record of high overall spend but for the last several months they have not been interacting or buying, you might send them a re-engagement email with a big discount attached.
- Evolve with your customers. Changes in customers’ habits which point to increased interest in categories outside of their normal purchase pattern can indicate someone’s shift into becoming a high-value customer. A significant change in what they buy and how much they spend could be a signal that this individual has extended their product trust into brand trust for you, prompting their movement into the HVC bucket.
There are many ways you can use data to help determine who is an HVC by using your personalization tools, and from there it’s a matter of providing your high-value customers with the service and attention that they deserve. In the process, you’ll develop the infrastructure, habits, and mindset that’ll attract and engage new customers at each step of their journey.