Identifying and leveraging your VIPs


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Of course all of your customers are important to the success of your business, but your top customers are even more important. Let’s call them your VIPs. There are three types of retail VIP customers.

One set of VIPs are customers who buy the most over a given time period. I like to measure spending over an 18-24 month period. This makes it easier to spot customers who are falling down or coming up the list. The number of VIP buyers you track depends on how big your business is. Most retailers track the top 50 to 100 per store.

I like to break the VIP buyers into two groups. The top 10-20 customers are my Top VIPs; the rest of the top 50-100 customers are my Current VIPs.

Another group of VIPs aren’t actually big spenders but are still vital to a store’s success. These are either loyal advocates who bring in a large number of new customers, or someone in the community we benefit from being associated with. Examples include someone famous, a political mover and shaker, and well-known businesspeople. Call this group your Community VIPs.

Most retailers have identified their Current VIPs but haven’t necessarily segmented the Top VIPs or officially identified their Community VIPs. It’s important to not simply identify your three different groups of VIPs, but to also to leverage each group.

Do you keep track of when a Current VIP last visited your store? Do you call or send a note or gift to your Top VIPs to invite them in to see the newest products? Are you making sure your Community VIPs are getting special invitations for key events?

Loyalty cuts both ways. The customer who spends a $2,000 a year deserves more of your attention and an even better experience than the one who spends $50 a year. As always, the goal is to WOW every customer, but elevate the WOW and personal service to an even higher level for the VIPs. This also enables us to create incremental visits and sales from our VIPs.

So let me ask, are your very important customers getting enough of your attention and a VIP experience?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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