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March 16, 2011 / jasonpinto

Big Trucks and Your Customer Database

Big Truck

When I was younger (okay, I actually thought of this again the other day), I used to think that the world would be a better place if big trucks had their own separate highways.

I would rationalize in my head that the roadways would be safer and easier to navigate if this was the case… Passenger cars would drive together on one road and all of the 18-wheelers would be somewhere else.

Weird, right?

Cars and Trucks in our Customer Database

Rather than try to figure out why I have these thoughts, I started thinking about how that concept applies to a customer database.

When it comes to how you communicate with the people in your customer list, do you treat them all the same? Hopefully not… Here’s why: if you were to truly analyze your customers, you will most likely find that there are clear differences between a lot of them. In fact, you may be able to break them down into categories such as these:

  • New customers
  • Repeaters
  • Loyal
  • Advocates
  • Lapsed

After separating customers into those buckets, we should be able to tailor our marketing and communication efforts to them accordingly.

The Loyal Ones

For example, the ones that have shown loyalty (they’ve been a customer for an extended period of time) may not only deserve a reward of some sort, but you may also want to gently encourage them to share and promote how you’ve helped their company.

The Advocates

For your advocates, you may want to treat them like VIPs! Perhaps you send them swag on a fairly regular basis… maybe you give them sneak-peeks of your new products or services and then listen intently to their input.

The Lapsed List

For your lapsed customers (those who still pay you, but are not really using what you offer), you will want to develop a marketing campaign that seeks to find out what their problems and challenges are. Also, you’ll want to focus on providing ideas and solutions on how can they move forward successfully.

New Customers

For your new customers (those that have only purchased from you one-time), you may want to focus on welcoming them with open arms as much as possible. Create a “Client Jumpstart Kit” that helps them get off the ground running with your product or service. Help them feel that they made a wise investment.

Repeat Customers

Repeat customers are those that may have purchased from you a few years ago, left for a while, but have now come back. These may need some form of the “Client Jumpstart Kit”, but you will absolutely want to personalize your approach to them. What did you learn about them the first time? How can you use that knowledge to ensure their experience is better this time around?

How About You?

These are just a few ideas on how you could segment your customer list. If you have had any success in approaching your communication efforts by segmenting your database, I’d love to hear about it.

 

Photo Credit

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Cheri Allbritton / Mar 16 2011 1:23 pm

    Jason I laughed at the beginning of this post because I have pondered the same thing about trucks a million times. I never thought about giving them their own highways, but definitely have thought about how much more efficient highways would be if trucks had their own lanes and cars had their own. After SUVs and big pick up trucks became popular I gave them their own lanes too in my mind’s eye.

    And I agree with your analysis of our customers too. I wrote a blog about generational preferences of communication methods amongst customers. Not directly related to this post, but it does help to know how each of the customer types categoried as you have like to communicate. Not sure if you’ll agree but here’s the link: http://cheriallbritton.posterous.com/45129687

  2. jasonpinto / Mar 16 2011 3:37 pm

    Cheri,
    Thank you very much for reading this post, and leaving the comment. I love that you thought of “their own lanes” thing too!

    Also, I’m very happy that you posted a link to your blog. That article is excellent.. I love the breakdown by those specific demographics.

    Thanks again,
    Jason

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