Days of doing business merely for the sake of getting a quick buck are long gone. With increasing competition and expanding markets, the long-term viability of any business now depends on maintaining good customer relations. Customers are not only a source of revenue for your company but also promoters of your brand. Their opinions greatly influence how your company is viewed in the public eye. Thus, it is crucial to understand their needs.

Good customer service means knowing your customers well. Since each customer is unique and has distinct needs, it is important to identify each customer type and deal with it accordingly. If you approach all your customers using the same old formula, you are bound to hit a lot of roadblocks.

To make things simpler, categorize your customers according to their position in the sales funnel as illustrated below.

Here’s a quick guide to how you can get the best out of different types of customers you interact with on a regular basis.

1. The New Customer – New Norman

You get this customer time and time again. Norman recently bought something from you and is still getting to know your products. Even if you’ve been successful in making a sale to him, providing him after-sales service satisfaction can embed feelings of loyalty.

Don’t just abandon Norman once you’ve closed a deal. Help him as he continues using your product so you can become his ‘go-to’ company for all future sales.

How To Win This Customer?

Welcome this person aboard after he has purchased your product, and give him all the guidance he needs.

Spend some time in making sure your customer knows how to make the best use of your product by offering him the following.

  1. Written assistance: This can be in the form of product usage guidelines.
  2. Verbal assistance: Verbal assistance via customer support mediums – either live chat or call is necessary to address any concerns not covered in written guidelines.

Walking your customer through the entire purchase and post-purchase process makes him feel special and valued. It is one of your easiest wins to converting a new customer into a loyal one.

2. The Potential Customer – Potential Porpentina

You haven’t been able to pull in Porpentina as a customer yet but there is potential. Such leads are the backbone of your business, especially when they’re just about to cross the fence to you. Ignoring Porpentina is an absolute no-go! Rather, give her complete attention and direct her towards making the purchase decision.

Now that she’s shown an intent to purchase from your company, it is your responsibility to push her further down the sales funnel so that she actually makes the purchase – and eventually becomes an advocate of your brand. She might have signed up for a newsletter to know more about your product offerings. She might have even filled a contact form or talked to your sales personnel via live chat.

Her willingness to communicate with you sets her apart as a potential lead from the rest of the crowd which might only be browsing. You must harness this willingness and capitalize on it by converting Porpentina into a paying customer.

How To Win This Customer?

Here’s how you can increase the conversion rate of your potential customers like Porpentina:

  1. Increase engagement via email marketing: Communicating with your potential leads via email helps educate them about your products and how they fulfill customer needs. Effective customer support also piques their interest in conducting business with you in the long run.
  2. Use testimonials or case studies: Share stories about how your business has resolved the challenges of its customers in the past. When backed by facts, such success stories have a great impact on lead conversion.
  3. Create a sense of urgency: Often times, customers are just too indecisive or agnostic to jump off the fence. You can win them over with a super compelling message that hints at an urgent need your product can fulfill.

3. The Discount Customer – Discount Dave

Dave is on the lookout for a good bargain. Even though he sees value in your product, he needs more information on discount deals to decide if he should actually buy from you. You cannot overcharge him under any circumstances or you lose him. Such customers vanish from the picture as soon as sales or discount offers are over.

Offer discounts to your discount customer and he is yours.

How To Win This Customer?

Retaining discount customers can be tricky. You don’t want to lose such high-volume, price-sensitive customers but you can’t always price your items low. It could be an indicator of poor quality in the eyes of potential buyers.

Here’s how to avoid such issues.

  1. Offer seasonal discounts: This helps attract discount customers from time-to-time and saves you from pricing your products low all year round.
  2. Giving out coupons or gift cards: You can also offer them coupons or gift cards to keep them coming back to you.
  3. Complement with good customer service: In case you cannot afford to lower the price for discounts, you can offer them complementary customer service at the same price.

4. The Loyal Customer – Loyal Linda

Linda is the type of customer every business wants. She has been spellbound by the experience you once gave her, and she keeps coming back to you for more purchases.

She is even willing to pay you more if you manage to provide her with the value she seeks. Furthermore, she even acts as your brand ambassador, recommending your products and services to everyone in her circle and bringing you a whole new stream of customers.

How To Win This Customer?

Having a loyal and satisfied customer does not mean you become complacent and lose track of what made them happy in the first place.

  1. Follow-ups are necessary: You need to follow up on your customers and ask them which features of your products and services sets them apart from those of the competitors.
  2. Identify any weak links: Dig deep and find out what makes your customer relationship so strong and where are the weak links.
  3. Incentivize your loyal customers: Offer frequency discounts to loyal customers or complementary services to keep them excited about your brand. You can even include them in testimonials. This would make them feel inclusive and a part of your business.

Fortify your brand around the strong areas and improve the weak links to retain both loyal and new customers!

Good customer relations can increase your odds of success

Whichever category your customers fall in, you need to engage with each category according to its needs. Your primary goal should be to drive your customers down the sales funnel and make them advocates of your brand. This is where the cream of the crop lies! Harvesting it could lead your business to new paths of success and ensure your survival in the long haul.