By Ron Kustek
Customers come into our business lives — hopefully making a purchase for a need that we satisfy — and then they are on their way. But how do you keep in touch with them? How do you get another sale from them? What do you know about your best customer? The answer is, if you knew everything about your BEST customer, you would be able to find more great customers that have similar interests, locations, behaviors, families, hangouts, access points, etc., — right???
Fast Times Demand Information
Look, as much as we’d like to think that people seek us out for what we offer, times have changed. Your customers are more likely to depend on word-of-mouth or other ‘social push’ sites to feed them information. We’ve entered the world of anti-search-effort, and many customers today are feeling that if it’s not fed to them socially or via other feeds they’ve established, then it’s not popular enough or good enough, or worth their time to seek out to consider.
Which brings us back to your BEST customer — and we need to keep focused on the BEST customer. A BEST customer is one who is loyal, buys your product and/or service, keeps buying additional items and/or services from you, doesn’t cause issues or constantly makes returns, and also brings their family & friends and/or acquaintances in to experience what you have to offer, who likely also buy from you.
So who is “Riley?”
Riley is your ‘best customer’ Riley is about 37, loyal to your business and has 3 kids still in school, owns their home, lives within 2 miles of your location, graduated from UCSC and also is an avid coffee drinker from the coffee shop next door. Riley spends more than your average customer, and also brings in friends from out of town when they’re visiting. Riley also drives a 2-year-old SUV and enjoys going to museums, and dines out about 4 times per week.
To know your customer, is to ask them questions when you or your staff are able to talk to them, and then also have a place or system to store that information. What lists do you have of your customers? Hopefully you maintain a current email list that helps you communicate with customers regularly, perhaps through a monthly newsletter.
How to get more “Rileys”
It’s quite simple and very effective to do local Facebook and Google ads where you can define your customer based on their demographics (age, sex, number of children, education level, home ownership, proximity to your business, etc.) as well as customer behaviors (local coffee shops, museum fan, dining out frequently, etc.). These are very effective ways to target potential ‘new best customers’ based on what you already know about your existing best customers.
Knowing information about your best customers is key to your success. If you’re not already collecting emails from customers, I’d encourage you to do so. Simple surveys asking customers what social media they use, what other things they like to do and also being VERY specific about how they heard about you, are all great pieces of information that will help you understand which parts of your marketing are delivering customers, and which areas you should re-allocate your marketing budget to in order to get a greater return on your money and efforts!
Ron Kustek is a business instructor at Cabrillo College teaching Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Advertising, Small Business and General Business Management.